June 11, 2014
Today in the men’s 5,000 at the ExxonMobil Bislett Games in Oslo, Galen Rupp‘s American record bid never materialized, as the field went out way behind the desire pacing schedule the guys focused on racing, not time. In the end, Rupp ended up third in 13:03.35.
Rupp was with the leaders until the final 300, but in the final stretch, it was Ethiopia’s Yenew Alamirew and Kenya’s world indoor 3k champ Caleb Ndiku battling for the win, just as they did on May 31 at the Prefontaine Classic. Alamirew got revenge on Ndiku, taking the win in a world-leading time of 13:01.57 (.14 faster than Ndiku ran at Pre), while Ndiku was second in 13:02.15. Rupp was third, with Kenyan Olympic bronze medalist Thomas Longosiwa in fourth in 13:04.68.
The pacing was very poor for the first lap as the three rabbits came through 400 in 59 seconds (to run the American record of 12:53.60, they’d need to average 61.9 seconds per 400). No one wanted to go with them, and for good reason. Rupp took the lead of the chase pack, passing 600 meters in 1:32. Realizing that they went out way too fast, the rabbits over-corrected and started running too slow. The field still refused to go with them however, and when Rupp led the chase pack through 1600 in 4:14, they were 10 meters back of the rabbits. At that point, to break the American record, Rupp would have had to run the remaining 3400 meters in 8:39 or faster (4:05.7 mile pace), which was too big of an ask even for someone who ran a 26:44 10,000 in his last outing.
Bahrain’s Albert Rop took over the lead from Rupp on the fifth lap and led the chase pack for most of the second mile, passing 3200 meters in 8:30. The fourth kilometer was run in a pedestrian 2:40, and by that point Longosiwa had had enough. The Kenyan made a hard move with 1000 to go and the race was on. Alamirew and Rupp quickly followed, with a gap to Ndiku in fourth. Ndiku eventually joined them to form a pack of four as they hit the bell at 12:06 after a 58.8 penultimate lap.
With 300 to go, Alamirew struck and only Longosiwa could respond, as Rupp and Longosiwa began to fade. But by 200, Rupp and Ndiku had started to close the gap on Alamirew. Had Alamirew gone too early?
Ndiku, after passing Rupp, came up nearAlamirew’s shoulder in the home stretch, but unlike at Pre, Alamirew’s kick was best. He powered away to win with a 55.41 last lap, with Ndiku in second. Longosiwa faded badly over the last 200, with Rupp passing him for third. Leader-to-leader, the last 1600 was run in 3:59.4 (64.27, 60.88, 58.85, 55.41) though Alamirew was a bit faster than that considering that he wasn’t leading to begin that.
Quick Take #1: Fans will see 13:03 as a disappointment for Rupp, but they’re ignoring the context.
We mentioned in our preview that Rupp’s 5,000s overseas haven’t been great in his career. This was his 12th overseas 5,000 as a pro and just his second top-four finish. Plus, third place in this field is a solid accomplishment for a guy whose strength is clearly the 10k. The two men who beat him, Alamirew and Ndiku, finished well ahead of a loaded field in the Pre 5,000, and finishers 4 through 7 (all of whom Rupp beat) all have Olympic or World Championship medals at 5,000 meters. Rupp has been one of world’s elite 10,000 meter runners for the past couple years, but this race was evidence that he’s among the world’s top 5,000 men as well.
Quick Take #2: Rupp’s post-race comments. Rupp spoke to the BBC’s Jonathan Edwards shortly after the race. Here’s what he had to say:
On the pace being slower than expected, Rupp said:
“The pace went out definitely a little slower than I would have liked. At this point, where I’m at , a faster pace at the start of the race suits me a little better, but I’ve been saying all year I really want to work on my tactics and this was really good practice for that. I’ve been making a lot of improvements since last year at finishing close to and beating some of (those guys), but obviously I’ve got a little bit more work to do.”
On showing that you don’t have to be African to excel at distance running, Rupp said:
“They’re human too. Obviously, they work very hard, are very talented and are very hard to beat but Americans are realizing just how hard you have to work to beat them. There are no short-cuts in distance running.”
On Mo Farah coming back from his marathon for a double at the Commonwealth Games, Rupp said:
“He’s definitely come back really well from the marathon. I’ve been real surprised how well he’s bounced back.”
Quick Take #3: The Diamond Race could come down to Ndiku and Alamirew.
Alamirew has two wins (Shanghai and Oslo) and a second (Pre) in the three DL 5ks so far, while Ndiku has one win (Pre) and a second (Oslo; he didn’t race the 5k in Shanghai). Alamirew has 10 points to lead the Diamond Race, with Ndiku in second with 6. No one else has more than 2.
Quick Take #4: Ndiku did very well to get second as this was his third 5k in six days.
Ndiku ran the Kenyan Commonwealth Games trials on June 5, the final on June 7 and raced again here in Oslo on June 11. He’ll be pretty happy with the results: though he lost to little-known Joseph Kiplimo at the trials, he still finished second to make the team and was second again in Oslo just four days later. The next DL 5k isn’t until Paris on July 5, so Ndiku has some time to rest up for that one.
Quick Take #5: Bumbalough bounces back.
Andrew Bumbalough, who made Team USA at 5,000 in 2011, was just 15th (13:28) at his first outdoor race this season at Payton Jordan on May 4. After pacing the Pre 5,000 on May 31, he looked a lot better here, running 13:13.67 (his PR is 13:12.01). That’s still a lot slower than the top guys ran at Payton Jordan, but this race shows that Bumbalough should be right in the mix for a top-three spot at USAs, especially considering he revealed today on twitter that he’s been coming back from an injury:
Felt pretty good out there, things are coming around now after being injured and I’m ready to gear up for the summer- Oslo is amazing!
— Andrew Bumbalough (@abumbalough) June 11, 2014
Full results below:
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