Galen Rupp's extraordinarily successful track season may have finally
reached a conclusion in Berlin Monday night when he ran a season best time
of 27:37.99 to take 8th place in the 10,000 meters at the World Track & Field Championships. It was Rupp's best finish in an international
championship meet, but he was only the number two American in the race, as
his new training partner, Dathan Ritzenhein, placed sixth in a personal
World record-holder Kenensia Bekele of Ethiopia remained unbeaten at
10,000 meters in winning his fourth straight World title in a championship
meet record time of 26:46.31. Bekele was challenged by Eiritrean runner
Zergenay Tadese, but he pulled away easily over the last lap to win.
This was the 23-year-old Rupp's third appearance in a world championship
meet in the past three years. In 2007 he took 11th in the World
Championships in Osaka. Last year in Beijing, Rupp was the top non-African
runner in the Olympic 10,000 meter race, finishing 13th while setting his
personal best time of 27:33.48.
Ritzenhein and Rupp were the top two
non-African runners out of the 31 competitors in the Berlin race.
The race, which is a little over six miles in length, began with a
relatively slow pace and a closely- bunched pack of runners for the first
two miles. The pace quickened considerably as the pacesetters began
running 63-second laps in the middle third of the race, which eventually
cut the lead group of runners to just four. Rupp and Ritzenhein remained
in contact with the leaders through about four miles, running around 10th
place through much of the race. Ritzenhein passed Rupp with 7 laps to go
and closed strongly, passing several runners late in the race.
On the next to last lap, Rupp appeared to stumble and briefly step inside
the track, but managed to regain his normal stride. However, after
crossing the finish line, he was immediately taken off the track for
medical attention. Though he appeared very briefly in the media room, he
left without comment and no information was available on any injury or
problem that he might have suffered during the race.
Rupp's amazing 2009 season - perhaps the best ever for a collegiate
distance runner - started with his first individual NCAA Cross Country
Championship in November, and continued through a stellar senior track
season in which he garnered four NCAA individual track titles - two indoor
and two outdoor - for the University of Oregon. In June he also added his
first U.S. Outdoor title in the 10,000 meters.
However, he reportedly suffered a hip problem, described as minor,
following the U.S. championship meet in June, and he has run a high number
of races through the collegiate indoor and outdoor season.
Rupp said before the race that his major goal at this meet was to "keep
improving" and to be competitive with the best distance runners in the