And that was just the start of his journey…..
Rupp and Salazar, only in Melbourne one day, flew back to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and arrived Thursday. When asked how he felt, Galen responded, quite matter of factly, ” this is my lifestyle and my job, I do not worry about it.”
When asked about racing Bernard Lagat on Saturday evening, Rupp summed it up well, ” I like to race the best guys in America, and that is what is happening in this race. I will be a very tough race, and it will be a gutsy race. When you have two great guys in a race, we both want to win. It should be exciting.”
Galen Rupp, as part of Alberto Salazar’s renamed Oregon Project, is a key focus of Alberto’s coaching. Alberto has been part of Rupps life since high school, even with great high school coaches and of course, Vinn Lananna at the University of Oregon, the relationship between Salazar and Rupp is quite deep. Most of all, Rupp trusts Salazar, who is trying to constantly learn about his sport, new techniques, and how he can make his athletes better.
The development of Mo Farah and Galen Rupp are cases in point; both gain from the relationship, and it is supported not only by Salazar but embraced by UK endurance mentor, Ian Stewart, European and Commonwealth 5,000m champ, Olympic bronze medalist and World Cross Country champ. Stewart is a believer in hard work, hard focus, and racing til you have nothing left. His counsel and his orchestration of both meets in UK and training conditions is a very significant part, along with support of several of his contemporaries, (Brendan Foster and David Bedford, to name two), of the rising level of Uk endurance athletes.
Watch for Galen to work to hone his leg speed this spring, and perhaps we will see Rupp and Mo Farah in a few domestic races! Whatever the case, Galen Rupp has begun his campaign for not only 2011 and 2012, but 2015-16. Rupp and Salazar are planners, and winning an Olympic and World championship medal is a decade long pursuit.
For now, watch for a gut wrenching last 1,000 meters by Rupp as he tries to break Bernard Lagat’s ferocious kick over the last 200 meters. Rupp knows that to soften Lagat’s kick, he will need all he has. More than anything, Rupp is learning how to race, and putting all those experiences into that analytical head of his, waiting for his time and his race…..
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