February 13, 2013
Earlier today, we reported the news that Galen Rupp was not running the 5000m at British Athletics Grand Prix this weekend and the event had been cancelled. The race had been billed as an American record attempt by Rupp (Previous report here).
In that reported, we included a tweet from Simon Turnbull of The Independent saying that Galen was “unwell”:
UK Athletics inform that Galen Rupp is unwell and, with other drop-outs, it was decided to drop men’s 5K in Brum and replace with women’s 3K
— Simon Hart (@SiHart) February 12, 2013
One could easily infer that Rupp pulled out of the meet with an injury or illness and that led to eventual cancellation of the 5000m.
Turns out that is not the case.
We reached out to Rupp’s agent Ricky Simms of Pace Sports Management and here is what he told us via email:
“A few weeks ago the 5000m looked great on paper – the organisers did a great job of putting together some of the top names. Then one by one the race kind of fell apart due to athletes cancelling their indoor seasons, getting ill or injured. For the past 10 days the meet organisers were looking for replacements to make it a good race but a lot of the good Kenyan, Ethiopian and Ugandan athletes are concentrating on their cross country trials which are this weekend and next weekend. Several of the better athletes who ran in Karlsruhe, Gent or Dusseldorf don’t have UK visas and there isn’t enough time to get new ones. We lost the second pacemaker last week and on Monday one of the top names cancelled. As the meet is live on BBC it needs to have at least 6-8 runners to make it work. In consultation with the remaining athletes (including Galen) a decision was taken to cancel the event.”
Spencer Barden, the meet director, confirmed Ricky’s description of events.
Ricky added, “I am working on some other options for Galen.” (update: Galen Rupp is running the 3000m in Sweden next Thursday)
Thumbs up to the meeting organizers being concerned about putting on a good product for fans and perhaps most importantly tv spectators. Galen Rupp running by himself is not a good product for British television.