A three-time Paralympian, 27-year-old Shirley Reilly won her first medal when she took silver in the 5000 meters at the 2012 London Games on September 2. Five days later, she took her second, a bronze at 1500 meters. Then, less than 48 hours after that, the University of Arizona junior who lives and trains in Tucson made it a complete set, winning the marathon gold medal in a sprint finish. Even before her medal haul in London, Reilly had been in the midst of the best year in her career, first defending her title in the Honda LA Marathon and then edging five-time winner Wakako Tsuchida for victory in the Boston Marathon. On November 4, the Alaska native will compete in the ING New York City Marathon for the fourth time; her best finish so far in the race has been fifth in her 2005 debut.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg