Shalane Flanagan Will Make Marathon Debut in NYC

EUGENE, OR - JUNE 25: Shalane Flanagan competes in the 10,000 meter final during the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field on June 25, 2009 in Eugene, Oregon. Flanagan finished second. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

It seems like everyone wants to run the marathon. And not just any marathon—the ING New York City Marathon. Haile Gebrselassie, the marathon world record holder and undisputed King of the Road, has already announced that he’s running NYC for the first time this fall. Defending NYC champion and American superstar Meb Keflezighi is also returning to defend his title. And now, Shalane Flanagan, America’s track darling, has announced she’ll be making her marathon debut in New York on November 7.

“It’s the ultimate challenge for the distance runner,’’ Flanagan told The Boston Globe. “I would love to win another Olympic medal, but more than anything, I would love to win a major marathon.’’

She’ll face off against U.S. marathon record holder Deena Kastor and what is sure to be a deep international field.

Debuting in New York City now seems to be an American marathon tradition. Keflezighi, Kastor and Kara Goucher all made their marathon debuts there. It’s curious, considering the course isn’t nearly as fast as some others—like Chicago—but it’s certainly the most iconic. But Flanagan said she chose New York because of the career support she’s received from New York Road Runners, the race’s organizer.

Flanagan, 28, is most famous for winning the bronze medal in the 10,000 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She ran her first half-marathon in Houston in January. She not only won the race, but also broke the course record. The U.S. could have another marathon star on its hands.

But Flanagan isn’t leaving the track behind. According to the Boston Globe, she plans on returning to the track next year in hopes of competing at the summer outdoor championships in South Korea, and then perhaps making a bid for the Olympic marathon at the U.S. marathon trials in January 2012.

“I’m excited, but I’m scared of the marathon,’’ Flanagan told the Globe. “It’s very daunting. There’s an unknown element I can’t practice for.’’

Something tells me she’ll do just fine.

Karla Bruning is an award-winning journalist and running nerd. She has completed three marathons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


06 2010

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