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Shalane Flanagan is an athlete competing in track and field at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA. She is making her third consecutive appearance at the Games.

The reigning Olympic bronze medalist in the 10,000m, Shalane Flanagan punched her ticket to the Games with a victory in the Olympic Trials women's marathon. Her mother is the former world-record holder in the marathon.

After making her marathon debut in New York in 2010, Flanagan took a year-long break from the event yet toed the start line for the Olympic Trials marathon in Houston in January as a favorite despite her inexperience at the distance. Flanagan ran near the front of the pack throughout the race and with one mile to go pulled ahead of Desiree Davila en route to victory in 2 hours, 25 minutes, 38 seconds, an event record time more than three minutes faster than her previous best.

Midway through her marathon training for the Olympic Trials, Flanagan was joined in coach Jerry Schumacher's group by Kara Goucher, who parted ways with Alberto Salazar. Although Goucher was a month behind Flanagan in terms of fitness due to injury, the two helped each other prepare for the race.

There are few American runners that possess the range of Flanagan. With American records in the 3000m, indoor 5000m, and 10,000m plus an Olympic bronze medal in the 10,000m, she is a formidable force on the track. In 2010, she established herself as a road warrior as well with national titles in the half-marathon and marathon. Flanagan is also pretty tough to beat on grass, as evidenced by her winning a fifth U.S. title in cross-country in February of 2011 and adding an individual bronze medal at the World Cross-Country Championships in Punta Umbria, Spain in March of 2011 as the U.S. scored a repeat bronze in the team competition.

On the track in 2011, Flanagan excelled in both the 5000m and 10,000m. Flanagan ran the third fastest time ever by an American at the Paris Diamond League in 14:45.20. By winning the USA 10,000m title in 30:59.97, and running a season best of 30:39.57 at the Payton-Jordan Invite, Flanagan now holds four of the six fastest times ever in the 10,000m for American women.

Flanagan kicked off her 2010 season in January by winning her first half-marathon in Houston. She covered the 13.1 miles in a course-record 1:09:45 to earn the U.S. half-marathon championship. A few months later, she added a second national title with a victory at the USA Cross-Country Championships. At the World Cross-Country Championships, Flanagan finished 12th individually in 25:20 to power the U.S. to a bronze medal in the team competition. In June, Flanagan announced that she would make her marathon debut in New York. In her tune-up for the big race, she finished fourth in a personal-best 1:08:36 at the Philadelphia Half-Marathon, a time just two seconds off Deena Kastor's American record At the ING New York City Marathon, Flanagan finished second in 2:28:40, the best finish by an American woman in 20 years at the race, and good enough to claim the U.S. marathon championship.

During the winter of 2009, Flanagan made the decision to split from John Cook, the coach who guided her through the Olympics and to the bronze medal. With Cook's camp aligned more with middle-distance runners and Flanagan seeking to focus exclusively on the longer distances, she said a change was necessary. "We had a good run and I appreciate what he and I have done together," Flanagan said. "Overall we didn't see eye to eye on many levels, personally and professionally." For a short period, Flanagan's husband and agent, Steve Edwards, served as her coach. Later in 2009, she joined Jerry Schumacher's group at the Oregon Track Club in Portland. Her season was marked by an American indoor record 14:47.62 in the 5000m at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games, a second-place finish in the 10,000m at the USA Outdoor Championships, and a 14th-place finish in the 10,000m at the World Championships in Berlin.

In the whirlwind that followed her winning the bronze medal in the 10,000m at the Beijing Olympics, Flanagan's first opportunity to savor the moment came late that night. "When I finally got out of drug testing, they had shut down the warm-up track and we really had no place to cool down," Flanagan recalled. "I still had the 5000m and it was essential to get a cool-down in, so the only place to run was in the Olympic Stadium in the Bird's Nest. It was really special that we were able to run the cool-down on an empty track. No one was there besides me, my coach, and my husband. We were able to run for 10 minutes. It was a nice way to savor the moment."

Flanagan was prepared to compete when she headed to Beijing, but her ability to do so at the peak of her potential was put in doubt when she contracted a case of food poisoning in the days leading up to the 10,000m. Unsure of how fit she would be, Flanagan employed a strategy to, "fall asleep for as many laps as you can and just give it a go," meaning to take it out easy and then try to see what she had left. With a few laps to go, she started picking off stragglers and then contenders. Giving it that go, she lost count of where she was in the race. "I just kept lapping people and I couldn't keep track of who's who," she said. Eventually, she crossed the finish line in third place in an American-record 30:22.22. Immediately after crossing the line, Flanagan mouthed, "Did I do it?" A moment later, she put up three fingers and questioned, "Third?!" It was then that she received confirmation that she had become the second American woman ever to win an Olympic medal at 10,000m, joining Lynn Jennings, who won the bronze in 1992.

At the 2008 Olympic Trials in Eugene, Flanagan competed in both the 5000m and 10,000m with smashing success. She won the 10,000m final in a time of 31:34.81. This guaranteed her a spot on Team USA for Beijing. With that place secured, Flanagan earned the right to compete in a second event by finishing third in the 5000m final with a time of 15:02.81

In 2008, Flanagan ran the 10,000m for the first time at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational at Stanford. Her winning time of 30:34.49 shattered the American record of 30:50.32 set by Deena Kastor. While it was her first foray into the long distances on the track, Flanagan also showed prowess over longer distances earlier that winter when she won her first U.S. title in cross-country.

Flanagan enjoyed a great 2007 season, setting personal best times in the 1500m, 3000m and 5000m races. At the Mt. SAC Relays in April, Flanagan won the 5000m in 14:44.80 seconds, breaking the American record. At the USA Outdoor Championships, she led the 5000m from wire-to-wire, winning in 14:51.75, the fourth-fastest time ever by an American. At the Nike Prefontaine Classic, she finished third in the 1500m in 4:05.86. At the Boston Indoor Games, Flanagan finished second in the 3000m in 8:33.25 burying Regina Jacobs' previous American record of 8:39.14. It was an epic run for Flanagan, who ran off the shoulder of Meseret Defar as the Ethiopian broke the world record.

Flanagan was sidelined after the 2005 World Champs with an injury that initially cropped up after the 2004 Olympics. After a long journey to find the right doctor, it was finally determined that she had been born with an extra bone in her foot. "I was just born with this extra bone near my navicular, and it was starting to tear on my tendon," Flanagan said. "I could barely push off for a year and could barely use my big toe. I was flat-footed running, pretty much."

Flanagan, a 2004 graduate of the University of North Carolina, ended her collegiate career a 10-time NCAA All-American and two-time NCAA cross-country champion (2002 and 2003) as well as the 2003 NCAA indoor 3000m champion. Flanagan redshirted the spring of 2004 to focus on her preparations for the Olympic Trials. With a year of collegiate eligibility remaining, she decided to turn pro instead of finishing out her college career.

When photographer Cheryl Treworgy watched Flanagan cross the finish line at the 2004 U.S. Trials, she saw the completion of a generation of women's running in the Flanagan family. Treworgy is Flanagan's mother and a former world-record holder in the women's marathon. She held the record before women were allowed to run more than 1500m at the Olympics. As a working photographer at the Trials, Treworgy watched her daughter earn an opportunity she had never been given.


How tall is Shalane Flanagan? How old is Shalane Flanagan? Where does Shalane Flanagan live? Find out here.

Age: 35 years old
Birthday: July 8, 1981
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 112 lbs.
Birthplace: Boulder, CO
Hometown: Marblehead, MA
Current Residence: Portland, OR

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