Q&A: Galen Rupp On Dropping Out Of Boston; Optimistic For Prague Marathon

By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2018 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

(04-May) -- Two-time Olympic medalist Galen Rupp of the United States will run Sunday's Volkswagen Prague Marathon 20 days after dropping out of the Boston Marathon suffering from asthma and hypothermia.  This will be Rupp's sixth marathon start since his debut at the 2016 USA Olympic Trials in Los Angeles where he won in 2:11:13 in hot and sunny conditions.  Since then he's placed third at the 2016 Rio Olympic Marathon (2:10:05), second at the 2017 Boston Marathon (2:09:58), and first at the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon (2:09:20).  He spoke to Race Results Weekly by telephone from Prague.

Race Results Weekly: Let's briefly go back to your race in Boston.  What happened there?

Galen Rupp: Like I said, it was problems with my asthma.  Obviously, I was a little hypothermic, too; everybody was dealing with that.  The weather was really, like...  It was just a rough day for me.  I was disappointed, but I'm real thankful I have an opportunity to run here, especially just given all the hard work and lot of training I had done.  You put so much into any marathon, months of a lot of sacrifice and hard work.  So, it was definitely real disappointing to kind of, like, seem to go to waste, to have the race that I did at Boston.  I'm real happy, thankful and excited to have the opportunity here, to get another chance to run and see how all that training I did kind of translates into a race.

RRW: Where did you actually get off the course in Boston (his last official split was taken at 30 km/18.6 miles when he was in ninth position)?

GR: I don't even know.  It was around the 19-mile mark.

RRW: Is that farther than you thought you were even going to get that day given the conditions and your asthma?

GR: I was expecting to finish.  The weather, obviously, is not something you can control.  Everybody had to deal with it.  So, I actually was looking forward to it.  I felt like I've always done a good job of running in tough conditions before and in other marathons I've done, and thrived from that.  My body just couldn't take it there in Boston.  I was disappointed but never went into it thinking, worrying about finishing, or worrying about how far I was going to make it.  I tried to hang in there, stay relaxed and stay positive.  You know, when you're in a situation like that, that's what I tried to do.  Unfortunately, I just couldn't make it to the finish line.

RRW: Turning around from one marathon that went badly to reboot for another just a short time later is as much a mental challenge as a physical one.  How did you get into the right mindset to race again?

GR: You give yourself a couple of days to get over that disappointment and frustration.  Obviously, it's normal to feel that way because so much goes into preparing for a race.  When it doesn't go well, and you have some freak thing like that happen, it's certainly disappointing and frustrating.  But, you can't dwell on it.  You know, I was ready to get back to work as soon as I got back.  The good thing about it is that it was really no different than doing a hard long run in training.  That's the way that I looked at it.  I was going to be certainly tired, but it was more mental than physical.  I think getting back home to Portland right after Boston, I just had to make sure that my mind was right.  Physically, I was not worried about recovery at all.  Three weeks is plenty of time to get back.  I actually got some good training in.  So, I kind of looked at it as doing a hard long run.  I actually thought back to the Olympics as well where I ran a 10-K (Rupp ran the 10,000m on August 13 and placed fifth before running the marathon on August 21 and placing third).  That was definitely disappointing, too, from what I had hoped for.  I had to come back eight days later and run a marathon then, so this is even a longer turnaround.  It (Boston) wasn't even as taxing physically as what I did there.  I'm certainly feeling I'm ready to come back ready to go for this race.

RRW: When did you make the decision that you wanted to do Prague?

GR: I can't remember when the announcement was made that we were going there.  I think it was probably around last Friday.  I'm just glad it worked out.  I'm certainly fortunate, and feel lucky that I kind of get a second chance at it.

RRW: You've only run in championships, and championships-style, marathons so far and never in a paced race.  Are you excited about the chance to go for a fast time in a paced race?

GR: I'm real excited about the opportunity to get into a paced race.  I love championships-style racing.  It's really important just looking at the perspective from the Olympics.  It's important that you learn how to run in those types of situations because you're not going to get pacers at an Olympic Games, Olympic Trials or anything like that.  But, at the same time, I've certainly always wanted to get into a faster race and a paced race.  This is shaping up really well.  The weather is supposed to be pretty good on Sunday (about 16C/61F at race time).  That's something else that's kind of been something with marathons I've run.  It's been less-than-ideal weather conditions which, again, you can't control.  But, if you're really trying to run fast you kind of need the weather to cooperate.  It plays such a big part in the distance.  I think this is really working out nicely for a great race, between the course, the weather, and the competition, too.  You've got some guys who've run really fast, so I'm certainly hoping to lower my personal best (currently 2:09:20).  I feel like I'm in good shape to do it.

