Galen Rupp sets U.S. indoor 5000-meter record of 13:01.26


by News

Galen Rupp took nearly six seconds off the American indoor record for 5000 meters and scared the 13:00 barrier on Thursday night at Boston University, winning in 13:01.26 and indicating he could be ready for assaults on the U.S. mile and two-mile standards in the coming weeks. (Photo of Rupp after breaking record byKevin Morris Photography.)

Mary Cain, who like Rupp is an Oregon Project athlete coached by Alberto Salazar, failed in her attempt to break Jen Toomey’s 1000-meter U.S. record of 2:34.19, but her 2:39.25 at age 17 is a new world junior (under age 20) indoor record.

Rupp, who held the American indoor 5000 record in 2011 before Bernard Lagat busted it in 2012 and Lopez Lomong took it down to 13:07.00 last year, was behind the pace projected as necessary to regain the record until the final kilometer in Boston, and he covered the last 800 meters in 2:01.30, according tostatistics provided by Flotrack. He had a battle for victory on his hands, as Sam Chelanga, a Kenyan and winner of multiple NCAA cross country and track titles who now trains in New Hampshire, “ran tough today. He was right there until the very end,” Rupp told Flotrack. Chelanga took second in 13:04.35. Rupp’s Oregon Project teammate Cam Levins, in third place, set a Canadian indoor record of 13:19.16.

Rupp, the 2102 Olympic 10,000-meter silver medalist, had a sensational 2013 indoor season, including a 3:50.92 mile and an American record of 7:30.16 for 3000 meters. This one could be better. After Thursday’s race, he noted, “some of the workouts we’ve done the last couple of weeks have been like races. Alberto’s done a great job of preparing all of us for this.”

Rupp was quite content with his 13:01.26, observing that he “didn’t realize until the last 50” meters that he was so close to the 13:00 barrier. He is now the #8 performer of all-time for the indoor 5000-meter run; the athletes ahead of him are all Ethiopians and Kenyans.

Thursday’s result is a confidence booster for Rupp’s shot at the American two-mile record next weekend back at Boston University. It’s a mark he once held with a 8:09.72 in 2012, but Lagat surpassed it with a 8:09.49 last winter. Then there’s a mile for Rupp on he same track on February 8; Lagat’s 3:49.89 is the current American indoor best.

But for those who wonder if Rupp is just time trialing in pursuit of records much earlier than is customary in the calendar year, Salazar, in a Letsrun.cominterview, points out, “we like to set records, but at the same time the most important thing is competing. The most important thing this year is to make the U.S. World Championship team in Albuquerque [the USATF Indoor Championships] which will be tough and then to do well in the Worlds at Poland,” the IAAF World Indoor Championships is Sopot in March. “We’d rather not get any of these records and do well there.”

Cain, the Bronxville, New York high school student who is now a professional runner, had hopes of breaking that American indoor 1000-meter mark in Boston but a slower than desired early pace negated that possibility. “I’m a little bummed because it was supposed to be a faster pace,” Cain told Flotrack. But the feeling that she could have gone faster "gets me a little antsy for the mile, to really go for it” next weekend in Boston.

Still, the holder of a slew of U.S. high school and junior records was “super-duper pumped because I never had a world junior record before.” American Diane Richburg had that record, 2:40.1, for 32 years before Cain surpassed it on Thursday.


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