NYC Marathon: Olympian Molly Seidel breaks record with broken ribs, Shalane Flanagan completes 6-in-6 quest

·4 min read

Olympic bronze medalist Molly Seidel didn't let a few broken ribs get in the way of her first New York City Marathon, and only her fourth marathon overall. 

Seidel finished fourth in the Sunday race with a personal best and the fastest time by an American woman in New York. Her time of 2:24:42 bested Kara Goucher's record of 2:25:53 set in 2008. 

Seidel, 27, told reporters after the race she broke a "couple" of ribs a few months ago, but did not elaborate on the injury. She did say it hindered her training. 

Peres Jepchirchir (2:22:39) won the women's race by pulling away from Viola Cheptoo (2:22:44) in the final meters. Both are from Kenya. Ababel Yeshaneh (2:22:52) of Ethiopia finished third. 

And Shalane Flanagan completed her efforts to run six marathon in six weeks, a rare feat that was made possibly only because of rescheduled events. She finished the NYC Marathon with her best finish of all six at 2:33:32. 

Molly Seidel
Molly Seidel acknowledges the crowd prior to the start of the women's pro division at the 2021 New York City marathon. (John Jones-USA TODAY Sports)

Seidel continues to rise in marathon ranks

Seidel's rise in the marathon ranks has been quick. Her first marathon was 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trial held in Atlanta in February of 2020. She became the youngest woman to make an Olympic marathon team since 1992 with the time of 2:27:31, good for second. In her second career marathon she finished sixth at the London Marathon (2:25:13). 

This past summer she won a surprise bronze at the Tokyo Games with a finish of 2:27:46. She became only the third American woman in Olympic history to medal in the event, joining Joan Benoit (1984) and Deena Kastor (2004). 

She credits working with Jon Green, 26, for her success and career. The two knew of each other in college and became teammates for the Freedom Track Club in Boston. They each left in 2019 and later began working together, as detailed by The New York Times. Seidel was originally using the marathons are training for the U.S. track and field trials to set up a good 10,000-meter time. 

Flanagan completes historic six in six 

Flanagan, 40, finished 12th on the women's side in her fastest time of the six-week quest. Within the past 42 days she's raced in Berlin, London, Chicago, Boston, virtually in Tokyo and New York. 

Flanagan, a four-time Olympian, retired from professional running in October of 2019. She returned to race the six marathons with a goal of doing so in under three hours each. Over the past nearly two months she has traveled about 10,000 miles with her toddler son, per The New York Times. 

She ran the Chicago and Boston races on back-to-back days and when organizers canceled the Tokyo race, she ran it herself in her home in Oregon two weeks ago. 

Flanagan has had two reconstructive knee surgeries, including one in April 2019, and coaches with Nike's Bowerman Track Club in Portland. She won the 2017 New York City Marathon and earned silver at the 2008 Olympics in the 10,000 meters.  

Albert Korir of Kenya won the men's race (2:08:22) for his first major championship. Mohamed Rede El Aaraby of Morocco finished second and Eyob Faniel of Italy finished third.

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