Rupp sets new AR in 10K

Saturday, 17 September 2011

After Area 10,000m record, more success for the Rupp / Farah / Salazar team

Galen Rupp in the Daegu 10,000m (Getty Images)

Galen Rupp in the Daegu 10,000m (Getty Images)

Brussels, Belgium - The first person on the phone to congratulate Galen Rupp on his 10,000m Area record of 26:48.00s in theBrussels Samsung Diamond League meeting was – as you might have guessed – his training partner, Mo Farah.

“He called me right afterwards,” said Rupp, after indulging in some avid carbo-loading back at the team hotel (chips were heavily involved) following his landmark run.

“It meant a lot to hear from him. It shows the kind of person he is. He just said ‘Congratulations, I knew you were able to run that fast and I’m just glad you were able to do it. You deserve it – and next year’s going to be fun.’ We’re looking forward, and pushing each other. We both could not be more excited.”

On a night when Kenenisa Bekele shocked most observers by running the fastest 10,000m of the year – his 26:43.16 eclipsing the mark of 26:46.57 set by Farah in Eugene two months ago – Rupp took a huge step forward in career terms by knocking more than 22 seconds off his best of 27:10.74, which he set last year, to finish third.

“This was a very important race for Galen because we’ve known all along that he is capable of doing this,” his coach, Alberto Salazar said. “He’s had a little bit of bad luck in the last couple of years. In Daegu this year he had an adequate chance to show what he can do. When you run World Championships in hot weather you’ve got to deal with it.

“But even though Galen is not a big guy he’s still big compared to a Kenyan or an Ethiopian. It’s a disadvantage if you are a Caucasian running in the heat versus an African, you just have more body mass and it’s going to be harder.

“So we knew that in Daegu, Galen being 13 seconds back from Mo there, we know that he’s never that far back when they train together. It’s four or five seconds over 5k or 10k, so I believed his race in Daegu was a lot better than it looked on paper.

“Today we knew, and we’ve been speaking to our sports psychologist about this, we knew that it was a massive race for Galen. It’s been two years, and he’s improved a lot, but hasn’t quite got that big result that says he is one of the best in the world, one of the top five, six, seven…you know, a time that shows that.

“It wasn’t going to be the end of the world if he didn’t do it, but it was a case of ‘If you do it now, we can finally put that to rest.’

“Now he knows that he can run with anyone but he still has to work on his kick. But that will come with more strength.”

Rupp admitted he was surprised by Bekele’s performance, coming so soon after he had dropped out of the 10,000m final at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, his first race after a two-year break through injury.

“It’s definitely amazing to think of the way he was a couple of weeks ago in Daegu and how he was here,” Rupp said. “But then again, if anyone is going to be able to do something like that, it’s Bekele. He’s incredibly talented. Sometimes a couple of weeks can make all the difference in the world.

“There were much better conditions here than there were in Daegu, and I don’t think he would have entered here if he didn’t think he had a good chance of doing well.

“Next year is going to be very interesting as far as he and Mo are concerned. But I think it’s good for the sport.”

Rupp: ‘I wanted to focus on competing’

Rupp revealed that he had turned down a suggestion from Alberto Salazar, who coaches him and Farah in Portland, Oregon, that he get detailed information all the way round.

“The pacing was perfect here. I wanted to go out to halfway in around 13:30, so when the pace was 13:25 that was ideal for me. I knew I could stay a little back in the pack and go from there.

“Alberto asked me if I wanted someone on the infield to tell me my splits on each lap, but I told him ‘no’. I didn’t want to keep worrying about that.

“I wanted to focus on competing. There were so many good guys in that race, and they all wanted to run fast. I thought if I went out there and competed with the leaders, then the time would look after itself.”

Salazar  commented: “I was working on that and then Galen said ‘Do you know what? I’m just going to go in and race against these guys, and whatever happens, happens.’ That shows a level of maturity. It’s getting to the point where, his cautious coach, he doesn’t listen to him all the time! It’s like he doesn’t need to be babied. ‘If they can do it, I can do it.’”

Rupp himself had “a good feeling” about the Brussels race. “When I saw what Mo did in Eugene that gave me a lot of confidence,” he said. “Because I wasn’t ever that far behind him in anything. So when he ran that fast I knew I could really be pretty close to that time. I’m really happy to have done it.”

And the three-times US champion is happy to add how much he feels his working with the Briton who has now moved over permanently with his family has helped him.

