May 31, 2014
Galen Rupp had a tremendous final 800m closing in 1:57 and change to win the 2014 Pre Classic 10,000m in 26:44.36 and break his American record of 26:48.00.
On the USATF.tv broadcast after the meet, Galen’s coach Alberto Salazar revealed that Galen’s wife, Keara, is expecting twins and on bed rest and Galen spent much of a month sleeping at the hospital with her. Salazar said he thought Galen could run this fast.
When he spoke with the media after the race, Rupp said that he had been dealing with some personal issues two weeks ago when Collis Birmingham upset Rupp in the 5,000 at Oxy.
Rupp didn’t expand on those issues, but he did say he felt that returning home to Oregon and tapering more for Pre than he had for Oxy allowed him to run significantly better in Eugene. He ran 13:19 for 5,000 at Oxy; Rupp ran the second half of his 10,000 in around 13:18 on Friday.
After the race, Galen said, “My plan coming in was to win. I felt about waiting until 300m to go to start kicking…It was all about winning.”
“Alberto said don’t be afraid to take it with 2 or 3 laps to go if you’re feeling good,” and that is exactly what Galen did.
Rupp made a commanding move to the front with 850m to go and though runner-up (and Moscow bronze medalist) Paul Tanui tried his best to hang in there, there was no stopping Rupp on this night.
“I was really excited to come back here….our training has really been geared for the 10,000 and I thought I had a really good chance to run well here,” he said. “I felt great…. We wanted what was going to prepare me for the World Championships next year and the Olympics the year after that.”
As for the twins, “I’m really looking forward to being a father.”
Congrats to Galen on the American record and the twins on the way. Rupp’s full interview is embedded below.
Quick Take #1: Steve Prefontaine x2. Rupp set his new American record on the 39th anniversary of Steve Prefontaine’s death. And, hard as it may be for American distance fans to comprehend, Rupp essentially ran Prefontaine’s 5,000 PB back-to-back to set that record. Pre’s 5,000 PB (still the American record when he died) was 13:21.87. If he kept the same pace through 10,000, that comes out to 26:43.74. Rupp ran 26:44.36 on Friday. He was less than a second off averaging Pre’s 5,000 PB back-to-back. That’s incredible.
Quick Take #2: Running 13:19 two weeks ago and 26:44 tonight shouldn’t make sense. But Rupp may have had a valid reason. Coming in, we thought it would be incredibly difficult for a man who ran 13:19 at Oxy on May 15 to basically repeat that feat back-to-back 15 days later. But in talking to Rupp after the race, it was clear that he wasn’t 100% there mentally at Oxy. He revealed to the Hayward Field crowd after his American record that his wife was expecting twins, and Rupp and his coach Alberto Salazar insinuated that this might have kept him from performing his best at Oxy.
“A lot of stuff was going on in my personal life,” Rupp said. “It was hard to be down there for sure. I regained my focus. I needed to regroup a little bit and rest.”
Rupp added that he got more rest and tapered more for Pre than he had for Oxy. When you combine those factors with the relief of being back home with his wife Keara in Oregon as opposed to down in Los Angeles, it makes sense that Rupp was able to run significantly better on Friday than he did two weeks ago.
Quick Take #3: Galen Rupp should buy Stephen Sambu a beer. One thing you definitely need for a record attempt at 10,000 meters is a good rabbit, and Sambu was near-perfect in his duties on Friday. Nike Oregon Project assistant coach Pete Julian actually came through mixed zone asking if anyone had seen Sambu because he wanted to congratulate him.
The lead group was clicking off 64-lows for the first 20 laps (Rupp needed 64.3s for the record), and Sambu made it about 8100 meters into the race before falling off the lead. We hoped that he would hang in there and finish it out after doing so much of the work (including almost all of the laps from 5000-8000). Sambu did indeed complete all 25 laps and his reward for handling much of the pacemaking was a sparkling 26:54.61 PB, knocking over 34 seconds off his old PB.
We were initially surprised to see a runner of Sambu’s quality rabbiting considering he just crushed 10k road world-record holder Leonard Komon to win the the Healthy Kidney 10k in New York three weeks ago. It’s very difficult to find someone to run 26:48 pace for over 8000 meters and Sambu was clearly the man for the job here. We wonder if he could have beaten third-place Bedan Karoki (2 seconds in front) or even second-place Paul Tanui (5 seconds in front) if he hadn’t led for so long early. Rupp should obviously be congratulated for a great race, but so should Sambu. Superb job from the former Arizona star.
Misse the race? Full Race Replay (Video)
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*Where does Rupp come in your all-time greatest American distance runner list?
*HOW LONG UNTIL WE HATE GALEN AGAIN? -
*26:44.37 For RUPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
*Rupp WILL not break 26:48
*Steven Sambu had the best race
*RUPPS 10k most boring race ever
*I AM CRYING TEARS OF JOY FOR GALEN RUPP’S NEW AR -
The other highlight Friday was the women’s 800m where Chanelle Price held off Maggie Vessey. Recap and results here.