Coming back strong from her U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials victory in January, Shalane Flanagan on Sunday won the prestigious Lisbon Half-Marathon in 1:08:52, just 15 seconds off of her personal best.
"This was a great race," Flanagan, 30, told the IAAF. "I'm very pleased for this opportunity, hoping this can give me more confidence for this summer in London, in the Olympic marathon."
Several other familiar names finished in the top 10, including two-time ING New York City Marathon winner Jelena Prokupcuka (2005, 2006), who finished fifth in 1:10:37. Ana Dulce Felix of Portugal, who placed fourth in the Marathon last year, was seventh in 1:11:18. Flanagan was runner-up in the ING New York City Marathon in 2010 in her debut at the distance.
Coincidentally, the only other American woman to win in Lisbon is Kara Goucher, Flanagan's training partner, who also made the 2012 Olympic marathon team in Houston. She was victorious in 2009. In her return to racing last week after finishing third in Houston, Goucher ran 1:09:12 to finish third in the NYC Half.
Four other top Trials finishers—Amy Hastings (fourth in Houston), Janet Cherobon-Bawcom (fifth), Deena Kastor (sixth), and Wendy Thomas (12th)—talk about their 2012 racing plans with Runner's World here. The 33-year-old Thomas, who qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials on her time for the half-marathon distance because she had never run a marathon, says she has her eye on the 2012 ING New York City Marathon after finishing 23rd in the NYC Half in 1:14:21.
“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