EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Pick a distance, any distance, and Galen Rupp can run it.
Already qualified for the marathon, Rupp added the 10,000 meters to his list Friday night at Olympic trials. Next up, he’ll try to make it at 5K, as well.
If — more like when — that happens, he says he’ll choose two of the three to run in Rio. Racing in all three would simply be too much, even for Rupp.
Rupp is leaning toward running the 10,000, especially given the way he won at trials. He threw surge after surge at Shadrack Kipchirchir and Leonard Korir — both of whom run for the Army’s World Class Athlete Program in Fort Carson, Colorado — and finished to a loud ovation. No surprise, since Rupp rose to prominence at Hayward Field as a member of the Oregon Ducks.
“It was tough. It wasn’t easy. I was pushing pretty hard,” said Rupp, who finished in 27 minutes, 55.04 seconds, more than 6 second clear of Kipchirchir. “I made a couple surges with five or six laps to go, kind of testing out Shadrack. He was always on me. He was right there. I wanted to make it a tough race.”
Now, Rupp will recover. He’s got the first round of the 5,000 on Monday and — if he qualifies — the final five days later.
Rupp won the Olympic marathon trials during his debut at that distance in February in Los Angeles. Nothing seems to slow him down.
But it has been tough to balance the training between the marathon and 5,000. For the marathon, he goes on more long runs. For the 5,000, he does more speed work.
“We run a fine line, do a lot of miles — a lot of long, hard runs,” Rupp explained. “It’s hard to recover from. It’s really hard to do that, come back and do the speed work. It’s been a little bit of a learning process, sometimes coming back too soon and can’t hit a workout. We’re always adjusting and figuring it out.”
The 30-year-old Rupp is the Olympic silver medalist in the 10,000 meters.
“What impresses me most is his work ethic, his mental toughness,” his coach, Alberto Salazar, said. “All the pressure and limelight on him, sometimes bad, sometimes good. He doesn’t care. He puts it aside.”
As for his say in the matter of what races Rupp will run, Salazar wants to wait and see.
“He’ll make a decision between 5,000 and the marathon. He can’t run all three,” Salazar said. “He does everything right. He dedicates his life (to running). The only thing that ever takes him away from running for an instant is his family. That’s it.”