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In my mind, Rupp has already run the equivalent of a 2:07 marathon. Heat is a killer; I don't care how talented or fit you are, it only takes a few degrees above 60F to drastically change a race. Pacers make a big difference, for one, you can draft off of them, but they also make it possible to not have to engage mental energy focusing on pace. Off the top of my head, I can't think any sub-2:05 in more than 60F at the start and/or without pacers...there is a reason for that. Even in a somewhat tactical race, I can still see Rupp running 2:07, which he has already shown he's capable of. If everything plays out in his favor, as in training has gone really well, low temps, good pacing and he's challenging for a medal...2:05 is possible. I will split the difference and say 2:06 is most likely, which is pretty darn good for a marathon without pacers.
In terms of Kenyans not knowing who Rupp is, after rereading the article, it appears its the author and not Kemitto who does not know who Rupp is. Rupp has beaten over half of the top Kenyan athletes at some point in his career and athletes always remember who beat them.
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