“I think I definitely get the better end of that deal, no doubt about it.” Rupp said. “I get to train with the fastest guy in the world. We are doing workouts together and he is pushing it. He sometimes does something amazing, but I’m not too far behind. I take a lot of confidence from that. And it’s been a real learning experience to see how relaxed Mo is on a day-to-day basis, and how confident he is going into meets.”

Salazar has his own characteristically succinct take on the situation:  “I think that both of them have been remarkably good for each other. I don’t think that Mo wins a silver and gold medal this year without Galen to train with him. I don’t think Galen runs as well as he has this year without Mo to train with him.

“They really are perfect training partners, they share all the work equally, they take it in turns. And they are the best of friends.”

Rupp, meanwhile, is looking at 2012 with a new level of ambition.

“I try to look at each year and say ‘Am I getting better?’ And I think I can honestly say, through my whole career, I’ve gotten better. I keep chipping away at that gap, little by little. I’m not very far off now.

“This is the first year where I have ended on a real high. It’s great to be able to finish a season feeling strong having run a good time. Sometimes you need to go out and actually do something rather than talking about it.

“I just want to keep improving. I’m in the best situation possible. I’ve got the best coach in the world, and I’m training with the best distance runner in the world, and I couldn’t be happier with the way things are progressing.

“Obviously I would love to medal in London, to do well there. But you can’t get too caught up in results right now – it’s still just about getting better.”

Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF

Galen Rupp Shatters The American 10,000 Record By Running 


Rupp Is Now The 16th-Fastest Man In History; Kenenisa Bekele Wins With World-Leading 26:43.16

September 16, 2011

Editor's note: This is a recap of the men's 10,000 at the 2011 Brussels Diamond League meeting only. Full recap here. For a recap of the women's 1,500, click here.

25-year-old Galen Rupp shattered the American record for 10,000 meters by running 26:48.00 on Friday night in Brussels, eclipsing the 26:59.60 that Chris Solinsky set last year on May 1st. In getting the AR, Rupp finished third in the race, which was won by Kenenisa Bekele in a 2011 world-leading time of 26:43.16.

Rupp was up front in the lead pack throughout the race that saw the 5k  passed in 13:26.63. With 4 laps remaining (22:36 for Rupp, meaning his last 1,600 was 4:11 and change), there was a lead pack of seven still in contention and it seemed as if Rupp was almost certain to get the AR. With 800 left (24:45 for Rupp), there was no doubt about the record, as Rupp looked full of run and moved into second place and it soon became a three-person race. On the penultimate lap, Kenenisa Bekele responded and passed Rupp with roughly 550 meters remaining to move into second himself as Bekele and Kenya's Lucas Rotich soon separated themselves from Rupp. At the bell (25:47 for Rupp), Galen was about 3 meters back of the leading duo and that gap would only widen until the finish as the Africans battled it out for the win.

With 220 meters remaining, Bekele went to the front and went on to get the win in 26:43.16 to Rotich's 26:43.98.

Rupp's 26:48.00 puts him very high on the all-time lists. He is now the 16th-fastest man in history at 10,000 and his 26:48.00 was the 29th-fastest 10,000 ever run in history. For comparison's sake, Chris Solinsky's old AR is only the 81st-fastest 10,000 ever run and Solinsky is now the 39th-fastest man in history.

After the race, the European television coverage we were watching was rightly focused on Bekele but we did catch a glimpse of Rupp embracing his coach Alberto Salazar in the stands.

The commentators interviewed a buoyant Bekele who admitted that coming back from nearly two years away from the track had been incredibly hard. "It's fantastic (to win today). It was really tough to comeback. I want to thank God for giving me the power to get back," said Bekele. The commentators then asked if they could say the real Kenenisa was back and he answered, "Yes."

5 Quick Takes
QT #1: 
Rupp and Salazar deserve a lot of props for getting the AR.

QT #2: It was very exciting to watch, but we don't know why so many people had seemingly written Rupp off. This is a guy that took Imane Merga's scalp in July, and in the year 2011, the guy who finishes 7th at Worlds is likely to be a sub-27 guy.

QT #3: We hate to point out anything negative on a special day like today, but the finish of this race reminded us in some ways of the men's 5,000 final at Worlds, when Rupp's kick left him 5.28 seconds short. Here Rupp lost out by 4.74.

QT #4: This race reminded us in many ways of this year's Pre Classic 10,000, which was won by Mo Farah in 26:46.57 with a last km of 2:30.72. Here, the last km was 2:29.44.

QT #5: Someone tell us why this race wasn't broadcast live in the US by


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