NEW YORK — When Alberto Salazar took over coaching high schooler Mary Cain last October, he knew that he would only be able to see the 16 year-old star from Bronxville, N.Y., intermittently; Salazar lives 2900 miles away in Portland, Ore., and already has a full plate coaching superstars like Mo Farah and Galen Rupp.
So, the three-time ING New York City Marathon champion enlisted the help of another Olympian, New Zealander runner John Henwood, who works as a coach and massage therapist in New York City, to work with Cain. Henwood acts as Cain’s coach-in-residence, supervising her workouts and reporting back to Salazar. Cain said that the set-up has worked very well for her.
“You know, he’s been great since Alberto’s all the way across the country,” Cain told reporters Saturday after smashing Debbie Heald’s 41 year-old American high school indoor mile record with her 4:32.78 performance. “He’s kind of here as kind of my coach at home. It’s great, because you know, sometimes maybe I’m like having a really great workout and I’m going faster than we expected. He’s able to kind of like pick it up or, you know, I’m having a bit more trouble and slow it down. Just the support and having somebody here who’s making sure I’m doing everything beforehand and keeping me calm. It’s really great.”
Mary Cain’s coach in NYC John Henwood after HS mile record at 2013 NB Games
Henwood, 40, represented New Zealand in the 2004 Olympics in Athens in the 10,000m, although he didn’t finish the race. Well over six feet tall, Henwood has run 13:30.41 for 5000m and 27:45.98 for 10,000m. His best marathon was 2:15:05 at the ING New York City Marathon in 2005 where he finished 13th. He meets up with Cain several times a week to implement Salazar’s program, and sometimes paces her through her workouts.
“Mileage-wise, we’re not trying….
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Mary Cain National HS Indoor Record 4:32.78 – 2013 NB Games