Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. made the NY Times Bestseller list! Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. made the NY Times Bestseller list!
Shalane Flanagan Announces Retirement

Shalane Flanagan Announces Retirement

By Shalane Flanagan 

With happy tears I announce today that I am retiring from professional running.

From 2004 to 2019 I’ve given everything that’s within me to this sport and wow it’s been an incredible ride! 

I’ve broken bones, torn tendons, and lost too many toenails to count. I've experienced otherworldly highs and abysmal lows. I've loved (and learned from) it all.

Over the last 15 years I found out what I was capable of, and it was more than I ever dreamed possible. Now that all is said and done, I am most proud of the consistently high level of running I produced year after year. No matter what I accomplished the year before, it never got any easier. Each season, each race was hard, so hard. But this I know to be true: hard things are wonderful, beautiful, and give meaning to life.

I’ve loved having an intense sense of purpose. For 15 years I've woken up every day knowing I was exactly where I needed to be. The feeling of pressing the threshold of my mental and physical limits has been bliss. I've gone to bed with a giant tired smile on my face and woken up with the same smile. My obsession to put one foot in front of the other, as quickly as I can, has given me so much joy.

However, I have felt my North Star shifting, my passion and purpose is no longer about MY running; it's more and more about those around me. All I’ve ever known, in my approach to anything, is going ALL IN. So I’m carrying this to coaching. I want to be consumed with serving others the way I have been consumed with being the best athlete I can be.

I am privileged to announce I am now a professional coach of the Nike Bowerman Track Club.

This amazing opportunity in front of me, to give back to the sport, that gave me so much, is not lost on me. I’ve pinched myself numerous times to make sure this is real. I am well aware that retirement for professional athletes can be an extremely hard transition. I am lucky, as I know already, that coaching will bring me as much joy and heartache that my own running career gave me.

I believe we are meant to inspire one another, we are meant to learn from one another. Sharing everything I’ve learned about and from running is what I’m meant to do now. 

I would like to thank:

The 5 coaches who guided me throughout my career, Michael Whittlesey and Dennis Craddock (2004-2005), John Cook (2006-2008), Jerry Schumacher (2009-2019), and Pascal Dobert (2009-2019). Each man was instrumental in developing me into the best version of myself. Jerry, Pascal and I will continue to work together in this next chapter and I couldn’t be more grateful. Jerry has been my life coach, running coach and now will mentor me towards my next goal of becoming a world-class coach myself. I’m thankful for his unending belief in me. 

My family and husband who have traveled the world supporting my running and understanding the sacrifices I needed to make. Their unconditional love is what fueled my training.

My longtime friend, Elyse Kopecky who taught me to love cooking and indulge in nourishing food. Run Fast. Eat Slow. has been a gift to my running and to the thousands of athletes who cook from it daily.

My teammates, and all the women I've trained with, for pushing me daily, and the endless smiles and miles.

They include:

Erin Donahue 
Shannon Rowbury
Kara Goucher
Lisa Uhl
Emily Infeld
Amy Cragg
Colleen Quigley
Courtney Frerichs 
Shelby Houlihan 
Betsy Saina
Marielle Hall
Gwen Jorgensen 
Kate Grace

My sponsor Nike for believing in me since 2004 and for continuing to support my new dream as a professional coach.

I hope I made myself a better person by running. I hope I made those around me better. I hope I made my competition better. I hope I left the sport better because I was a part of it.

My personal motto through out my career has been to make decisions that leave me with “no regrets”.....but to be honest, I have one. 

I regret I can’t do it all over again.


More on Shalane Flanagan's retirement on Women's Running: A Generation's Leader Says Farewell.

Photos courtesy of NYRR. 


Nov 05, 2019

I just read this again and I cant even stress enough how much you have helped me through out my life. You are such an inspiration to me, and congratulations on moving into a new part of your career. Thank you for sharing your career and journeys with the world because you have been able to show me that it is possible to do so much more than I would have ever thought. Congratulations again!! And good luck!!!

Gabriella Abruzzo
Oct 27, 2019
Thank you isn’t enough. For what you have given me, inspiration to keep going whether it be on the road or in the kitchen you rekindled my love of both. You truly are one of the greats! Kevin Decoteau
Kevin Decoteau
Oct 23, 2019

Shalane, you’re incredible, and truly an inspiration to so many!!! Your win in NYC is permanently etched in my memory. Can’t wait to see how the next chapter ends up!!

Vanessa Vila
Oct 23, 2019

Thank you so much Shalane! Source of inspiration in both-running and cooking. For sure it’ll be the same feeling for many other runners on the globe. Congratulations!!! Waiting for seeing you in the next chapter:-) all the best!!! Loredana ( from Switzerland, yes! You have fans in Europe also)

Oct 23, 2019

Each runner, each person is life, is simply called to give life their all. If we do that then we can all win in our person journeys and help others along. I ran in a 5k last weekend. I ran a decent time (for me) but it wasn’t my fastest. I happened to come in second female overall. I congratulated the winner. Then another woman came up to me and said, “Congatulations! I had you in my sights, but I just couldn’t catch up. You kept me going, though!” We are all just running against our selves, just listening to our own bodies, really; but we are also all together in the race.

Eileen McKinstra
Oct 22, 2019

You’ve been such an inspiration over the years, Shalane!! Congratulations on your retirement and the next chapter. I live by your cookbooks – OMG – first time in years I’ve wanted to actually use cookbooks instead of search online for recipes. They also make the best gifts for friends! Thank you for sharing so much wisdom and best wishes in your new career.

Jenelle Potvin
Oct 21, 2019

Watching you win the 2017 NYC Marathon was really fantastic…..enjoy the “cool down”.

Gerry Messina
Oct 21, 2019

You’ve been a tremendous inspiration with all the grit, passion and happiness you exude. It’s been great to watch you throughout your career, excited to see this next chapter unfold (as well as the next cookbook!) Congrats and good luck!

Mandy Gonzales

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