Your 2017 NYRR Pro Performer of the Year Is...
The ballot has closed and the votes have been tallied. The winner of the 2017 NYRR Pro Performer of the Year is...
Shalane Flanagan received the first-ever New York Road Runners Pro Performer of the Year Award in a ceremony and celebration on December 11 at the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the NB Run Hub.
Flanagan was in New York City for the first time since November 5, when she became the first American winner in the women’s open division at the New York City Marathon since 1977. She crossed the finish line in 2:26:53, the second-fastest time by a U.S. woman in New York City Marathon history.
Flanagan is also an NYRR Team for Kids Ambassador who served as a race buddy in August at the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K Run with NYRR Run for the Future, a program that develops running and leadership skills in New York City high school girls.
Flanagan was selected as the 2017 New York Road Runners Pro Performer of the Year in voting by members of the media and the public, who could choose one of 10 professional athlete finalists who had competed in NYRR races over the past year.
Standing beside Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of NYRR, and Peter Ciaccia, president of events for NYRR and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon, Flanagan accepted the award from Mackenzie Morrison, the NYRR Run for the Future student who ran alongside Flanagan at the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K.
“We think that Shalane had two secret weapons on November 5: She’s a Team for Kids Ambassador and she ran the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K in August with Run for the Future,” said Capiraso.
To honor Flanagan’s historic victory and her inspiration as a Team for Kids Ambassador, today’s ceremony also included the unveiling of a space on the NYRR History Wall dedicated to her achievements. “Her performance not only set a mark, but also galvanized the city and the country,” said Ciaccia. “As we unveil this permanent fixture, know that you will be a part of us forever.”
Flanagan called her victory on November 5 “one of the most meaningful moments of my life,” and said she’d had a “happiness hangover” as a result of the celebrations she’s had around the country.
“I hope [my win] inspires the next generation of American runners to go after their dreams,” she added. “Keep working for what you want and what you believe you can achieve.”
Included in that next generation is Morrison, Flanagan’s NYRR Run for the Future companion at the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K Run. A senior at Uncommon Charter High School in Brooklyn, she plans to continue running while studying biomedical engineering in college next year. Speaking about their run together, Morrison said of Flanagan, “I was nervous about meeting her, but she was really nice and encouraged me to keep going and give it my all.”
That in turn inspired Flanagan, who recounted that Morrison sprinted to the 5K finish line. “She gave it everything,” Flanagan said.