Molly Seidel breaks U.S. record at New York City Marathon – with two broken ribs

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Olympic bronze medalist Molly Seidel ran the fastest time ever by an American woman at the New York City Marathon on Sunday, shattering the previous course record by more than a minute.

Then, a little more than an hour later, she revealed she had done so with two broken ribs.

"It started hurting later in the race, like badly," Seidel said. "But I didn't feel like it was messing up my stride or anything. I went all out with what God gave me today. I think I made the most of the situation I was in."

NYC MARATHON: Kenyans sweep men's, women's races

American Molly Seidel (green top) was among only 12 runners in the lead pack at the 7 mile mark when they passed at 39 minutes, 23 seconds, on November 7, 2021.
American Molly Seidel (green top) was among only 12 runners in the lead pack at the 7 mile mark when they passed at 39 minutes, 23 seconds, on November 7, 2021.

Seidel, 27, declined to specify how she suffered the injury but said it happened about a month ago. And up until two weeks prior to Sunday's race, she said she was in so much discomfort that she considered withdrawing from the event altogether.

After what she described as "frank" conversations with her coach and agent, the Wisconsin native felt healthy enough to give it a go. She credited a team of physical therapists for aiding in her recovery and said she was grateful that she sustained the injury so far in advance from the race.

"(The broken ribs) definitely hindered training a little bit, but it was manageable for the race," Seidel said.

"There's not a whole lot you can do with that. You kind of just wait for it to heal. Luckily it happened far enough out from the race – it was about a month out – so it gave me the time to be able to heal."

Seidel ended up not just running and finishing the race – which was just the fourth marathon she's ever run – but also placing fourth with a time of 2:24:42.

The previous course record had been held by Kara Goucher, who finished in 2:25:53 in 2008.

"I actually didn't know until I crossed the line, that that was what had happened," Seidel said of breaking the American record. "I'm just so incredibly honored. There are so many good women who have run on this course. I think it's really a testament to the women who were in this race, that I was able to just kind of hang onto that group. Obviously I fell off from the main pack, but kind of just kept pushing."

Peres Jepchirchir ended up pulling away to win Sunday's race, which marked the 50th running of the New York City Marathon. Jepchirchir and Seidel both finished on the podium at the recent Summer Olympics in Tokyo, with the Kenyan winning gold and the American taking bronze.

Seidel said one of the reasons she chose to compete in New York, despite her injury, was the promise of being able to celebrate the result with her family members, who had to watch her Olympic performance from home due to COVID-19 protocols at the Games.

A reporter asked Seidel how she planned to celebrate.

"Oh my God," she said, "I hope there's a beer waiting for me at the hotel."

Contact Tom Schad at tschad@usatoday.com or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Molly Seidel makes history at New York City Marathon with broken ribs