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Molly Huddle Places 3rd in Marathon Debut

In her marathon debut, Molly Huddle overtook Joyce Chepkirui in the final mile to secure third place at the New York City marathon.

The result marked the first time that an American woman reached the podium at the event since Shalane Flanagan did in 2010, in her own marathon debut.

Huddle (Elmira, NY) finished third behind Mary Keitany and Sally Kipyego of Kenya, three minutes off the lead, and only 12 seconds behind second place.

“It was a big step in learning how to race the marathon,” Huddle told NBC sports after the race. “Really happy to be third.”

She had won the previous two half-marathons, which was her longest distance before completing this year’s event.

Huddle was making the transition to the road from the track, after participating in the Rio Olympics in the 10,000m. In that race, she finished sixth in one of the fastest races of all-time, shattering the American record previously held by Flanagan.

It bears stating that the New York City Marathon and other competitions like it immediately after the Rio Olympics are ordinarily littered with the best of the sport’s top talent. Nonetheless, a podium finish in her first ever marathon on an elite level is an amazing accomplishment, and one that inspires confidence.

Despite her impressive finish and a great debut, the 32-year old distance runner is expecting to return to the track next year. However, she has said previously that 2017 will likely be her final year on the track, potentially marking a full transition to the road for the 2020 Olympic cycle, similar to the transition fellow countryman Galen Rupp just completed.

Rio triathlon gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen was making her first marathon as well, and finished a disappointing 14th. There was an American man and woman both on the podium in the event for the first time since 1994. Three American women placed in the top ten.

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Dan is a Staff Writer here at with a focus on Team USA and the Rio Olympics
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