Erin Hamlin waves to the crowd at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 13, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Already the first American to win an Olympic medal in a singles luge event, the recently retired Erin Hamlin is on to her next challenge.
The four-time Olympian announced in an email to supporters on Wednesday that she will race at the 2018 New York City Marathon on Nov. 4. The race, which will be Hamlin’s first marathon, is one of the largest in the country with more than 50,000 finishers in 2017. Hamlin will run on behalf of the Women’s Sports Foundation.
Following her appearance at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 that included being selected as Team USA’s Opening Ceremony flag bearer, Hamlin retired from the sport. After nearly two decades on the luge track, she’s finding some similarities — and a lot of differences — in marathon training.
“Being challenged in sport is something I am very familiar with. Long distance running is something I most certainly am not!!” Hamlin said in her email. “It will be difficult, mentally and physically daunting, but a way to test my abilities in a sport so far out of my comfort zone. So naturally I am pretty excited!”
Hamlin will be running the marathon as part of a team of female champion athletes seeking to raise money for the Women’s Sports Foundation. The national nonprofit organization founded by Billie Jean King is dedicated to creating leaders by ensuring all girls access to sports.
“Being a part of TeamWSF to raise funds and awareness is something near and dear to my heart,” Hamlin wrote. “I am thrilled to go out there and run for those women and girls that were never able to participate, and to encourage others to keep the trends of girls’ participation in sports going the right way. I can attribute the bulk of my maturation as a person, professionalism in corporate settings, and skills as a public speaker to my time spent as an athlete.”
Hamlin came into the spotlight as a luger when she competed at the Olympic Winter Games Torino 2006. Three years later, in 2009, she won the women’s competition at the FIL World Luge Championships in Lake Placid, New York. It was the first time in 99 races that someone other than a German had won in international women’s competition.
After missing the medal podium in her first two Olympic appearances, Hamlin made history by winning the bronze medal in 2014, becoming the first American to medal in a singles luge competition.
Hamlin continued to race and won gold at the 2017 world championships in the sprint competition along with silver medals in women’s and team relay.
Now she’s ready to try something new in the form of the marathon.
As part of her run for the WSF, Hamlin hopes to raise more than $8,000 for the organization through an online fundraising page.