She went the distance: Shalane Flanagan announces retirement
She may have announced her retirement, but she’s taking on a new form of running … as in running a team. One of the most impressive distance runners in American history, Shalane Flanagan will be coaching at the Bowerman Track Club in Portland, Oregon.
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With happy tears I announce today that I am retiring from professional running. From 2004 to 2019 I’ve given everything that’s within me to this sport and wow it’s been an incredible ride! I’ve broken bones, torn tendons, and lost too many toenails to count. I’ve experienced otherworldly highs and abysmal lows. I’ve loved (and learned from) it all. Over the last 15 years I found out what I was capable of, and it was more than I ever dreamed possible. Now that all is said and done, I am most proud of the consistently high level of running I produced year after year. No matter what I accomplished the year before, it never got any easier. Each season, each race was hard, so hard. But this I know to be true: hard things are wonderful, beautiful, and give meaning to life. I’ve loved having an intense sense of purpose. For 15 years I’ve woken up every day knowing I was exactly where I needed to be. The feeling of pressing the threshold of my mental and physical limits has been bliss. I’ve gone to bed with a giant tired smile on my face and woken up with the same smile. My obsession to put one foot in front of the other, as quickly as I can, has given me so much joy. However, I have felt my North Star shifting, my passion and purpose is no longer about MY running; it’s more and more about those around me. All I’ve ever known, in my approach to anything, is going ALL IN. So I’m carrying this to coaching. I want to be consumed with serving others the way I have been consumed with being the best athlete I can be. I am privileged to announce I am now a professional coach of the Nike Bowerman Track Club. This amazing opportunity in front of me, to give back to the sport, that gave me so much, is not lost on me. I’ve pinched myself numerous times to make sure this is real. I am well aware that retirement for professional athletes can be an extremely hard transition. I am lucky, as I know already, that coaching will bring me as much joy and heartache that my own running career gave me. I believe we are meant to inspire one another, we are meant to learn from one another. Sharing everything I’ve learned about and from running is what I’m meant to do now.(1/2)
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She started running at UNC, but u-n-(seen) nothing yet … she went on to be a four-time Olympian, winner of the 2017 New York City Marathon, and top 10 finisher all four times she ran the Boston Marathon.
Thank you @ShalaneFlanagan for being fierce every time you stepped on the line. You're best of the best-on & off the roads!
4x Olympian, Oly silver, World XC bronze, @nycmarathon champ, @bostonmarathon U.S. CR, ARs & National titles, NYT best seller, @johnhancockusa ambassador + https://t.co/B6zkClP8Hx pic.twitter.com/pzgW1U4pcV
— Boston Marathon JH (@jhboston26) October 21, 2019
She went the distance … hanging up her running shoes after a 15-year long career.
— Shalane Flanagan (@ShalaneFlanagan) July 8, 2019
The road to success wasn’t easy … Flanagan suffered numerous injuries that ran her body ragged.
Congratulations Shalane. You have inspired & touched men and women around the globe. Your tenacity and drive to excellence is unparalleled. Congrats on AMAZING career. Thank you for your gift to put smiles & tears of joy on our faces. You are 💯 Class and a remarkable Champion. pic.twitter.com/TzLK9LjIbX
— meb keflezighi (@runmeb) October 21, 2019
She may have stopped running, but her memory will continue to race through the minds of those she’s inspired during her incredible career.