Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp won Sunday's Foot Traffic Holiday Half Marathon in Portland, Ore. in 61:20 to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on. Feb. 13 in Los Angeles.
Rupp needed to run faster than 65:00 to qualify for the trials, which will choose the three men and three women that will represent the United States at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Rupp now faces the decision whether to compete in Los Angeles or race an indoor season and potentially compete at the IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships set for March in Portland.
Rupp holds a 60:30 personal best from his third place finish at the 2011 NYC Half-Marathon. The time is the fifth fastest in American history. He qualified but did not race at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and has never contested the 26.2 mile distance.
A marathon debut at the marathon trials would not be out of the ordinary as U.S. half-marathon champion Diego Estrada and former NCAA champion Sam Chelanga will contest the marathon for the first time in Los Angeles.
Rupp won a silver medal in the 10,000-meter run at the 2012 Olympics in London behind training partner Mo Farah. Sunday's race may have been just a training run in the build-up for the outdoor track campaign.
Rupp is coming off a year in which he finished fifth in both the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter run at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing. He has not won a medal at a global championship since London.
If Rupp were to run Los Angeles' marathon trials, make the Olympic team and then also make the national team at the Olympic track trials in July, a double in Rio de Janeiro may be a tall order. The men's 10,000-meter final is scheduled for Aug. 13 and the men's marathon takes place on the final day of the Olympics on Aug. 21. No American man has attempted the 10,000-meter and marathon double since Dan Browne in 2004, when he finished 12th and 65th in each event respectively.
The former Oregon Duck star was mentioned in a joint BBC and ProPublica report that alleged Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar pushed the boundaries on doping rules to gain a competitive advantage by encouraging the use of prescription medication and therapeutic use exemptions. Rupp has been coached by Salazar since he was a teenager and has never tested positive for any performance enhancing drugs. Salazar remains under investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Salazar and Rupp have denied all allegations.
- Christopher Chavez