Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sign of the Cross - American Galen Rupp Takes Bronze in the Marathon

Oregonian Galen Rupp, 30

A few minutes ago, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya won the 2016 Olympic Men's Marathon in 2:08:44. Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia came in second in 2:09:54 and Galen Rupp of the United States was third in 2:10:05.

It was the first American medal in the Marathon since Meb Keflezighi's Silver at Athens in 2004. Rupp was the first American-born medalist since Joan Benoit in 1984 and Frank Shorter in 1976.

Rupp's coach at Nike's Oregon Project is Alberto Salazar. 

Unusually, the lead pack included 25-30 runners for the first half of the race. Then, mile by mile it dwindled as the better runners picked up the pace. Rupp was in the lead pack of 3 runners at 21 miles. Finally Kipchoge, the favorite, took off, followed by Lilesa and then Rupp. At the end of the race, it looked like Rupp might close on Lilesa for the Silver. Unfortunately, he ran out of track. 

In another amazing performance, American Jared Ward took 6th place.

Kipchoge and Rupp each made the sign of the cross at the finish line.

The third-member of the American team was Meb Keflezighi, now 41. He had problems at around the ten-mile mark and fell back, ending up in a still respectable 33rd place.

Incredibly, Keflezighi tripped and fell flat on his stomach only a few feet before the finish line. He raised himself on his forearms and for a moment it looked like he would crawl across the finish line. Instead, to the delight of the crowd, he did a pushup.

In his first post-race interview, the boyish Rupp said he was motivated by the movie, "Happy Gilmore."


  1. I am blown away that Rupp ran the 10k 8 days ago, finished 5th, and then did the marathon. That was the Happy Gilmore inspiration, btw, that he isn't a hockey player but a golfer. Rupp is a marathoner, not a track runner like he wants to be.

    1. Yeah. One of the marathon commentators mentioned that they had a special recovery regimen for him. Lasse Viren did it in 1976 (after winning Golds in the 5,000 meters AND 10,000 meters). While he set a PR in the marathon, he only finished 5th. I just checked 1968 in Mexico City. Mama Wolde of Ethiopia won Silver in the 10,000 and Gold in the Marathon. Not sure if any others have medaled in both but many have tried.

    2. I have run my best 5ks 6 days after my two marathons...

    3. Hmm. Interesting. That's great, but I wonder what explains it...

  2. Thank you for these Olympics commentary. Have enjoyed them immensely. You rock Oakes.

    1. Thanks, Sandpiper. I really appreciate that. As I said to Father, it's been really fun. And I'm glad you enjoyed them. When one is enthusiastic about something, one always wonders whether one's enthusiasm is rubbing off or whether one is simply being a bore. :)