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Sunday, April 19, 2009

More on Flanagan & Cook

Earlier this year Shalane Flanagan had a public and nasty breakup with her coach, John Cook. There was much speculation as to the reasons. Cook accused Flanagan's husband of secretly monitoring workouts and taking notes so that he could coach her and not have to pay out.

Turns out this had to be flat wrong. At the B.A.A. Invitational Mile held this morning (where Anna Willard outkicked Flanagan), the Olympic bronze medalist told about her new coach.
Flanagan also announced a new arrangement with Jerry Schumacher, the former Wisconsin coach who now guides a group of professional athletes in Portland, Ore., that includes Olympian Matt Tegenkamp, American steeplechase record holder Dan Lincoln and 13:12 5K man Chris Solinsky. She will divide time between her home in North Carolina and the training camp in Portland until January, when she will move west permanently.
"A group of professional athletes"? It's more than that. It's the Oregon Project, funded by Nike and, until recently, coached by Alberto Salazar. A recent interview with Schumaker in The Oregonian reveals that Nike's money isn't quite as useful as old-fashioned hard work.

The general opinion at Let's Run was that Flanagan wanted to transition into marathoning and decided Cook wasn't the person to help her do it. AlSal and Schumacher look like they are more than able.

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