It hasn’t happened in 40 years: an American woman winning the New York City marathon.
For the last ten years, she’s been a fixture at international competitions; always in contention, but never able to close the last gap.
A Massachusetts girl, Shalane was sidelined from running the 2017 Boston marathon, due to a pelvic fracture. She was vocal about her devastation. I have to admit, I was pretty letdown.
She rested. She wrote a cookbook (it’s GOOD.) She fostered two teenage girls. She got back to training.
Could she compete in New York?
When she pulled out a HUGE win over 3-time NYC champ Mary Keitany…I admit to feeling a bit teary. Watching runners does that to me.
It took Shalane seven YEARS to win. In her post race interview she spoke emotionally of the need for patience, but also believing in the “awesome.”
“I knew it was possible.” She’s 36-years-old. Running a 1:16 half-marathon split, and running between 5:07-5:25 minute mile splits.
I don’t think I can even sprint that fast!
This morning I went out for a run and felt totally slammed from the weekend. SO TIRED. At the last half mile stretch I considered walking. Instead I began to repeat to myself: Pre, Pre, Pre (a nod to legendary runner, Steve Prefontaine.)
But then, I swear it’s true, Shalane popped into my head. I started to say, Shalane, Shalane, Shalane. I finished.
My take-away moment: the women are rising. And they are inspiring. Don’t doubt it: big or small sphere, your influence matters.
“Nine months ago I was heartbroken…I’ve dreamed of a moment like this since I was a little girl…and hopefully it inspires the next generation of American women…”
Oh, it does, Shalane. It does.