Shalane Flanagan Becomes First U.S. Woman To Win NYC Marathon In 40 Years

Shalane Flanagan Becomes First U.S. Woman To Win NYC Marathon In 40 Years

Flanagan dominates the field and comes out on top.
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The running world just got a whole lot crazier. One of the United States most successful marathoners has made history today at the New York City Marathon. Shalane Flanagan, a four-time Olympian, flew her way through 26.2 miles in an unofficial time of 2 hours 26 minutes and 53 seconds. She was over a minute faster then the three-time defending NYC Marathon champion, Mary Keitany of Kenya, becoming the first American NYC marathon champion in 40 years.

The last time the NYC Marathon has seen an American winner was Miki Gorman, in 1977. This wasn't Flanagan's first NYC Marathon, making her first appearance here in 2010, where she finished second. Flanagan is the current American record holder in the 3,000 meter indoor and 5,000 meter indoor races, and has won a silver medal in the 10,000 meter race in the 2008 Bejing Olympic Games. Flanagan went out strong and didn't let anything get in her way of this tremendous victory. During a post race interview, Flanagan couldn't believe that this happened, she has dreamed of this moment for so long.

"This is the moment I've dreamed of since I was a little girl," said Flanagan. "It was a tough week for New Yorkers and all Americans, and I was able to come through with the best performance of my life."

This was Flanagan's first marathon since her last appearance in the 2016 Rio Olympic Summer Games, finishing 6th with a time of 2 hours 25 minutes and 6 seconds. She suffered a fracture in her back in the winter of 2016, that didn't allow her to compete or train for the 2017 Boston Marathon, forcing her to take two complete weeks off of running and regrouping. After a few months of relentless training and wanting something bigger and better, Flanagan showed the running world that one injury won't stop her from dominating the beast, the thing we all call the marathon.

"It's indescribable, it's a moment I'm trying to soak up and savor," said Flanagan on her post-race reaction on winning the NYC marathon. "I had no physical limitations today, I felt good and it was a pretty flawless race for me."

Flanagan has mentioned earlier this year that if she won the New York Marathon, she may retire from running the marathon, but she had made no remark regarding her retirement. Could we be seeing more of Flanagan in future years?

"I'll sit with my coach tonight," said Flanagan about her retirement. "I think we'll have some decisions to make."

Flanagan is the epitome of long-distance running, always putting in 110% no matter what the circumstance is. Congratulations, Shalane!

Cover Image Credit: NY Daily News

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When You Give A Girl A Pair Of Cleats

It's more than a pair of shoes.
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When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her far more than a new pair of shoes. You are giving her new friends and new challenges and so many lessons and some of her best memories.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a team. You are giving her a group of girls that she might not have ever talked to if it wasn’t for these common cleats. A group of girls who will teach her how to be a teammate. A group of girls who will laugh with her and yell at her and train with her and win with her and lose with her. With a pair of cleats comes a group of mismatched people with a common goal who are learning from each other and working together.

SEE ALSO: To The Coach That Took My Confidence Away

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a coach. This coach is going to play an instrumental role in her love or hate for the sport. This coach will work her hard. This coach will train her and teach her and encourage her and yell at her and make her cry and hug her and cheer her on. This coach wants to see her succeed. This coach knows what these cleats mean, what this sport means. And this coach will be someone that she will watch. She will watch the way that her coach talks to her and talks to her teammates and talks to the other team and she will see her coach’s responses to games that are won and games that are lost. This pair of cleats comes with a role model, for better or for worse.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her team practices. You are giving her practice that will instill discipline and dedication and commitment. You are teaching her that she is on a team and she is expected to put in time. You are teaching her that her presence is important and that people are relying on her. You are teaching her how to balance her time, because, now, she has school and practice and games and teammates and friends and family. And for the first time in her life, she has to establish priorities. With this practice time comes some of the hardest conditioning and training. With this practice time comes some of her favorite memories as she bonds with her teammates and laughs with them and works hard with them. This pair of cleats comes with quite the time commitment.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her game days. You are giving her bus rides and warm up playlists and team matching hair ribbons and orange slices at half-time and constantly looking for your water bottle on the sidelines. You are giving her a competitiveness that can only come out on the field. You are giving her the cheers from the sidelines and the screams of her coach and the exhaustion in her legs at the end of the game. You are giving her handshakes with opponents and a winning attitude even when she loses. With a pair of cleats comes pasta dinners and game days; These will become her favorite days.

