To break through to the top step on the podium this year, the U.S. runners will have to keep their emotions under control. Hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to line the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Boston, a course that is littered with stories of runners who outran their pace and faltered.
“If the emotion gets me too soon, it could absolutely ruin the race for me,” Flanagan said. “I’m sure we can use it to our advantage.”
But Meyer, a Michigan native who moved to Massachusetts to get more familiar with the course, thinks having a passion for the race will give Flanagan an edge.
“I don’t think it’s the energy of the crowd. I think it’s the energy in their own soul,” he said. “You have to believe that this is the most important thing you’re going to do in your racing career. I’ve seen that from Shalane.”
And, if it’s Linden or Hall who gets the laurel wreath while listening to the “Star-Spangled Banner” play over Boylston Street, Flanagan will be OK with that, too.
“It gives me chills just thinking about that,” she said. “If it’s not me, I pray that it is one of us: Meb, Desi, Ryan, Jason. I truly believe that we can pull it off. It would be so inspiring for all of us. I would just be so happy to a part of it.”