2014 Paris DL: Can Galen Rupp Get The American 5k Record, Will Ben True Join The Sub-13:00 Club?

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by LetsRun.com
July 2, 2014

(Editor’s note: Our preview of the rest of the mid-d/distance action appears here: Paris DL Preview: Can Simpson Get The American Record And Can Rowbury Break 4:00 In A Stacked Women’s 1,500; A Fascinating Men’s 800 Of Amos Vs. Kaki Vs. Kiprop)

In the men’s 5000 at the Meeting Areva on Saturday in Paris’ Stade de France, Galen Rupp will battle the two best 5000 men in the world right now, Ethiopian Yenew Alamirew and Kenyan Caleb Ndiku, as he takes a shot at the American record of 12:53.60. Compatriot Ben True is racing as well and looking for the first sub-13:00 of his career as well.

The big question in Paris, as it was in Oslo on June 11, is, ‘Can Rupp get Bernard Lagat‘s American record of 12:53.60 from 2011?’

We analyzed Rupp’s chances before that race here, ultimately concluding that Rupp would break the record (in the end he was well short, but placed an impressive third in the race) if the rabbiting was good enough. After his performance in Oslo and his easy win at the U.S. championships, we’re even more confident about Rupp’s chances of getting the American record in Paris.

Three reasons why Rupp will get the American Record of 12:53.60. 

1) Rupp is in low 12:50s shape

Rupp ran well in Oslo but poor rabbits cost him a shot at the AR

Rupp ran well in Oslo but poor rabbits cost him a shot at the American record

The top two 5000 guys in the world right now are Yenew Alamirew and Caleb Ndiku and Rupp finished right behind them in Oslo. So far the world-leading time is Alamirew’s 13:01.57 from that race, but the early pacing was horrible in Oslo, with the rabbits running the first 400 in 59 seconds and then slowing way down so that the chase pack came through 1600 in just 4:14. Alamirew closed his last 1000 of that race in 2:23 to run 13:01 but the leader was on just 13:17 pace with 1000 to go. Since the top guys in the world typically run around 12:50 in any given year (top times in the past five years: 12:51, 12:46, 12:53, 12:51, 12:52), it’s reasonable to assume that Alamirew and Ndiku could run right around 12:50 right now. And since Rupp was one second behind Ndiku in Oslo, he should be capable of running in the low 12:50s as well).

2) The field and venue are right

The biggest stumbling block to Rupp — or anyone else — running fast in Paris is the fact that very few races are won in the low 12:50s in any given year. As we noted in our Oslo preview, only six races in the past five years have been won in 12:53.59 or faster, the time Rupp would have to run to break the American record. However, Paris has a great chance to be 2014’s fastest race. Six of the top seven men on the world 5000 list are entered and it’s clear that the Americans, Rupp and Ben True want it to be fast seeing as how both skipped the 5000 at USAs to race here (True skipped USAs entirely while Rupp only raced the 10,000).

There are only three more 5,000s on the Diamond League circuit after this one, but one is in Glasgow on July 11 (just six days after Paris) and doesn’t figure to be that fast. So this is the last chance the top guys have to run fast before the month-long break between DL meets from July 18 to August 21. Paris also has a history of going fast: the last time there was a DL 5000 in Paris, it produced the deepest 5000 ever run. On that day in 2012, six men broke 12:50, 10 broke 12:56 and all-time records for place were set for places 3 through 13. If the rabbits do their job — far from a given — the winner this year should run right around 12:50.

