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Rupp to run half marathon debut at NYC

NEW YORK – (March 2, 2011) – U.S. Olympian, two-time U.S. 10,000 meter champion and U.S. indoor 5000 meter record holder Galen Rupp is the latest addition to a galaxy of American stars at the NYC Half on Sunday, March 20, it was announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.


Rupp Half Marathon debut

Rupp Half Marathon debut

In his first 13.1-mile race ever and only his second professional road race, Rupp will join the previously announced powerhouse trio of U.S. Olympians Ryan Hall, Meb Keflezighi and Abdi Abdirahman, along with standouts Patrick Smyth and Jason Lehmkuhle. The women’s field features U.S. Olympian and World Championships bronze medalist Kara Goucher and USA Half-Marathon Championships runner-up Serena Burla.

“This is one of the most significant debuts the sport has seen,” said Wittenberg. “We have cheered Galen through high school and college, and now it is our turn to cheer for him on the streets of New York, and look forward to many more opportunities to come.”

Rupp, 24, of Portland, OR, earned back-to-back victories in the 10,000 meters in 2009 and 2010 at the USA Championships. He also set the American 5000m indoor record of 13:11.44 on February 19. Rupp is second on the all-time U.S. list for the 10,000 meters in 27:10.74. He competed in the 2008 Olympics in the 10,000 meters, where he finished 13th overall.

“I am excited to be able to participate in the NYC Half. With an emphasis on strength in my training this winter, I feel like this is a great time to try and tackle a longer distance,” said Rupp. “The half-marathon will allow me to challenge myself in new ways, both mentally and physically. I am thrilled for this opportunity, and couldn’t be happier that my first half-marathon will be in the streets of New York.”

Growing up in Portland, Rupp was first coached by Alberto Salazar during high school. This helped lead him to a strong NCAA career at the University of Oregon that included holding all five distance titles during the 2008-09 season: cross country, 3000 and 5000 meters indoors, and 5000 and 10,000 meters outdoors. He is the only athlete in NCAA history to achieve this feat.

“As Galen’s coach, the NYC Half appealed to me because Galen had done a tremendous amount of training with much higher mileage than normal to prepare for a 10K in Christchurch in February,” said Salazar. “Due to the tragic earthquake, that meet was cancelled. I believe that it will be in Galen’s interest to compete in a race out of his normal comfort zone against some of the best half-marathoners in the world. This experience and what he learns from it will make him better on the track this summer.”

This will mark Rupp’s first time racing professionally in New York City. In high school, he competed at the Armory, and while redshirting in 2008, he competed in the Millrose Games.

The NYC Half will again offer the largest half-marathon prize purse in the United States: $100,000. The men’s and women’s champions will each earn $20,000, the largest first-prize checks for a non-marathon race in the country. The race continues to attract leading professional athletes and recreational runners from around the world.

On a course designed to celebrate New York City, the NYC Half will take runners on a loop through Central Park, down Seventh Avenue through Times Square, across 42nd Street, and along the expansive West Side Highway to Battery Park in the heart of the city’s financial district, finishing with a view of the Statue of Liberty.

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