NYRR Team for Kids Ambassador garners public and media vote after becoming the first American woman to win the TCS New York City Marathon open division in 40 years
New York, December 11, 2017 — Shalane Flanagan was voted the 2017 New York Road Runners Pro Performer of the Year by the public and the media after becoming the first American woman to win the TCS New York City Marathon open division in 40 years in November. The NYRR Pro Performer of the Year award recognizes the top athlete for his or her outstanding achievements at NYRR races over the entire year.
“It’s an honor to win this award, as the names I was up against were so impressive,” Flanagan said. “But it’s not all about just the performances; it goes beyond that. It’s about us being good people and inspiring others.”
Flanagan’s time of 2:26:53 was the second-fastest time by a U.S. woman ever at the New York City Marathon, with her victory coming in a world-class professional athlete field that included past champions in Kenya’s Mary Keitany and Edna Kiplagat.
“Shalane’s emotional victory at the TCS New York City Marathon last month put an exclamation point on an incredible year for professional athletes competing in New York Road Runners races,” said Peter Ciaccia, president of events for New York Road Runners and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon. “Not only did her performance across the five boroughs make a permanent impact on American long-distance running, but it demonstrated the type of tenacious spirit that can galvanize an entire city and country when needed most. By far, this was more than an athletic accomplishment. It was a defining moment in New York City's history.”
Flanagan was honored on Monday for her historic victory with a presentation at the NYRR RUNCENTER, where a permanent display to honor her win was unveiled on the NYRR History Wall.
Her journey to the TCS New York City Marathon start line as an NYRR Team for Kids Ambassador began in August, when she joined NYRR for the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K race. She took part in the event as a Race Buddy for NYRR’s Run for the Future program, which empowers young women entering their senior year of high school to learn about running while building self-esteem and confidence, developing leadership skills, and training to complete a 5K run.
Among the more than 4,800 finishers in the 5K were 85 rising high school senior girls, including Flanagan’s Race Buddy, Mackenzie Morrison, from Uncommon Charter High School in Brooklyn. Morrison presented Flanagan with the NYRR Pro Performer of the Year award at the NYRR RUNCENTER.
“It was great having Shalane as a New York Road Runners Team for Kids Ambassador at the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K this year,” said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners. “It made the event extra special for our Run for the Future participants, and a day they will never forget. There’s nothing better than one of our sport’s all-time greats inspiring the next generation of runners, and that sunny August day would go on to serve as the perfect prelude to one of American distance running’s most iconic moments at the TCS New York City Marathon.”
The professional athlete finalists for the award were chosen by an NYRR selection committee based on their performances at NYRR races in 2017. Online voting by the public on NYRR’s Blog accounted for 50 percent of the final tally, while members of the media will account for the other 50 percent.
The other finalists for the award included: Ethiopia’s Mamitu Daska, Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan, USA’s Molly Huddle, Switzerland’s Marcel Hug, Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor, Kenya’s Mary Keitany, Switzerland’s Manuela Schar, USA’s Jenny Simpson, and New Zealand’s Nick Willis.
The athletes were chosen based off their performances at the following NYRR races: NYRR Wanamaker Mile (February 11), United Airlines NYC Half (March 19), UAE Healthy Kidney 10K (April 9), NYRR New York Mini 10K (June 10), New Balance 5th Avenue Mile (September 10), Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K and USATF 5K Championships (November 4), and TCS New York City Marathon (November 5).
About New York Road Runners (NYRR)
Founded in 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization, whose mission is to help and inspire people through running. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, community events, youth running initiatives, school programs, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year, from children to seniors, with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier event, and the largest marathon in the world, is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features 50,000 runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. To learn more, visit nyrr.org.