There appears to be the hint of a running boom for American women.
Shalane Flanagan’s debut 2:28:40–good for second place overall–at the ING New York City Marathon may be the beginnings of a rise in American women’s distance running. Flanagan’s performance in New York was significant. It marked the first U.S. woman in 20 years to place as high as second there.
Fellow Nike teammate Kara Goucher admitted to a rivalry between her and Flanagan. “Anything I do, Shalane does it bigger and better a year later,” Goucher said. “It’s actually funny to me.”
This friendly rivalry may be helping American running.
Flanagan’s performance, plus Goucher’s top-three finishes in New York (2008) and Boston (2009), point to a possibility that either one of them could break longstanding victory droughts by U.S. runners in both races.
But when looking at the statistics the U.S. is not there yet.
“Sub-2:26 is considered the top end of world class,” said Sean Hartnett, a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire professor and marathon expert. “The number of Americans that have run that fast is very small. The good news is, the rise of (U.S.) women has been strongest in major championships.”
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