Shalane Flanagan to lead group of past podium finishers in New York City Marathon pro field

Former open division runner-up Shalane Flanagan will be joined by two-time wheelchair champion Amanda McGrory, Josh George and Abdi Abdirahman at the world’s largest marathon, the New York City Marathon, in November. The American Professional Athlete Field will have a team representing four U.S. Olympians and seven Paralympians.

Meb Keflezighi and Tatyana McFadden, as well as NYRR team for kids ambassadors, will be featured as well. Keflezighi will be running in his final career marathon while McFadden will be going for the record-making sixth title in the wheelchair division. McGrory is a seven-time Paralympic medalist who has been on a winning streak since the Rio 2016 Games. She broke the tape in 1:43:27 in February before finishing the first quarter as the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon runner-up in March. McFadden has five career New York City Marathons under her belt, the last four being consecutive. The next win on the five-borough course would push McFadden past Edith Hunkeler and Kurt Fearnley for the most career wins – in the wheelchair division – by any male or female.

“We are excited to welcome an extremely accomplished American field for the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon, as Meb races his 26th and final career marathon, while Amanda and Tatyana battle for another five-borough title. Shalane, meanwhile, who owns the best New York City Marathon finish by an American woman in the last 27 years, returns in search of another podium finish,” said Peter Ciaccia, president of events for New York Road Runners and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon in the press release.

Flanagan, a thirty-six-year-old marathoner from Portland, Oregon, is the second-fastest U.S. female marathoner of all-time on top of being a four-time Olympian. Recently, her bronze Olympic medal from the 2008 Olympics was upgraded to a silver.

“Seven years ago, I started my marathon career on the streets of New York City,” Flanagan said. “It was one of the most thrilling experiences in my career, so I’m beyond excited to be returning this fall to where it all began. New York has always had an abundance of top competition. and I look forward to testing myself against the best in the world once again.”

[More from Excelle Sports: Jenny Simpson races to long-awaited redemption on the track in London]

She finished as the runner-up at the New York City Marathon, which was also the best finish by an American women in 27 years.  She spent her last weekend being a Race Buddy for NYRR’s Run for the Future program. The program empowers young women who are incoming seniors to build self-esteem and stay confident. In addition, they develop leadership skill and train to complete a 5K run.

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