RRW: The American record for the marathon is 2:05:38 by Khalid Khannouchi from London back in 2002.  Do you have that record on your mind?

GR: I'll probably just see how the race plays out, this one.  I think that given that I'm coming out of a rough race in Boston that I don't want to put too much emphasis on any certain time.  But, I'd certainly like to lower my personal best by a good amount.  Again, I think I'm in really good shape to do that.

RRW: You're America's most accomplished 10,000m runner (USA record of 26:44.36 and a record eight national titles).  Now that you're a marathon runner, are you completely done with the track?  Will you put in a track season this summer or even next year?

GR: You know, I always love running on the track.  I never want to say, like, I'm done.  I'm sure I'll run another track race, at least another one.  It's kind of a long ways away, but I think that it's still important to keep some of that track speed.  Obviously, I don't need all of it now that I'm focusing on the marathon.  But, I certainly think that I'll run some more track races in the future just kind of as a matter of how it fits in with relation to my training, and what marathon I'm getting ready for.  I do think it's important, again, to keep that speed. I think it really helps in a marathon being able to relax at a marathon pace.  So, I'm sure I'll run another track race.  I really haven't given it too much thought at this point, but I definitely wouldn't say that I'm done on the track.

Yulimar Rojas Sets Indoor Triple Jump World Record In Madrid

Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas set the women’s indoor triple jump world record on Friday in Madrid with a 15.43m leap. With it, the 24-year-old eclipsed Tatyana Lebedeva’s 15.36m mark that had stood since 2004.

Ababel Yeshaneh, Not Brigid Kosgei, Sets Half Marathon World Record

What was expected to be a coronation of marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei as the half marathon queen instead turned into an introduction of a worthy counterpart as Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh stunned the Kenyan on Friday morning (Thursday night in the U.S.) at the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon by setting a 64:31 world record.

The 10 Best Performances From The Weekend

Between more Mondo Duplantis' theatrics in Glasgow, a ridiculous road 5k world record in Monaco and plenty of excitement stateside, there was a lot to get excited about this past weekend in track and field.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Don't Look Now... The NAU Lumberjacks Could Win NCAA Indoors

With just two weeks left to qualify for NCAAs a majority of the top-16 fields are coming into form on the distance side. The NAU men are currently slated to qualify ten entries across three distance events.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Joshua Cheptegei Smashes Road 5k World Record In 12:51

A little over a month after Rhonex Kipruto took down Joshua Cheptegei’s road 10k world record, the Ugandan has answered back in a big way by running 12:51 on Sunday in Monaco to smash Kipruto’s 5k world record. Cheptegei cut a whopping 27 seconds off the 13:18 that the Kenyan ran on Jan. 12, a run that came en route to Kipruto’s 26:24 10k record.

Mondo Does It Again, Breaks Pole Vault World Record

null

Mondo Duplantis is ushering in a new era of the pole vault, one centimeter at a time. Just a week removed from his world record clearance of 6.17m, the 20-year-old vaulted 6.18m at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow.

U.S. Indoor Women's Preview: Can Purrier Chase Down Houlihan?

The most interesting match-up of the indoor season materialized quickly. Last Saturday evening at the Millrose Games, Elinor Purrier dropped a stunning 4:16.85 mile to break the American record and dispatch a stacked field in a race that turned into a festival of personal bests and national records. It was a career-defining race for Purrier. A run fast enough to legitimately raise the question if she could beat America’s best mid-distance runner, Shelby Houlihan. This weekend at the US Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, Purrier will have two chances (the 3000m on Friday and the 1500m on Saturday) to pull it off. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

2020 High School Track & Field State Championships Central

2020 High School Indoor Track & Field State Championships:

Weekend Watch Guide: Simpson, Jones Chase Fast 5k At BU

One of the busiest weekends of the 2020 indoor track season is upon us, and FloTrack has you covered with several live events across the country. Boston will once again host some of the top professional and collegiate distance runners in the U.S., including Jenny Simpson, Dani Jones and Tyler Day.

U.S. Indoor Men's Preview: Coleman Debuts, Engels Battles Thompson, Murphy

The stakes for the 2020 USATF Indoor Championships were dramatically reduced in the wake of World Indoors being postponed due to the coronavirus. But prize money and bragging rights are incentive enough for the world’s fastest man and several top domestic distance runners this weekend in Albuquerque.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In