In Just His 2nd Marathon, Galen Rupp Wins Olympic Bronze

U.S. Olympic distance runner Galen Rupp won the silver medal in the 10,000 meters in the 2012 London Olympics, and he also was in the 5000 meters in those games, finishing seventh.  Rupp qualified at the July Olympic trials for the 10,000 again for the Rio Games, but he decided last winter to try for a different second event.  So back in February Rupp decided to try to qualify for the marathon at the Olympic trials for that race back in February.

It may not be too much of a stretch to think that America’s top distance runner would have an interest in the marathon, or that he could qualify for it.  But while the 10,000 meters is quite a distance, the marathon is much longer at 42,195 meters. To top it off, Rupp had never run a marathon before.  So at the Olympic trials, in his very first marathon, Galen Rupp not only qualified, he won.

Okay, so he’s in, but he’s up against the best marathoners in the world, who’ve done this thing before.  He’s also got to recover from the 10,000, which he ran on August 13th. Most marathoners run the marathon only. Rupp finished fifth in the 10,000 this time. He had a little more than a week to get ready for the grueling marathon after running a pretty grueling 10,000.  The marathon traditionally is scheduled for the last day of the games, in this case, August 21st.

It would be an understatement to say that Rupp exceeded expectations of everyone, except perhaps, himself.  In just his second marathon ever, on the biggest track and field stage there is, Galen Rupp won the Bronze medal, finishing behind Kenya’s Elirud Kipchoge and Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa.

His medal was the 32nd won by the U.S. track team in the Rio Games, the most since 1984, when the team won 40.  At 30, Rupp could very well compete in the Tokyo Games in 2020. Another U.S. runner, 27 year old Jared Ward, placed sixth. The future of U.S. marathon running in the Olympics looks promising.

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