“She just wants it to a whole ’nuther level,” Amy Cragg’s college teammate, Des Linden, told me a couple weeks ago on the morning shakeout podcast. “I was watching her at worlds and with 10 people left and 4 miles to go, it wasn’t if she’s going to medal, but what medal she’s going to get. She’s going to out-tough all of these people. I just think she’s so gritty. It’s really cool to watch.”
Amy Cragg is running the Tokyo Marathon on February 25 and I, for one, am looking forward to it. It won’t get the attention of a big city win on home soil, but don’t be surprised if Cragg does something special in Japan. The 34-year-old, who hasn’t raced a marathon since taking bronze at the world championships in August, seems primed to knock a large chunk of time off her 2:27:03 personal best. If conditions are favorable, I say she runs in the ballpark of 2:20. And why the heck not? Cragg trains with the best women’s group in the world, including reigning New York City Marathon champion and 2:21 marathoner Shalane Flanagan, and has more than proven her marathon mettle in recent years with an Olympic Trials win, top-10 finish at the Games, and a world championship medal. Plus, she’s just so damn gutsy when the chips are down.