3) Rupp’s performance in Oslo allayed two of our four fears prior to the race

Though we predicted Rupp to get the American record in Oslo, we also presented four reasons why Rupp would not break Lagat’s mark. Now that Oslo is in the books, two of those fears have dissipated. First, we wrote that Rupp hasn’t fared well in overseas 5000s as a pro, finishing in the top four just once in 11 races. Overall, the trend still holds true, but Rupp’s third-place finish against a quality field in Oslo makes it hard to argue against Rupp as one of the top 5000 men in the world right now. Our other point was that Rupp’s only 5000 in 2014 to that point had been a loss to Collis Birmingham at Oxy, where Rupp ran just 13:19. That race now looks like an anomaly considering Rupp’s last three races have seen him run 26:44, take third in Oslo and win his sixth straight U.S. 10,000 title. What he did in his outdoor opener a month-and-a-half ago has no bearing on how he’ll run in Paris.

As with any record attempt, the rabbits are crucial (it’s unlikely Rupp runs 26:44 without Stephen Sambu doing an excellent pace job for 8000+ meters) and they’ll determine how fast this race goes. But no matter the pace, Rupp should be in contention for the win in Paris.

Sub-13:00 for Ben True and Lawi Lalang?

Will True be celebrating the on the 5th of July?

Will True be celebrating the on the 5th of July?

Ever since Ben True ran 13:02 at Stanford on May 4, American track fans have wondered whether True will become the seventh American to run under 13:00 for 5000. True only ran 13:25 at Pre on May 31, but that was on a warm, windy day in the middle of the afternoon while Paris will be run in cooler (and hopefully, less windy) conditions at 8:50 p.m. local time. True also told us after Pre that his legs were still tired from Stanford and some hard recent workouts. Now that he’s had a month to recover, he should be fresher in Paris.

Recently, True ran 3:37 in a 1500 time trial on June 27 according to training partner Sam Chelanga, which bodes well for his chances in Paris. True is a smart racer but because of the quality of the field, he’s going to have a hard time getting under 13:00 if the winning time is 12:58. His best bet is to hope for a quicker pace up front that he can latch onto before trying to pass as many guys as possible over the last couple laps.

Lalang announced after NCAAs that he won’t return for his senior year of XC at Arizona this fall and he recently ran his first pro race — a win — in a 1500 in Belgium last week. On the circuit last summer, Lalang ran 3:33 in Paris and 13:00 in Monaco, and after defending his 5000 title at NCAAs in June (and coming .04 seconds shy of becoming the first man to win the 1500/5000 double at NCAAs), Lalang appears to be in great shape again. Lalang hasn’t been in any fast races in 2014, so it’s hard to make a prediction about what time he will run, but given his success at NCAAs and his DL performances last summer, expect a time around 13:00 if the race is quick.

The Wild Card: The Weather

For a 5000 race to produce a slew of sub-13:00s, a lot of things have to go right. In addition to having strong rabbits and the runners committing themselves to going with the rabbits, the weather needs to be good as well.

The forecast for Saturday in Paris is hard to read. The hourly forecast by Weather.com isn’t out for Saturday quite yet. Update: The hourly forecast is out and is calling for 70 degrees and a 50% chance of rain at 9pm (the 5000 starts at 8:50pm Paris time) Good running weather. Bad news is it is calling for 13mph winds. The Paris stadium is huge and could shield the wind. We’ll see.

But the good news is the high on Saturday for Paris is going to be an unseasonably cool 69 degrees. That’s fantastic news for distance fans. The bad news for distance fans is that low high temp is the result of the ract that it looks like it’s going to be rainy and windy on Saturday in Paris. There is a 60% chance of rain the forecast is for 14 mph winds at some point during the day.

Guys don’t run low 12:50s in 14 mph winds. That being said, take a look at a picture of the stadium. It’s basically a dome with a hole in the top so we don’t imagine the wind will be a factor but don’t know for sure.

And your winner is…

While we’re intrigued by the return to the track of 2011 World 10k champ/2013 silver medalist Ibrahim Jeilan, the winner will likely be either be Ndiku or Alamirew. Alamirew won in Shanghai on May 18 and outkicked Ndiku to win in Oslo on June 11, while Ndiku outkicked Alamirew to win in Pre. In both Oslo and Eugene, Ndiku and Alamirew were clear of the field by the time they entered the home stretch. Until Mo Farah returns to the DL circuit, they’re the world’s best at 5000 right now.

LRC Predictions: 1) Alamirew for the win
2) Rupp doesn’t get the record and True doesn’t break 13:00 (Yes, we said Rupp would get it above but hey we’re superstitious and don’t want to predict big things particularly for a day after July 4th).

The full field appears below.

What do you think will happen? Tell us in the messageboard: Paris Mens 5000m Start List – Can Galen Rupp Get the American Record? 

More: Paris DL Preview: Can Simpson gets the American Record and Can Rowbury Break 4:00 In A Stacked Women’s 1500; What about Coburn?  A Fascinating Men’s 800 of Amos vs. Kaki vs. Kiprop

ATHLETEDATE OF BIRTHNATIONPBSBComment
ALAMIREW Yenew27.05.1990ETH12:48.7713:01.57Brilliant this year in DL: 1st in Shanghai, 2nd at Pre, 1st in Oslo. 2014 world leader.
EDRIS Muktar14.01.1994ETH13:03.6913:30.392012 World Junior Champ makes Diamond League season debut; only 13:30 on June 8
GABIUS Arne22.03.1981GER13:12.5013:53.57Won Euro Team Champs 5k on June 21; 7:41 3k in Ostrava on June 17
GEBRHIWET Hagos11.05.1994ETH12:47.5313:06.88WC silver medalist was 3rd in Shanghai but just 7th at Pre on May 31
JEILAN Ibrahim12.06.1989ETH13:09.162011 World champ/2013 silver medalist at 10k makes track debut in ’14 after DNF at London Marathon
KANGOGO Cornelius15.12.1993KEN13:11.1413:11.14Has run 2 fastest times of career this season: 13:11 in Shanghai and 13:13 in Oslo
LALANG Lawi15.06.1991KEN13:00.9513:18.36Collegiate legend and ’14 NCAA 5k champ ran 3:40.22 FTW in Belgium on June 28
LEGESE Birhanu01.01.1993ETH13:08.8813:08.886th in Shanghai on May 18; 13th in Hengelo 3k on June 8
LONGOSIWA Thomas Pkemei14.01.1988KEN12:49.0413:04.682012 Olympic bronze medalist was 2nd in Shanghai, 4th in Oslo
MERGA Imane15.10.1988ETH12:53.5813:29.434-time DL winner has had rough year; just 14th in Oslo in 13:29 and only 13:41 at Marrakesh before that
NDIKU Caleb Mwangangi09.10.1992KEN13:01.7113:01.71Breakout year for World indoor champ; won at Pre, 2nd in Oslo, world-leading 7:31 3k in Ostrava
NDIKU Jonathan Muia18.09.1991KEN13:11.9913:12.942-time World Junior steeple champ ran 7:39 3k in Ostrava
RONO Geoffrey Kipkoech21.04.1987KENPacer (not to be confused with Geoffrey Ronoh, the pacer who beat Wilson Kipsang in a 1/2 marathon in June)
RUPP Galen08.05.1986USA12:58.9013:03.35Set AR at 10,000 on May 30; 3rd in Oslo was his second-highest DL finish ever
SOI Edwin Cheruiyot03.03.1986KEN12:51.3413:04.922013 world leader is consistent: 5th in Shanghai, 3rd at Pre, 5th in Oslo
TAHRI Bouabdellah20.12.1978FRA13:12.2213:12.2235-year-old ran 13:12 in Shanghai; 3:37 1500 FTW in Metz on June 26
TANUI Paul Kipngetich22.12.1990KEN13:04.6513:19.88World 10k bronze medalist was 2nd behind Rupp in Pre 10k in 26:49
TRUE Ben29.12.1985USA13:02.7413:02.7413:02 at Payton Jordan but just 13:25 at Pre; after 3:37 1500 TT on 6/27, is he ready to go sub-13:00?