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The most dominant force in marathoning right now isn’t a wiry Kenyan or Ethiopian. She hasn’t yet set a marathon world record, nor does she have a major shoe sponsor. As a matter of fact, her personal website lists two sponsors: Liberty Mutual Insurance and BP Oil. She not only specializes in the marathon but is also a world-class cross-country skier.
The most dominant force in the marathon is only 25 years old and hails from the town of Clarksville, Maryland (pop. 56,239), some 30 minutes west of Baltimore. She is younger than her American marathon counterparts, Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher, and has excelled in sprinting events like the 100 meters and 400 meters, too.
She spends her time at rehabilitation hospitals, is always smiling for selfies, and has met some of the biggest names in sports and pop culture. Glance at her Twitter account and you’ll see pictures with hurdler Lolo Jones, former football star and motivational speaker Eric LeGrand, and marathon world record holder Dennis Kimetto. On Instagram, she has selfies with Prince Harry, LeBron James, Michael Sam, and Richard Sherman. She has been nominated for an ESPY Award (Best Female Athlete With a Disability) and is a four-time Olympian.
Still trying to guess who this top marathon star is? Here are two more hints: she has won the World Marathon Majors grand slam for two straight years, and she goes by the nickname “Beast.”
The world’s best marathoner is Tatyana McFadden, the most consistent and successful push-rim wheelchair athlete in recent years.
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