The women's field for the 2017 Boston Marathon has lost some of its star power.
Marblehead native and four-time Olympian Shalane Flanagan announced Tuesday she's withdrawing from the April 17 race. Flanagan says she has a back fracture that will require at least a month of rest and healing.
Flanagan, who finished sixth in the Olympic marathon in Rio last summer, has been at the forefront of a recent surge of American competition in the Boston Marathon, which no U.S. woman has won since 1985. She's posted three top 10 finishes in the 26.2 mile race, including 2014 when she placed sixth and clocked the fastest time ever by an American woman on the Boston course — 2:22:02.
She grew up watching her dad run the Boston Marathon and on Twitter Tuesday said she's shed a lot of tears over being forced to miss her "favorite" race.
Flanagan's Olympic teammate Des Linden is now the top American woman in the 2017 field. Linden finished seventh, just behind Flanagan, in Rio last August. In the 2011 Boston Marathon she delivered a heroic performance, pushing the pace for much of the race only to finish second by just 2 seconds.