After Area 10.000m record, more success for the Rupp / Farah / Salazar team

After Area 10.000m record, more success for the Rupp / Farah / Salazar team

Provided by IAAF

After Area 10,000m record, more success for the Rupp / Farah / Salazar team

Brussels, Belgium - The first person on the phone to congratulate Galen Rupp on his 10,000m Area record of 26:48.00s in the Brussels Samsung Diamond League meeting was – as you might have guessed – his training partner, Mo Farah.

“He called me right afterwards,” said Rupp, after indulging in some avid carbo-loading back at the team hotel (chips were heavily involved) following his landmark run.

“It meant a lot to hear from him. It shows the kind of person he is. He just said ‘Congratulations, I knew you were able to run that fast and I’m just glad you were able to do it. You deserve it – and next year’s going to be fun.’ We’re looking forward, and pushing each other. We both could not be more excited.”

On a night when Kenenisa Bekele shocked most observers by running the fastest 10,000m of the year – his 26:43.16 eclipsing the mark of 26:46.57 set by Farah in Eugene two months ago – Rupp took a huge step forward in career terms by knocking more than 22 seconds off his best of 27:10.74, which he set last year, to finish third.

“This was a very important race for Galen because we’ve known all along that he is capable of doing this,” his coach, Alberto Salazar said. “He’s had a little bit of bad luck in the last couple of years. In Daegu this year he had an adequate chance to show what he can do. When you run World Championships in hot weather you’ve got to deal with it.

“But even though Galen is not a big guy he’s still big compared to a Kenyan or an Ethiopian. It’s a disadvantage if you are a Caucasian running in the heat versus an African, you just have more body mass and it’s going to be harder.

“So we knew that in Daegu, Galen being 13 seconds back from Mo there, we know that he’s never that far back when they train together. It’s four or five seconds over 5k or 10k, so I believed his race in Daegu was a lot better than it looked on paper.

“Today we knew, and we’ve been speaking to our sports psychologist about this, we knew that it was a massive race for Galen. It’s been two years, and he’s improved a lot, but hasn’t quite got that big result that says he is one of the best in the world, one of the top five, six, seven…you know, a time that shows that.

“It wasn’t going to be the end of the world if he didn’t do it, but it was a case of ‘If you do it now, we can finally put that to rest.’

“Now he knows that he can run with anyone but he still has to work on his kick. But that will come with more strength.”

Rupp admitted he was surprised by Bekele’s performance, coming so soon after he had dropped out of the 10,000m final at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, his first race after a two-year break through injury.

“It’s definitely amazing to think of the way he was a couple of weeks ago in Daegu and how he was here,” Rupp said. “But then again, if anyone is going to be able to do something like that, it’s Bekele. He’s incredibly talented. Sometimes a couple of weeks can make all the difference in the world.

“There were much better conditions here than there were in Daegu, and I don’t think he would have entered here if he didn’t think he had a good chance of doing well.

“Next year is going to be very interesting as far as he and Mo are concerned. But I think it’s good for the sport.”

Rupp: ‘I wanted to focus on competing’

Rupp revealed that he had turned down a suggestion from Alberto Salazar, who coaches him and Farah in Portland, Oregon, that he get detailed information all the way round.

“The pacing was perfect here. I wanted to go out to halfway in around 13:30, so when the pace was 13:25 that was ideal for me. I knew I could stay a little back in the pack and go from there.

“Alberto asked me if I wanted someone on the infield to tell me my splits on each lap, but I told him ‘no’. I didn’t want to keep worrying about that.

“I wanted to focus on competing. There were so many good guys in that race, and they all wanted to run fast. I thought if I went out there and competed with the leaders, then the time would look after itself.”

Salazar  commented: “I was working on that and then Galen said ‘Do you know what? I’m just going to go in and race against these guys, and whatever happens, happens.’ That shows a level of maturity. It’s getting to the point where, his cautious coach, he doesn’t listen to him all the time! It’s like he doesn’t need to be babied. ‘If they can do it, I can do it.’”

Rupp himself had “a good feeling” about the Brussels race. “When I saw what Mo did in Eugene that gave me a lot of confidence,” he said. “Because I wasn’t ever that far behind him in anything. So when he ran that fast I knew I could really be pretty close to that time. I’m really happy to have done it.”

And the three-times US champion is happy to add how much he feels his working with the Briton who has now moved over permanently with his family has helped him.

“I think I definitely get the better end of that deal, no doubt about it.” Rupp said. “I get to train with the fastest guy in the world. We are doing workouts together and he is pushing it. He sometimes does something amazing, but I’m not too far behind. I take a lot of confidence from that. And it’s been a real learning experience to see how relaxed Mo is on a day-to-day basis, and how confident he is going into meets.”

Salazar has his own characteristically succinct take on the situation:  “I think that both of them have been remarkably good for each other. I don’t think that Mo wins a silver and gold medal this year without Galen to train with him. I don’t think Galen runs as well as he has this year without Mo to train with him.

“They really are perfect training partners, they share all the work equally, they take it in turns. And they are the best of friends.”

Rupp, meanwhile, is looking at 2012 with a new level of ambition.

“I try to look at each year and say ‘Am I getting better?’ And I think I can honestly say, through my whole career, I’ve gotten better. I keep chipping away at that gap, little by little. I’m not very far off now.

“This is the first year where I have ended on a real high. It’s great to be able to finish a season feeling strong having run a good time. Sometimes you need to go out and actually do something rather than talking about it.

“I just want to keep improving. I’m in the best situation possible. I’ve got the best coach in the world, and I’m training with the best distance runner in the world, and I couldn’t be happier with the way things are progressing.

“Obviously I would love to medal in London, to do well there. But you can’t get too caught up in results right now – it’s still just about getting better.”

Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF