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Galen Rupp will race U.S. Olympic marathon trials

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Olympic 10,000m silver medalist Galen Rupp will make his marathon debut at the U.S. Olympic marathon trials on Feb. 13.

“It came up a little sooner than I would have thought,” Rupp said of his marathon debut in a USATF.TV interview. “For a long time, it was always … after the Olympics this summer, then I would really start to look at [the marathon] more. After this last summer, it kind of came up in conversations with [coach] Alberto [Salazar].”

Rupp, 29, qualified for the Olympic trials at a half marathon Dec. 13, his first time racing that long of a distance in more than four years. NBC Sports will have live coverage of the trials in Los Angeles.

He said he still plans to race the 10,000 meters this spring with the potential of contesting both the 10,000m and the marathon at the Rio Olympics.

“I would say that the 10k is still my primary focus,” said Rupp, who would have to make the Olympic track team at those trials in Eugene, Ore., from July 1-10. “Really, it just comes down to what I think I have a better chance in as a second event, whether that’s the 5k or the marathon.”

At the Olympics, the 10,000m is Aug. 13. The 5000m is Aug. 17 (heats) and Aug. 20 (final). The marathon is Aug. 21, the final day of the Games.

Rupp’s 1:01:20 half marathon Dec. 13 ranked second among U.S. men for 2015, behind U.S. champion Diego Estrada, who is expected to make his 26.2-mile debut at the marathon trials.

“Galen wants to keep all his options open,” Salazar said in December, according to Runner’s World. “No commitments one way or the other.”

Rupp previously signed up for the 2012 U.S. Olympic marathon trials — also, reportedly, because he wanted to keep his options open — with a qualifying time from the March 2011 New York City half marathon (1:00:30).

But Rupp withdrew one week before the Jan. 14, 2012, marathon trials.

Many have wondered when Rupp would make his marathon debut. And how he would fare.

“It’s a little daunting,” Rupp said in the USATF.TV interview published Thursday. “It obviously is a little risky. I’ve always been a 5k/10k guy.”

He’s long been best at the 10,000m, making the Beijing 2008 team in the second-longest running event on the Olympic program, breaking the American record in 2011 (and again in 2014) and taking that 2012 Olympic silver medal.

The Olympic marathon trials favorite is Meb Keflezighi, a 40-year-old who owns an Olympic silver medal and Boston and New York marathon victories.

The other top contender, three-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein, dealt with a hip injury in the fall and didn’t contest a Dec. 13 relay race with other men’s and women’s marathon hopefuls.

The top three at the trials will make the Rio Olympic team.

“Guys that certainly have a lot more experience than I do in running a marathon,” Rupp said, not about specific runners but the field. “They’ve been so great for so long. They’re there for a reason. They’re going to make it tough.”

Rupp’s goal is Olympic gold, and his best shot to do so may still be in the 10,000m.

Rupp followed the Olympic 10,000m silver by finishing fourth at the 2013 World Championships and fifth at this past summer’s Worlds. Training partner Mo Farah won all of those races and appears an overwhelming favorite to repeat in Rio.

“I was really disappointed to finish fifth,” Rupp said in November of his 27:08.91 time in Beijing on Aug. 22. “If that had been six years ago, I would’ve broken the American record in 90-degree heat, basically. So I ran really, really solidly, I thought, but sometimes you can’t control what place you get.”

He’s focused offseason training on paying more attention to his diet, yoga and upper-body stretches.

“Say I had gotten second or third, gotten my medal in Beijing, I would’ve maybe been a little disappointed, but we would’ve been, hey, we’re still right there,” Rupp said in November. “Maybe we wouldn’t have found all those other things [to work on].”

VIDEO: Rupp part of Nike Oregon Animal House tribute

Lindsey Vonn and her dog to host Amazing Race-like series

Lindsey Vonn
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Lindsey Vonn and one of her three dogs, Lucy, will host “The Pack,” an “Amazing Race”-like series where dogs and their humans compete in challenges across continents.

The Amazon Prime show filmed earlier this year and will premiere later in 2020. Production included a team of veterinarians and dog experts to ensure “a positive experience for everyone.”

Twelve teams vie for a prize of $500,000, plus $250,000 for the animal charity of their choice.

Vonn, the 2010 Olympic downhill champion and female record holder with 82 World Cup wins, retired after the February 2019 World Championships, four shy of the overall victories record held by Swede Ingemar Stenmark.

She traveled the last few years of her career with Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that she got in Italy in January 2016. Lucy required German, Italian and American passports to accompany Vonn on the ski circuit.

Vonn previously adopted rescue dogs Leo, a brindle boxer to help her through recovery from knee surgery that kept her out of the 2014 Olympics, and Bear.

Vonn’s previous broadcast credits included a 2010 appearance as a secretary on “Law & Order,” two judge spots on “Project Runway” and an episode of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” in 2016.

MORE: Lindsey Vonn’s mom is tough as nails

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London Marathon mass event canceled; Kipchoge, Bekele still to race

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The London Marathon will not hold a mass participation race of 40,000-plus runners, but will have an elites-only event featuring the fastest marathoners in history on a different course.

Organizers announced that the World Marathon Major, previously rescheduled for Oct. 4 from April 26, will be restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Elite runners, including world-record holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei and Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest man in history, will instead race but not on the usual route around London landmarks.

They will run on an enclosed looped in St. James’s Park in a “secure biosphere” without spectator access. Elite wheelchair racers, including past champions David Weir and Manuela Schar, will also compete.

Before canceling, London Marathon organizers planned to use Bluetooth and wideband ranging to monitor every participant’s distance from each other, though they did not specify if the event would have still included more than 40,000 runners.

If a participant spent more than 15 minutes within a specified distance of anyone else, and if somebody had informed organizers they contracted the virus within two weeks after the race, he or she would have been contacted.

“Despite all our efforts, the fantastic support from all of our partners and the progress that has been made on planning for the return of smaller mass participation events that are not on the roads, it has not been possible to go ahead with a mass socially distanced walk or run,” event director Hugh Brasher said in press release.

Four of the other five annual World Marathon Majors this year were canceled — Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York City. The earliest major, Tokyo, was held March 1 with elite runners only.

Kipchoge, the Olympic marathon champion from Kenya, and Bekele, a three-time Olympic track champion from Ethiopia, were previously announced as headliners for London in the winter, before the pandemic.

Kipchoge lowered the world record to 2:01:39 at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. Bekele clocked 2:01:41 in Berlin last September. They are the only men to ever break 2:02 in a marathon. Kipchoge also clocked 1:59:40 at a non-record-eligible event in Vienna on Oct. 12 instead of racing a fall marathon.

Kipchoge has won 11 of 12 marathons since moving to road racing after failing to make Kenya’s 2012 Olympic track team.

Bekele, the more accomplished track athlete with Olympic golds and world records at 5000m and 10,000m, has been a roller-coaster road runner.

Bekele owns two of the seven fastest marathons in history, recorded three years apart in Berlin. In between, he failed to finish two marathons and, in his last London start in 2018, clocked a pedestrian 2:08:53 for sixth place.

That was more than four minutes behind Kipchoge, who is undefeated in four London starts and has beaten by Bekele by at least 100 seconds in all four of their head-to-head marathons.

The Kenyan Kosgei took 81 seconds off Paula Radcliffe‘s 16-year-old women’s marathon world record on Oct. 13, clocking 2:14:04 to win the Chicago Marathon.

The 2021 London Marathon will also be held in October to give a better chance of holding a mass race than in April.

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MORE: U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials results