preview for 2016 New York City Marathon: Molly Huddle (PreRace)

It seems like Molly Huddle has wanted to run a marathon for years. On November 6, 2016, she will finally have her chance.

Huddle and New York Road Runners announced on Thursday that she will run her first 26.2-mile race at the 2016 New York City Marathon this fall. If all goes according to plan, it will be a busy five months ahead.

She’s competing in July at the Olympic Trials in the 10,000 meters, and she has also entered the 5,000 meters. If she finishes in the top three in either event, she will make the team competing at the Rio Games in August.

“It feels like running a marathon is a rite of passage as a distance runner and with my strength work going better than ever, I finally feel ready to tackle that distance on a course and in a city whose grit and vibrancy inspire me,” she said in a written statement.

Huddle, 31, wanted to debut at the marathon long ago, but her dominance on the track kept her at the shorter distances around the oval and on the roads. Training in Providence, Rhode Island, with coach Ray Treacy, she is the American record holder in the 5,000 meters (14:42.64) and reigning national champion in the 10,000 meters, among a long list of accolades.

She’s won the NYC Half Marathon twice, this year breaking the course record in 1:07:41. Plugging that personal best into the Runner’s World race calculator estimates she’s capable of a 2:21:07 marathon—though the prediction doesn’t take into account the hilly nature of the New York City course or the race tactics involved in the elite field. The national record in the event is 2:19.36, set by Deena Kastor in 2006. Shalane Flanagan is currently the country’s fastest competitor. She ran 2:21:14 at the 2014 Berlin Marathon.

Huddle is the latest in a line of a few of the country’s top female marathoners who have debuted at the New York City Marathon, including Kastor, Flanagan, and Kara Goucher—who, as Huddle is planning, raced the event after competing in the 2008 Olympics in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters. Goucher ended up third in that first marathon, the first U.S. woman to land on the podium in 14 years. NYRR officials also announced on Thursday that Americans will have the opportunity to earn USA-division prize money in 2016.

In October, Huddle hinted toRunner’s World that if it were solely her decision, she probably would have already started competing at the 26.2-mile distance. But her coach convinced her to wait.

“Obviously I am able to have the final say, but I value Ray Treacy’s advice, so I end up listening to him,” she said. “His grand plan makes sense to me. I like it.”

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