(Reuters) - American Shalane Flanagan sounded like an athlete who had run her last competitive marathon after finishing third in New York City on Sunday.
Flanagan, 37 years old and the 2017 New York champion, gave no definitive answer about potential retirement plans, but the hints were there.
“I think I’m going to take a few hours post race to decompress and really evaluate, so I don’t want to be too soon to make a decision, but I do feel like my heart is leaning towards serving others in the knowledge that I’ve gained,” the four-time Olympian said at a post-race news conference.
“It’s become swinging more in that direction than it is about my own running. While I’ve had a lot of fun with my own running ...I do feel like it’s more getting towards the time to serve others.”
Many thought Flanagan, the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist at 10,000 metres, would retire last year after becoming the first American women in 40 years to win New York.
But she wanted to run the Boston Marathon, her hometown race, this year and after finishing seventh in rainy, windy and cold conditions decided to give New York another try.
She has run the New York race three times, making it to the podium each time, with a silver medal in 2010 to go with her 2017 gold and 2018 bronze.
Along with her running, Flanagan is the co-author of the popular cookbook “Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow”. She also has served as a volunteer university coach.
Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Clare Fallon