Long distance runner Flanagan splits with coach

Shalane FlanaganWas this a joke?  I saw the headline on another website, and then a link to a USA Today article.  No, this was definitely not a joke.  Shalane Flanagan, 2008 Bronze Medalist and the American Record holder in the 10,000m,
has parted ways with her coach John Cook.  John Cook had also been coaching Olympians Shannon Rowbury and Erin Donohue.  3 athletes, 3 Olympians.  All 3 appear to be friends and just returned from a stint at altitude training in Mexico together.  Cook had been touted as one of the greatest U.S. distance runners ever after their performances this year.  Now it appears that Flanagan (and maybe Donohue as well) are looking elsewhere for guidance.

There were no specific details given, of course, but Flanagan’s quote was “We had a good run and I appreciate what he and I have done together.  Overall we didn’t see eye to eye on many levels, personally and professionally.”

Cook seems to have been somewhat surprised by the news as well: “All I know is my record with her is what it is,” said Cook in an e-mail. “I hope they will continue to be successful.”

Flanagan is shooting for Marla Runyan’s 5000m indoor American Record of 15:07.33 at this Saturday’s Reebok Boston Indoor Games, which will be aired starting at 4pm Eastern on Sunday on ESPN.

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