Shalane Flanagan, Desiree Davila, and Kara Goucher—the entire women’s 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon team—will line up in Hopkinton next April 15 for the 117th Boston Marathon, the race’s principal sponsor, John Hancock Financial, announced this morning.
Flanagan won the U.S Olympic Marathon Trials in January in an event-record 2:25:38, followed by Davila in 2:25:55 and Goucher in 2:26:06. This will be Flanagan’s Boston debut.
“I watched the Boston Marathon religiously growing up and always dreamed about running from Hopkinton to Boston, racing down Boylston Street to the finish,” said Flanagan, who grew up in nearby Marblehead, MA.
For Davila, it will be a return to the race where in 2011 she came within two seconds of becoming the first American woman to win since 1985. She called it a big turning point in her career. “I now believe I have the tools and the ability to compete and contend for the title at a major marathon,” she said in the race announcement.
Goucher, too, has run well at Boston. In 2009, she was in contention until the final 600 meters, finishing third (2:32:25) in a sprint finish down Boylston Street, and in 2011, she ran a personal best of 2:24:52 in placing fifth. “I’m hoping that the third time will be the charm,” she said.
In 2010, in her much-anticipated debut at the distance, Flanagan finished second (2:28:40) in the ING New York City Marathon. In 2008, Goucher, too, chose the Big Apple as the site of her first marathon, finishing third in 2:25:53, the fastest debut in history by an American woman.
Davila has yet to compete in the ING New York City Marathon but is no stranger to NYRR races, having finished ninth in the 2012 NYC Half (1:10:44) and 11th in the NYRR New York Mini 10K last Saturday (33:38).
“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