Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp will run the Olympic Trials Marathon and make his debut over 26.2 miles on Feb. 14 in Los Angeles, USA Track and Field announced.
“I'm really happy and excited to announce that I'll be running the Olympic Trials coming up in February – the marathon,” Rupp told USATF.
The 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles will take the top three men and three women finishers to represent the United States at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Rupp won the Foot Traffic Holiday Half Marathon in Portland, Ore. in 61:20 on Dec. 13 to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials. He holds a personal best of 60:60 from the 2011 NYC Half-Marathon.
Rupp, 29, won a silver medal in the 10,000-meter run at the 2012 Olympics in London behind training partner Mo Farah.
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.
Rupp intends to double at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro but will decide whether to run the 5,000-meters or marathon as a second event if he is faced with that option. 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.
“I would say the 10K is definitely my primary focus,” Rupp said. “I'll be running that later in the spring. Really it comes down to what I think I have a better chance in as a second event whether it's the 5K or marathon. Obviously, you have to run the trials to qualify and I'll do that for the marathon.”
Meb Keflezighi, 40, is the last American man to win a medal in the marathon at the Olympics with his silver medal at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens. Keflezighi finished fourth at the 2012 Olympics in London and also won the 2014 Boston Marathon. He may be considered a favorite for next month's race.
Diego Estrada, the 2015 U.S. half-marathon champion, holds the only qualifying time by a half-marathoner faster than Rupp with his 60:51 personal best. He also intends to make his debut in Los Angeles.
In addition to attempting to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team in the marathon, Rupp also hopes to make the national team for the IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships, which will be held in Portland from March 17 to 20.
“I'd definitely like to try and run World Indoors,” Rupp said. “Obviously that's going to be really tough coming back from a marathon. I've got around a month to recover from it. For it to be here in Portland, there's no way I'd miss that.”
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