An extraordinary challenge for an American top marathoner Shalane Flanagen


Shalane Flanagan won silver medal in 10,000m at the Olympics in 2008 in Beijing and nine years later triumphed in the world's largest, the New York Marathon. But this autumn, the top marathoner took on a challenge that is extraordinary. Namely, Flanagan planned to take part in all the Marathon Majors marathons taking place in the autumn, it means to run the classic marathon distance (42,2 km) six times in 42 days.

The world's major marathons, usually held at other times, had accumulated for a month and a half this autumn: on September 26 in Berlin and on Sunday, November 7 in New York. Between the two big races were the London, Chicago, Boston and Tokyo marathons. Tokyo marathon was cancelled by the decision of the organizers and took place only in the format of a virtual race.


Of course, amateur athletes also run marathons on consecutive days, but top runners usually cover such a long distance only 1-2 times a year. It takes time to recover from a 42.2 km long race, which makes it much more difficult for the body to cover such a distance at intervals of a few days.


Flanagan started her challenge at the end of September in Berlin with an excellent time of 2.38.32. On October 3, a week later, the 40-year-old runner started in London, where her result was three minutes faster, 2.35.04.


On October 10, the Chicago Marathon (2.46.39) was waiting for her, and the next day, on October 11, the same distance in Boston (2.40.34). Then came the Tokyo Virtual Marathon (2.35.14). On November 7, Flanagan's extraordinary challenge came to an excellent end, finishing on eleventh place in the New York Marathon at 2.33.34.


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