It wasn’t a World Marathon Major victory but what Amy Cragg did on the weekend in Tokyo puts among the all-time great American marathoners.
Cragg, who trains with Shalane Flanagan, the winner of the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon, PBed by more than five minutes to finish third at the Tokyo Marathon. The 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon (remember this?) champion ran 2:21:42. Her podium finish is the third such performance by an American at a World Marathon Major – Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City – dating back to the 2017 Chicago Marathon.
The Bowerman Track Club member and Nike athlete won a bronze medal in the women’s marathon at the 2017 IAAF World Championships. Since that race and before Tokyo however Jordan Hasay and Flanagan have largely taken the American women’s marathoning spotlight.
The Tokyo Marathon is the first of 2018’s Abbott World Marathon Majors, a collection of the world’s most popular 42.2K mass events.
Cragg’s significant improvement, to 2:21 from 2:27, makes her the fifth-fastest American of all-time. Ahead of her was Birhane Dibaba, who blasted a 2:19:51 to win followed by Ruti Aga, who finished in 2:21:19.
She ran 2:27:03 in her debut, at the 2011 Los Angeles Marathon and matched that time exactly at the 2014 Chicago Marathon. Flanagan remains slightly faster than Cragg with a 2:21:14 best.
On Cragg’s Instagram story, she joked that she now has the house PB in the marathon. Her husband, Olympian Alistair Cragg, ran 2:23:05 at the 2013 Fukuoka Marathon. The 5,000m was his best event, having run 13:03.53.