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Galen Rupp Looks to Join the Sub-3:50 Mile Club

Galen Rupp Looks to Join the Sub-3:50 Mile Club
Photo: ©2013KevinRMorris
Galen Rupp will get one more shot at taking down yet another American record. This time, he'll hopefully have some company.

Rupp and Salazar's decision to race a mile at the UW Indoor Preview and the upcoming Boston University Terrier Invitational shows that the Olympic silver medalist wants to fine tune his gears for the upcoming 3000m showdown at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix.

If Rupp wants to hang with Olympic 5k silver medalist Dejen Gebremeskel or World Junior Record-holder at 5000m Hagos Gebrhiwet in that 3000m, he'll need to muster more than 3:57.15. Remember, Gebremeskel beat Mo Farah at this race last two years ago... with one shoe.

That's why serendipity is the word for the BU Terrier Mile. If you're going to travel to Boston anyway and want to squeeze in one more quick race, why not come up a week early and stack the BU Terrier Mile?

His mile this upcoming weekend will have to be three-fourths the same and one-quarter completely different compared to to last time out. Although he fell short of the American record of 3:49.89, Rupp did go for it all alone at the end at the UW Dempsey.

His reported splits of 58.x - 1:55 (57.x) - 2:53 (58.x) - 3:57.15 (64.x) almost put him on pace through 1200m to run run his personal best of 3:51.87 (converted from his 3:34.75 at the 2012 Oxy High Performance Meet).

If Rupp wants to break the American record, he'll have it hold it together over the last 409 meters. If you will, chock up the first mile as a moving-down-in-distance-rust buster. If he's sprayed on some WD-40, then he'll have a shot at joining an elite club of sub-3:50 indoor milers.

There are only
three athletes in history that have broken that barrier indoors. The first and most obvious answer is Bernard Lagat with his current American record of 3:49.89 from '05.

Lagat split 56.4 - 1:51.8 (55.4) - 2:50.7 (58.9) - and 3:49.89 (59.19) en route to the third fastest indoor mile of all-time. Rupp will most likely employ the opposite strategy of running more even splits as he's not as speedy as '05 Lagat.

Kip may have taken one title from another legendary indoor miler, but he didn't pass him for the second fastest indoor mile in history. Lagat overtook the former "Chairman of the Boards" for the most Millrose Games Mile wins, but Eamonn Coghlan is still in front of Lagat on the all-time indoor mile list.

Coghlan set the former world record of 3:49.78 at the 1983 Vitalis Invite in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Since then, only the New Jersey Nets have run faster in East Rutherford when they bolted from town last year.

"These men travel in the same circuit, see each other regularly, drink beers afterwards, but once they get close to race time, things get very serious." Oh, the '80s.

Coghlan would set the world record back in '83, but it wouldn't stand the test of time. Fourteen years later, the record would be broken by none other than the King of the Mile, Hicham El Guerrouj with his 3:48.45 finish in Ghent, Belgium back in '97.

The double Olympic gold medalist actually ran the indoor mile world record 10 days after setting the indoor 1500m world record... while fasting during Ramadan.

Rupp will probably have eaten beforehand, but does he have the speed to join these three fabled milers in their exclusive club? If he sticks to his plan, doesn't fall apart in the last two laps, and can replicate his reported workouts in a race, then the American record will be in serious jeopardy.

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