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Olympic Medalist Shalane Flanagan Was Gone To Carolina In Her Mind

timv's picture

US Olympic distance runner Shalane Flanagan was coming off some sort of stomach bug in the first week of the games, and found herself back mid-pack after the start of her 10,000 meter race. To get through the tough effort of working her way up through the field, she imagined herself back on the trails that she trains on in the NC Triangle Area, including the American Tobacco Trail:

"I went to my happy place," Flanagan said. "When I started to hurt, I pretended it wasn't this huge stage with all these people watching. I visualized some of my training in North Carolina -- running among the trees. It helped."

By the end of the race, she'd passed her way up to third place, finishing in a time of 30:22.22 which broke her own previous US record for the distance. She became only the second American women ever to gain a medal in this event, following Lynn Jennings who won bronze as well in 1992.


Durham, North Carolina
United States
35° 58' 36.498" N, 78° 54' 24.6348" W


roadskater's picture

I Missed This Race But Thanks for the Notes

This sounds like a really interesting race to watch that I somehow missed. Maybe nbcolympics.com will have the videos up for a good long time? We can hope. It was very cool that they had six hours plus of the men's cycling event, without commentary, even! Thanks for catching this and noting it with references. This is part of what can happen when you give people special places to run, walk, skate, bike and otherwise connect with themselves and others through active transportation. Not to mention the real estate and development and small and franchise business money that can be made near great rail trails. Amazing revitalization of the poorest properties next to the tracks to the best properties next to the trail! Congrats to Shalane Flanagan!

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