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Post-Cancer Battle, Olympic Gold Medalist Kikkan Randall To Run New York Marathon

By Todd Kortemeier | Oct. 14, 2019, 1:17 p.m. (ET)

(L-R) Kikkan Randall and Jessica Diggins celebrate during the medal ceremony of the ladies' team sprint free at the Olympic Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 22, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.


In battling breast cancer over the past year, Olympic gold medalist Kikkan Randall has used the hashtag #FinishCancer. Having finished her infusion treatments in July, she’s now looking to finish another challenge: the TCS New York City Marathon.

Randall was announced Monday as one of the celebrity runners taking part in a field of 52,000. While Randall isn’t the only athlete nor the only Olympian among the celebrities — Team USA’s Taylor Ritzel, an Olympic gold medalist on the 2012 U.S. women’s eight rowing team, is the other — her skills may be most adaptable to marathon. As a cross-country skier, she is well acquainted with endurance events.

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Randall’s Olympic gold medal, won at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 with Jessie Diggins, was in team sprint, which consists of six 1.25-kilometer sprints between two teammates. But Randall has competed in distance events like the 30-kilometer freestyle at previous Olympic Games as well as the 50-kilometer (over 31 miles) American Birkebeiner. The first U.S. women’s cross-country skier to compete at five Games, Randall is also a team sprint world champion from 2013 and a two-time world championship medalist in individual sprint.

Just weeks after her triumph in PyeongChang, Randall received her cancer diagnosis. She will be running the marathon on behalf of AKTIV Against Cancer, an organization that promotes physical activity as part of cancer treatment. Randall received the organization’s Cancer Inspiration Award for 2018.

Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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Kikkan Randall

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Jessie Diggins

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