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Shalane Flanagan: American Record-Breaker


Shalane Flanagan: American Record-Breaker

Shalane Flanagan

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Flanagan won the 10,000 meters and was third in the 5000 at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Her bronze medal in the 10,000 in Beijing was the United States' only distance medal of the 2008 Games. Flanagan finished tenth in the 5000 final.

One bone too many:

Flanagan trained and competed while suffering increased pain in her left foot for much of 2004-05. She visited eight doctors during that time before a ninth physician discovered that Flanagan was born with an extra bone in her foot, a rare condition. In her case, the bone was tearing a tendon. The bone was removed and the tendon repaired, solving her problem at last. Flanagan couldn’t compete in 2006 but came back strongly in 2007.


Flanagan spent much of 2007-08 re-writing the U.S. record book. In 2007 she set the U.S. indoor 3000-meter record (8:33.25) and the outdoor 5000-meter mark (14:44.80). In 2008 she added the outdoor 10,000-meter record to her resume (30:34.49).

Career highlights:

Flanagan’s Olympic Trials victory in the 10,000 meters was her third outdoor national championship. The other two were in the 5000 (2005 and ’07). She also won the U.S. Indoor 3000-meter title in 2007 and placed second in the outdoor 5000 in 2003. She’s a two-time U.S. 4-kilometer cross country champ. Flanagan won two NCAA cross country championships plus one indoor 3000-meter championship for North Carolina.

The stats:

  • Height: 5-5
  • Weight: 113
  • Age: 27
  • Birth date: July 8, 1981
  • Hometown: Marblehead, Massachusetts
  • World Championships: None


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