February 21, 2017
The hope for a Massachusetts native to win the Boston Marathon will have to wait at least another year after Mary Kate Shea, Senior Director of Sponsorship and Endurance Marketing for John Hancock, sent out notice today that Shalane Flanagan will “have to withdraw from the 2017 Boston Marathon due to a fracture in her back that will require four to six weeks of rest and healing.”
Flanagan issued a statement, “I’m extremely sad at the loss of opportunity to run with the best and that I will not be a part of my favorite race.”
Flanagan, a Marblehead, Massachusetts, native ran the fastest time ever by an American woman on the Boston course: 2:22:02 in 2014. Flanagan has run Boston three times and had three top-10 finishes:
2013 4th 2:27:08
2014 6th 2:22:02
2015 9th 2:27:47
Flanagan most recently was 6th at the Rio Olympics in the marathon. Her career highlights include a bronze medal at 10,000m at the 2008 Olympics and the 2011 World Cross Country Championships. Her 2:21:14 at the 2014 Berlin Marathon makes her the second fastest American woman ever at the marathon.
The American female hopes in Boston now will rest with Desi Linden, who nearly won Boston in 2011, and Jordan Hasay, who will be making her debut.
Flanagan skipped Boston last year because it came between the Olympic Trials in February and the Olympics in August. Time may be running out on Flanagan’s chances to win Boston as she turns 36 this July.
In other Boston news, John Hancock announced Suguru Osako of the Nike Oregon Project and Japan has been added to the field and will make his debut. He’s Japan’s 3k (7:40) and 5k (13:08) national record holder and ran 61:13 at the Marugame Half Marathon two weeks ago.
American distance fans still have a ton to be excited about in Boston as Osako’s teammate, American Galen Rupp, is in the field and will be one of the favorites.