SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

April 7, 2014

Going For Glory

Marblehead's Shalane Flanagan ready to run the race of her life

There has been nary a detail left unattended.

Shalane Flanagan says she could not be any more prepared for the 118th running of the Boston Marathon two weeks from today. The 32-year-old Marblehead native has done everything humanly possibly to put herself in the best position to cross the finish line on Boylston Street first.

She’s ready to run. And win.

“We’ve pulled out everything we could think of in terms of preparations so I can have the race of my life on the 21st. We’re all in,” Flanagan told The Salem News.”

“There’s a huge motivational factor, given what happened last year,” continued Flanagan, speaking of the horrific Boston Marathon bombings that happened a few hours after she placed fourth in the women’s race in 2:27.08. “We think it’s going to be the most historically significant Boston ever, which is saying a lot. And I want to be a part of history.”

Mild mannered in everyday life but a ferocious competitor with sneakers on her feet and a numbered bib affixed to her jersey, Flanagan still gets very upset thinking back to the events of one year ago. It’s why the three-time Olympian and 2008 bronze medalist says that this will be “the most significant race of my career” without hesitation.

“Looking back, it’s very surreal,” said Flanagan, who now makes her home in Portland, Ore. “I was that little girl on the corner of Hereford (Street), watching my dad (Steve) run, watching (Germany’s Uta) Pippig win the Marathon. This happened in my city, in the race I absolutely adore. It’s freaky: it’s Patriots Day, the Red Sox playing, just a huge celebration ... and that happened.

“I took it very personally and so did the running community. “That’s why there’s a lot of motivation for this year’s race; not just for me being from the area, but for all of us in the running community and having the ability to overcome adversity.”

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