Abby Wambach, retired USWNT soccer star, proudly finished the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon last weekend. An achievement in itself, finishing her first marathon, Wambach was greeted at the finish line by Shalene Flanagan, the winner of the 2017 NYC Marathon and a 2008 Olympic medalist.
Flanagan waited at the finish line after running the marathon herself, her sixth in 43 days, to be the one to put Wambach's medal around her neck.
"That was one of the most pleasant surprises of my life," Wambach said. "What a way to cross a finish line, to get a medal from one of your idols. It was incredible."
A dream come true to finish a marathon. And then, who gives me my medal???!! @ShalaneFlanagan !!! Are you kidding me? So happy right now, and also so grateful to @on_running and @Gatorade for getting me to the finish line. https://t.co/CoS6P4Oyj1— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) November 7, 2021
"Doing a marathon is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done," Wambach said. "I have so much respect for every person who attempts to do this, even if they don’t finish."
Wambach set out to run her first marathon with a personal goal to finish in under 4 hours. Her final time was 3:44:25, beating her goal by nearly 16 minutes. Her wife, author Glennon Doyle, was there with a sign cheering her on as well.