Shelly Woods powers to best finish in third marathon in three weeks in Boston

Blackpool Paralympian Shelly Woods fulfilled her gruelling feat of three marathons in three weeks with a pleasing performance in the Boston Marathon on Monday.

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 8:00 am

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Blackpool Paralympian Shelly Woods takes on ultimate marathon challenge

Having finished sixth in the women's wheelchair race at the Berlin and London Marathons on successive Sundays, Woods went one better with a fifth-placed finish across the Atlantic as she attempted the Boston event for the third time.

Woods' time of 1hour, 54mins, 33secs may not have matched her time for the previous two races – her 1.42.36 in Berlin was her fastest marathon time in a decade – but the Lytham-based athlete proved once again that at 35 she remains one of the world's elite racers in her sport.

Swiss athletes Marcel Hug and Manuela Schar dominated the men's and women's wheelchair races at the Boston Marathon

Woods was determined to complete the three-marathon challenge after a year of dedicated training in an unsuccessful bid to compete at a third Paralympics this year and possibly add to her three medals from Beijing and London.

Her performance at the 125th Boston Marathon continued a remarkable comeback story by an athlete who spent three years out of competition (2016-19) to raise son Leo.

Woods told The Gazette before flying out to Boston that her target was to improve on sixth place and she did that in a race which saw only seven competitors break the two-hour barrier.

And her hectic schedule does not end there, with Woods due back on the American east coast next month to contest the New York Marathon.

Manuela Schar followed her dominant London victory eight days earlier with another emphatic victory in Boston.

The Swiss' time of 1.35.21 was almost 15 minutes faster than that of runner-up Tatyana McFadden – the American was third in London.

There was also Swiss glory in the men's wheelchair race, Marcel Hug triumphant in 1.18.11.

The men's and women's elite races were both won by Kenyan runners,

Benson Kipruto took the men's title in 2:09:51, and Diana Kipyokei the women's in 2:24:45 on her debut in a major world marathon.

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