Four-time Olympian Shalane Flanagan, who ended a 40-year American drought when she won the New York City Marathon in 2017, is retiring from competitive running to become a coach with the Nike Bowerman Track Club.
“I have felt my North Star shifting,” the 38-year-old Flanagan said Monday on social media. “My passion and purpose is no longer about MY running; it’s more and more about those around me.”
A native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, and the daughter of distance runners — her mother was the first woman to break 2 hours, 50 minutes in the marathon — Flanagan won a silver medal in the 10,000 meters at the 2008 Olympics.
Her victory in the ’17 New York Marathon was the first for an American woman since Miki Gorman in 1977; she finished third last year — her third time on the podium in the race. She was fourth in the 2013 Boston Marathon, her best finish in four tries at her hometown race.
But she said after running Boston in 2018 that it would be her last time.
“I’ve broken bones, torn tendons, and lost too many toenails to count,” she wrote. “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.”
In a pair of Instagram posts , Flanagan thanked her five coaches, family, friends, teammates and sponsors.
“I hope I made myself a better person by running. I hope I made those around me better. I hope I made my competition better,” she said. “I hope I left the sport better because I was a part of it.”
A two-time NCAA cross-country champion, Flanagan still holds the American records at 3,000 meters, 5,000 meters and 15K.
“My personal motto throughout my career has been to make decisions that leave me with ‘no regrets’…..but to be honest, I have one,” she said. “I regret I can’t do it all over again.”