Men's 10,000 meters: Rupp as menacing Tiger, by Larry Eder

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Rupp_GalenLurks-USAout10.JPG
Patrick Smyth, Galen Rupp, lurking..2010 USATF 10,000m, photo by
PhotoRun.net.


A different Galen Rupp lined up with 23 other starters on Thursday night, at
Drake Stadium for the men's 10,000 meter finals. Last year, after having
capped off a fine senior year at Oregon, Galen Rupp won the 10,000 meters,
in front of his hometown fans, in a fast time and giving himself a real boost of
confidence.



2010 has been a year of some discoveries for Galen. In the indoor season, at the
Reebok Grand Prix, it was Galen Rupp who broke open a kind of fast indoor 5,000
meters, setting it up so that Galen & Bernard Lagat both broke Rupp's 5,000 meter
indoor AR from 2009. I was quite impressed with the guts and drive Rupp exhibited,
even with a cold, in pushing the fourth kilometer of the 5,000 meters in order for
four guys, himself included, to break 13:18-Galen ran 13;14 to Lagat's 13:11.54 AR.

On May 1, 2010, Galen Rupp's coach, Alberto Salazar was convinced that Galen was
ready to break the AR for 10,000 meters: 27:13.83. Alberto was right-Galen Rupp ran
27:10.41, but he took fourth. Chris Solinsky, in his first 10,000 meters on the track, burst
into the lead, with 800 meters to go, covering those two laps in 1:56, and running
26:59.6, the new American record.

Galen must have had some disappointment, but he never showed it. He was professional, courteous, and went on with his life, focusing on his next goal, defending his U.S. title at 10,000 meters.

The race was Galen's to loose, but he did not look at it that way. Running a very controlled race, Galen Rupp stayed close to the action, covering all of the moves of the race, until he was ready to embark for the finish line, with 400 meters to go.

The race started out quite pedestrian, with Patrick Smythe and Ed Moran, running very close, with James Carney, last year's fourth placer, Galen Rupp, Ryan Sheehan and David Janikowski of ZAP Fitness in tow.

The conditions were hot, and the pace was deadly slow. Hitting the first lap in 73.12, the first kilometer was hit in 3:06.7, with the 1,600 meters in 4:58.98. Two kilometers was hit in 6:11.59, a 3:04.7, yes about 30:28 pace. Patrick Smyth continued with the duties of leading, although, a bit reluctantly, as the field of 24 muddled its way through 3k in 9:12.1 (3:01 kilometer running).

At that point, someone near me said, " This entire field should be able to run 20k at this pace!" The pack hit 3,200 meters in 9:49, and 3.6 kilometers in 11.01.18, when James Carney charged to the front, dropping a 63 second lap! The 4 kilometer was hit in 12:04.04, for the
fastest kilometer of the race so far, 2:51.9! Carneys' moved did not drop anyone.....

Carney-Smyth-Rupp-USAout10.JPG
James Carney drops a 63...., 3.6 kilometers, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Carney, who ran a PB marathon at Fortis-Rotterdam, in April 2010, was trying to push the pace, and followed the 63 with a 66. Ed Moran, Patrick Smyth and Galen Rupp followed, hitting the 4.4k in 13:10.22 and 4.8k in 14:21.87. The half-way point, 5,000
meters,was hit in the mundane time of 14:57.5, the slowest halfway point at at US men's
10,000 meters since 1998 in New Orleans (won by Rod de Haven). The fifth kilometer was hit in 2:53, still way too slow. The sixth kilometer, with Carney in the lead, with Smyth and Moran, was slow, again, a 2:59 for the sixth kilometer, hitting the 6k in 17:57.7. Nothing really changed until 7 kilometers, hit in 20:52, when Carney dropped another surge, this time, a 65.9 for the
400 meters. Carney followed with a 66, but that was all she wrote for James Carney tonight, as he started to fall back, fourth, to fifth, to seventh, to finally, eighth place.

Moran-Rupp-USAout10.JPG
Ed Moran, Galen Rupp, the final laps.....USA 10,000 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net.

The 8 kilometer mark was hit in 23:44.95, with Ed Moran and Galen Rupp starting to motor away from the rest of the field. Patrick Smyth, Ryan Sheehan and David Jankowski were running hard, but, really, fighting for third place. 8.4 k was hit in 24;46.54, 8.8 kilometers hit in
25:51.59 and 9 kilometers hit in 26:21, a 2:44 last kilometer, and so far, fastest of the race.

At nine kilometers, Ed Moran still lead, with Galen Rupp lurking, ready to pounce. At 9,4 kilometers, with six hundred meters to go, Galen Rupp took the lead and did not look back. Running 2:38 for the last kilometer and 60 seconds over the last 400 meters, Galen Rupp looked smooth, and like a champion. Hitting the bell lap with Ed Moran working hard,
in 27:59.96, Rupp ran a relaxed last 400 meters, in sixty seconds, to defend his 10,000 meter title from 2009.

Moran-Rupp1-USAout10.JPG
Rupp about to take the lead, 9,400 meters, USA 10,000m, photo by
PhotoRun.net.


Rupp_Galen1a-USAout10.JPG
Galen Rupp, running a relaxed 60 second last lap! USA 10,000m/2010,
photo by PhotoRun.net.


Galen Rupp defended his title. Oregon TC Performance Director Darrell
Treasure, and Rupp's coach, Alberto Salazar must be pleased with the
victory. They also know now that Galen Rupp is running in the big leagues and
that the battles for 2011, and 2012 have begun.

In a fascinating conversation last February, with 1972 Olympic bronze medalist
Ian Stewart, Alberto Salazar and Mr. Treasure, the conversation came to how
one approaches an Olympic or world championship field. Some in the discussion
felt that, like any major race, half of the field was overtrained, and the real medal
contenders would come down to no more than a handful. Another side noted that,
one must consider all finalists worthy and capable, on a given day, of winning a
medal.

Consider this conversation in June and July of 2011 and 2012. In the U.S., there will
be four to six contenders lining up for both the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters, who
could make the race come down to a final, epic sprint to determine the top three on
both WC and Olympic squads. In the U.S. now, our distance runners are no longer
also runs. Salazar's dream of the Oregon Project, as a way to help develop U.S.
distance hopes is coming true. Be careful what you wish for....on any given day,
the athlete must perform.

On Thursday night, Galen Rupp performed, it was his given day.....



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