— USATF (@usatf) January 28, 2016
Galen Rupp, the 2012 Olympic silver medallist over 10,000m, announced on Thursday that he will be racing the marathon at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Feb. 13 in Los Angeles. Rupp has never raced a marathon.
“I’m really happy and excited to announce that I’ll be running the Olympic Trials coming up in February – the marathon,” said Rupp in his announcement video.
Many have speculated whether Rupp would contest the marathon after he qualified at a low-key half-marathon race in Oregon. That question was put to rest on Thursday afternoon.
The 29-year-old qualified for the marathon trials with a 1:01:20 win at the Foot Traffic Holiday Half-Marathon in Portland on Dec. 13, a race which oddly ended on the Adidas campus in north Portland. Rupp has been a Nike athlete for his entire professional career.
The marathon is on the final day of the Olympic Games in Rio (Aug. 21) with the 5,000m final happening the evening prior. The men’s 10,000m final is on Aug. 13, which would give Rupp more than one week of rest if he decides to attempt the 10,000m/marathon double.
“I would say the 10K is definitely my primary focus,” admitted Rupp.
No American has attempted the 10,000m/marathon double since Dan Brown in 2004, according to Sports Illustrated, finishing 12th and 65th, respectively.
The University of Oregon graduate also intends on competing at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in late March. He’s rumoured to be entered in the 3,000m at the House of Track high-performance meet this evening in Portland in aim of achieving a qualifying mark.
Rupp trains in Portland with the Nike Oregon Project alongside Canadian Cam Levins, the 10,000m national record holder. The group is coached by Alberto Salazar and also includes Mo Farah.