Bernard Lagat, Interview: 2011 USA Indoor, by Larry Eder

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Galen Rupp with Bernard Lagat, 2011 USA Indoor Press conference, photo by PhotoRun.net

Bernard Lagat is complex. He is charming as they come at a press conference, with funny comments and witty quotes. He accepts the part of his job where he works with the media as part of his job. He is kind and charming with athletes, on and of the field. But race against the man, and you are racing against one of the most race savvy athletes in the world. This 3,000 meters tonight with Galen Rupp and Bernard Lagat will be a case in point....
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Lagat taking down Mo Farah, AVIVA London 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net

Bernard Lagat set ARs at 5,000 m indoors, 5,000m outdoors and 3,000m outdoors in 2010. On February 12, 2011, Bernard ran 8:10.54 at the NB Armory in NYC to set a new AR
at the two mile. He already had the 1,500m and mile indoors! 

On February 19, 2011, Galen Rupp broke Lagat's AR at 5,000m indoors with his 13:11.44. The game was on then, and this weekend, the 3,000 meters at the USA Indoors should be a race for the ages.

"I loved the two mile in New York. We went out in 4:08 and I came back fast! You know why I could run so well at the end? We did not start crazy! Robbie Andrews helped us out in the race.." noted Bernard.

When asked by RBR if he would like to run the distance again, he noted, " I ran 8:12 at the Nike Pre a few years ago. That is slow. I would like to see John Capriotti (Nike) and Tom Jordan (Meet director) bring back the two mile! It would be alot of fun!" noted an enthusiastic Bernard Lagat.

A storied career in both Kenya, his birthplace, and the U.S., his adopted home, Bernard Lagat is one of the most challenging distance runners on the planet. He has defeated them all, and in 2007, he did the unthinkable-he won the 1,500m and 5,000m at the Osaka World Championships.

"I will not run 10,000 meters until after 2012. I find the 5,000 meters outdoors a long race, so I will watch Galen and Abdi and others run the 10,000 meters. No, I do not want to run there yet!" noted a laughing Bernard Lagat.

In my conversations with Bernard Lagat over the years, I have found a quite thoughtful, talkative man who is comfortable in his own shoes. He is a gentle man, off the track, but a fierce competitor on the track and as long as he puts on a pair of track spikes, he is dangerous.

" I learnt several lessons from Millrose this year. I made several tactical errors this year...and I will not do those again." That was Lagat's comment about loosing to Deresse Mekonnen at the Millrose Games, where he had won 8 previous races.

Bernard Lagat wants to win medals in Daegu and London. He still has a few goals to reach. Do not be surprised if we see Bernard Lagat toeing up to run 25 laps in 2013. But for now, its focus on the present , which is the 3,000 meters tonight in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Next stop? A classy 5,000 meters in Melbourne, Australia in a week!

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Nice write up Larry. Lagat controlled last night's race nearly from the gun. We were waiting for Rupp to challenge but he waited until the final three laps. Lagat dropped the hammer at the bell and it was over as soon as he made the move. For a guy that was bested by Goucher at NCAA XC waayyy back in the day he is still in remarkable form. His finish was incredible.

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