The COVID pandemic has reshuffled the marathon calendar creating a rare opportunity. The six marathon majors are taking place in a seven week period: Berlin, London, Chicago, Boston, Tokyo (virtual), and NYC. One of the best marathoners’ is going to run them all in under 3 hours each. Retired American marathon champion Shalane Flanagan is attempting the historic feat. She’s got one in the bag and five to go.
Today I wanted to talk about something that should be on your radar if it’s not already. Six of the world major marathons are happening in a very short period of time. The Berlin marathon happened last weekend. This weekend is the London Marathon. The following weekend is the Chicago Marathon. The next day on Monday is the Boston Marathon, which normally happens in April. And then two weeks after that is the Tokyo marathon, although that’s happening virtually. And then two weeks after that is the New York City Marathon. So six of the world’s major marathons are happening in a span of seven weeks.
One of the best female marathon runners ever Shalane Flanagan has announced that she is going to run all six of those races in that seven week time period. She’s going to run them all under three hours. I think this is awesome. She did the first one the Berlin marathon last weekend, where she conservatively I would say ran a 2:38 marathon. As background, I believe Shalane’s PR is 2:21, which she set at the Berlin marathon. She ran to 2:24 to win the New York City Marathon in 2017. And 2018 was her last professional marathon where she finished third at the New York City Marathon. So 2:38 is not a shabby time at all! If I remember the data correctly, she kind of ran the first half conservatively, before running like a 1:06 for the back half of the marathon. So she’s got a lot of speed in her.
Anytime you break three hours in a marathon I think is great. Obviously Shalane is a professional, but doing so many marathons back to back basically one every week at 6:51 pace, which is what you need to break three. I just think is awesome. Completely awesome. And I wish her the best of luck.
I’m curious what what you guys may think is going to be the hardest one. To me, I think the most difficult is going to be this upcoming weekend. Or sorry, in two weeks from now, where she’s got the back to back Chicago Marathon on Sunday, followed by a quick turnaround to the Boston Marathon, which is a hard marathon by itself. I think if she gets through that, she’ll have some time to rest.
Now you know, so make sure you record them or watch them because there’s going to be a lot of exciting racing aside from just what Shalane is trying to accomplish. I wish you guys all the best of luck as you go out and chase your own running goals.