SEE ALSO: My First Semester As A College Athlete

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a challenge. She is going to grow and learn, and she’s going to want to quit at times, but she is going to look down at her feet and remember why she’s doing this. She’s going to remember her teammates and her coaches and the amount of time she’s poured into this sport, and she’s going to realize that it’s worth it. She’s going to be covered in bruises and her socks are going to stink, and she’s always going to be looking for a sock or needing a hair elastic. She’s going to be tired, and she’s going to get hurt. But those cleats are going to establish lessons that she’s going to remember for the rest of her life, friends that she is going to learn to love, and discipline that she is going to be thankful for. If you’re the girl with the cleats, soak it in. Love the long practices and the exhaustion and the sound of the whistle that starts the game. If you’re the girl without the cleats, go get some. Try something new. Take the risk. Sign up for the team, the musical, the club. You will regret it if you don’t. Even if you fail, few things can teach you the lessons that those cleats will.

Sincerely,

The Girl Who Hung Up Her Cleats

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Cook

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Lebron James Is The MJ Of Our Era, No Doubt About It

Lebron James is bigger than basketball.

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Lebron James is a great basketball player. Now I know that is, and always will be debatable. Whether people want to believe it or not, Lebron James is the MJ of our era. There is no doubt about it. He is the most polarizing figure in the world of sports.

And as the Bible says, "To whom much is given, much is required." And with that saying comes scrutiny. And Lebron James has gotten a lot of it. "Lebron James will never be MJ. Lebron James is such a crybaby. Lebron moans and complains about everything.

It took Lebron James going to Miami, to win a championship. Lebron is soft. Lebron does not have a killer instinct like Kobe or Jordan. Lebron will never be MJ. Lebron has six finals losses."

Now some of these things are true, but it does not diminish the fact that Lebron James is a once-in-a-lifetime, generational player. He has handled everything with poise and ease, something I can all of us can learn from.

In today's generation, we like to nit-pick, exploit, slander, defame and condemn all of the things that we do not do, but rarely ever highlight enough of what the positive things he does.

Lebron James is bigger than basketball

Lebron James is not only a basketball player but a superstar extraordinaire. First and foremost, he is a philanthropist. For example, he is currently finishing out plans to open a school in his hometown area of Akron, Ohio, entitled "I Promise" elementary school. Lebron is sending 1,100 kids to any college of their choice, across the world, as well as supporting financially to the Children's Defense Fund, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and ONEXONE.

Lebron James is the biggest endorser in the history of endorsing. Lebron James estimated net worth is over 400M...and counting. He has numerous endorsement deals like Sprite, Kia, State Farm, Samsung, Nike(his biggest endorser) and Beats By Dre.

He has also made cameo appearances in film/ tv industry. He has starred in Trainwreck with Judd Apatow, SNL, and Late Night Jimmy Kimmel, as well as hosting the ESPY's with Kimmel.

In terms of basketball, philanthropic efforts and public media, Lebron James is living the life that any person could only dream of.

But in the end, as I state it again, Lebron is the MJ of our era. He has redefined what it means to be a great player, by making the players around him better, and always having a positive attitude, regardless of the outcome.

His accolades stand right up next to Jordan, despite the Finals record, but it is all about context. Lebron is a physical specimen that has not been seen in basketball. Just his ability to get to the basket is not like any other.



But I do wish he can show an uncanny ability to not give AF. If he can garner that, watch out world, the NBA will be on lockdown for a couple more years. It will irk the Lebron haters even more than ever before.

But people need to realize that Lebron James really is not going anywhere, for at least 5 more years. And then after that proceeds, he will possibly become an NBA owner. So we really are not going to get rid of him, are we?

Whether they like it or not, Lebron is different from MJ. What you see is what you get. If you do not like it, then you can crawl back into your troll hole, and stay in there until the end of time. Because Lebron James is not going anywhere.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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