To say that Neely Spence Gracey has running in her blood is an understatement. Not only is she the first daughter of Steve Spence, 1991 World Marathon Championships bronze medalist, but Neely was in fact born on Patriots Day 1990 while her father was competing in the Boston Marathon.
And since that day, running has been an integral part of Neely’s life. A standout prep runner, Neely trained under her father both as a junior and as a collegiate athlete at Shippensburg University where she won eight national titles and still holds NCAA DII records at both 3000m and 5000m.
Since turning professional, Neely’s career has been on a consistent, upward trajectory. She was Team USA’s top placer at the 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships and the only American to finish in the top 20. In 2016, Neely made her marathon debut at the Boston Marathon, where she was the top American finisher and the only American in the top ten. Neely ended her 2016 with an impressive ninth place finish at the TCS New York City Marathon.