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By David Monti, Race Results Weekly
BOSTON (03-Feb) – When Shannon Rowbury broke the tape to win the Fifth Avenue Mile in New York City in September, 2009, she capped the best year of her career.
The 2008 Olympian and former Duke University star had ascended to become America’s #1 female miler, winning national titles at 1500m and the mile on the road, clocking a swift 4:00.81 for 1500m, and taking the bronze medal at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin.
But during 2011, Rowbury, 27, didn’t win a single race. Moreover, while she struggled to regain her form after dealing with Achilles injuries in both her left and right ankles.
Rowbury, who lives in San Francisco and trains under John Cook’s Austin Track Club, is here in Boston to make a fresh start at tomorrow night’s New Balance Indoor Grand Prix. She’s been in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, where Cook’s group does their winter altitude training, focusing on building her strength and endurance for the long Olympic year. She’ll run the 3000m here as a rust-buster against a strong field, which includes Simpson.
By starting out her season with a 3-K, Rowbury won’t have to call on the kind of speed she has shown in the mile, where she is a fierce kicker. But, she said, under Cook’s program, there is always an element of speed development in their training, even during an endurance phase.
From Boston, Rowbury will go down to New York City for next Saturday’s Millrose Games where she will run the NYRR Wanamaker Metric Mile, a 1500m race, again against Simpson. After that, she said she might do the USA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, but she and coach Cook had been leaning against it. However, because Albuquerque is at high altitude, Rowbury could enjoy a relative advantage because she has been “training high.”
(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved, used with permission