Simply running in the Boston Marathon isn’t enough for Marblehead, Massachusetts native Shalane Flanagan. The 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist in the 10,000 meters has made it clear that her intentions are win or bust.
“It’s my ultimate dream and goal to win the Boston Marathon,” Flanagan said on 60 Minutes. “I am all in with this training. I have been out on the course, training on it, multiple times this fall. And I know almost every divot and bump in the road.”
An American hasn’t crossed the finish line first at the Boston Marathon in almost 30 years. However, Flanagan’s track record along with her familiarity with the city make her an odds on favorite to the take 2014 crown. Back in 2010, Flanagan recorded the best finish by an American women in 20 years at the New York City Marathon when she finished second.
Flanagan ran the Boston Marathon for the first time last year and finished in fourth place, losing out to Rita Jeptoo. Since then, Flanagan has dedicated all her time and energy towards this year’s race, including memorizing the Boston trail and training in Portland and the high altitudes of Arizona. Her eagerness to win the race showed when she became the first person to sign up for this year’s field. To Flanagan, winning the Boston Marathon would outrank her Olympic medal from the 2008 Beijing Games, especially after the events of last year.
“After what happened with the bombs and everything that unfolded, it just gave more meaning and more incentive to pour everything I have into winning it.”
As the daughter of two marathon runners, Shalane grew up watching the Boston Marathon in person. In 1980, her father finished just 11 minutes shy of the world record for the Boston Marathon, while her mother set a women’s world marathon record in 1971.
“I watched from Hereford all the way down to the finish,” said Flanagan. “And that’s exactly the two areas where the bombs went off. So it was a surreal moment to think of that was– I was a little kid watching my dad run right there. I mean that easily could have been me or my sister.”
Flanagan’s strategy towards winning the race is to embrace the inevitable pain that comes with running a marathon. She said that when she starts to feel pain then it means that her competitors are uncomfortable too, meaning its time to “put the screw in” by pushing it to the limit.
We’ll see next Monday whether or not Flanagan can “put the screw in” when it counts. To hold you over until then, watch the video above for more information on Flanagan’s story and keep coming back to Sneaker Report for more news regarding the Boston Marathon.