Galen Rupp made a name for himself at the 2012 Olympic Games when he won a silver medal in the 10,000-meter track event. In doing so, Rupp became the first American man to win a medal in the 10K since 1964.
Now, Rupp is back to do it again, and this time he’s added an even longer event to his running program — the marathon — while he’s dropped the shorter 5,000-meter event. (Rupp finished seventh in the 5K at the 2012 Olympics.)
Below, you can get to know the premier American distance runner with these five fast facts.
1. Rupp is not concerned about doubling in such long distance running events.
The 10,000-meter and the marathon are the two longest running races at the Olympic Games, but Rupp isn’t at all worried about running both of the long events. That’s due, in part, to the long recovery time he has between the races, he told Oregon Live.
“A week is a ton of time to recover from a 10,000. Doubling isn’t new to me. I’ve run a 10,000 and had to come back two or three days later and run a 5,000 really hard. Having a week now instead of two or three days is actually going to be really nice.”
The 10K will be held on Saturday evening, while the marathon is the final event of the 2016 summer Olympic Games, held on Aug. 21 in Rio.
2. Rupp will be the first American man to attempt the 10,000-marathon double in 12 years.
Running both the 10K and the marathon isn’t unheard of, though many experts admit that it’s a difficult task. For example, in order to find the finishing speed he needs on a 10K, Rupp had to cut his training miles down from 140 miles per week, his coach told Oregon Live.
“If he didn’t pick up his speed, he would get killed at the end of the 10k. It’s hard to do that speed work when you’re running 140 miles a week.”
The last American to try to run both events was Dan Browne in 2004. Browne finished 12th in the 10K and 65th in the marathon.
Rupp aims to win medals in 10K and marathon. His tall task begins tonight on the track. Read his incredible story: https://t.co/hmPEhkpW3s
— Alex Folk (@AlexFolk) August 13, 2016
Frank Shorter had more success in 1972, when he ran the 10K and then won the Olympic marathon gold medal. Renowned running coach Jack Daniels talked about Shorter’s double — the same double Rupp is planning on running — with USA Today.
“You may remember that Frank Shorter ran the 10K in 1972 Munich Olympics, then a week later won the gold medal in the marathon, so it seems it is not an impossible feat. Actually, a pretty demanding training run a week before a marathon is a pretty good approach, and all the other days leading up are just easy runs and good sleep and nutrition. It also depends on which event the runner feels best ready for.”
3. Rupp pulls double duty at home, too.
Since the 2012 Olympic Games, Rupp and his wife, Keara, welcomed a pair of twins to their family. Grayson and Emmie were born in July of 2014. The twins each weighed in at more than six pounds when they were born. Keara also was a distance runner at the University of Oregon.
Galen Rupp’s daunting quest: Medals in 10K and marathon. https://t.co/4c2fc6oXDL
— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) August 13, 2016
4. Rupp and the Nike Oregon Project have been involved in an investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Some of the methods used within training at the Nike Orgeon Project have come under fire, and Rupp has frequently been named as someone who allegedly uses controversial methods. Nevertheless, Rupp has never tested positive for any type of performance-enhancing drug, and an in-depth investigation hasn’t uncovered any offenses by Rupp or his Nike Oregon Project teammates.
Galen Rupp tested 6 times in USADA’s Q4 2014 stats, 2x any other track and field athlete. Rupp had 21 for 2014, most across all sports.
— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) February 27, 2015
The investigation has been ongoing for several years, but the controversy doesn’t bother him, Rupp told Oregon Live.
“We know the truth. When you know the truth and you’re sure you haven’t done anything wrong, it’s really easy to sit back and not worry about that, just focus on your training.”
In speaking with USA Today in 2015, Rupp added “I believe in a clean sport and I think the truth will prevail.”
5. Rupp and fellow Olympian Matthew Centrowitz, Jr. are training partners and close friends.
It seems unlikely that a guy training for the marathon and a guy training for the 1,500-meters would work together, but that’s exactly what Rupp and 1,500-meter runner Matthew Centrowitz, Jr., do. Galen Rupp and Centrowitz were teammates at the University of Oregon, and the pair still train together under Alberto Salazar at the Nike Oregon Project.
Working with Centro helps him with his finishing speed, Rupp told Oregon Live.
“We have great chemistry going back to Oregon. We’re good friends, and it’s been great having someone that fast and so great doing speed stuff at the bottom end pulling me through workouts. It’s helped me find a lot of that speed I haven’t able to find on my own.”
Will you tune in to watch Galen Rupp run the 10,000-meter and the marathon events?
[Photo by Harry How/Getty Images Sport]