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Rupp takes half marathon showdown victory in 1:00:22; Suguru Osako is second in 1:01:15 - Dorena, OR—Galen Rupp wanted nothing more than a chance to race. On a crisp fall morning in the rural Oregon town of Dorena, he got just that.

He also wanted a chance at a record and while the half-marathon record didn’t fall – the 10 miles Rupp covered in route to 13.1 was fast enough to break the 10-mile American Record in 45 minutes, 53.1 seconds. The previous record was 46:13, set by Greg Meyer in Washington, D.C. in 1983.

Rupp went on to complete the half-marathon in 1:00:22. Suguru Osako, Japan’s top marathoner who trains in Portland, finished second in 1:01:15. Pat Tiernan of OTC Elite paced the runners through nine kilometers and finished the race in 1:06:42, narrowly missing the Australian 15K record of 43:13.

“It’s been a challenging year and I was just thankful to have this opportunity to race,” Rupp said. “I just wanted to get a race in. I was happy to break the 10-mile record, but my expectation was just to race.

“It sounds silly, but just to travel somewhere was a big deal,” said Rupp, who lives with his family in Portland. “I haven’t left my house since the Olympic Trials. I haven’t run with anyone since the Trials, and I just wanted to run with people. I’m so happy to have a race under my belt.”

The USATF-certified race was organized and operated by the Eugene Marathon staff and followed all COVID-19 guidelines. The 10-mile record will now go through the ratification process.

Osako—who trains with Pete Julian’s group in Portland—lowered his own Japanese marathon record of 2:05:29 at the Tokyo Marathon on March 1 of this year and was hoping to gain the same accolades at the half-marathon distance but fell just shy of the 1:00:00 mark.

“My expectation was to get the National Record,” Osako said. “But it was good training for me. I really appreciate everyone who gave me the opportunity to race today.”

Next up for Osako will be the Japan National Championships—10,000 meters on December 4 in Osaka.

After a bit of early pacing from Craig Engels, Tiernan assumed lead pacing duties and pulled Rupp through nine kilometers. The Australian native, who recently relocated to Eugene to train with Oregon Track Club Elite, fell just two seconds shy of the Australian record at 15k, clocking 43:15.5.

“I wanted to help Galen and Suguru as much as I could for as long as I could,” Tiernan said. “I haven’t raced since December of last year. I was planning to open up in March, so this was my first hit out since December. I clocked a good 15k split and then cruised in.”

The course was a flat out-and-back route along the Row River Trail, a paved bike path that skirts the northside of Dorena Lake and then weaves through the tiny town of Dorena. Splits at 15K, 10-miles and 20K—in addition to the full 13.1-mile route—went through the USATF certification process and are record eligible.

“It’s a true pleasure to provide a racing opportunity for these athletes and also for fans of the sport,” Eugene Marathon Race Director Ian Dobson said. “We’ve all missed races in 2020. Our own race—the Eugene Marathon—was cancelled this year due to COVID just like most others around the world. We can’t wait for the day we can host big races again, but until then we hope these pop-up events can provide a little inspiration and hope for both athletes and fans.”

 ABOUT EUGENE MARATHON

Established in 2007, the Eugene Marathon takes place the final weekend in April and features a marathon, half-marathon, 5-kilometer race and 1-kilometer kids run. Runner’s World magazine named it a “Best of the Best” race four times and also recognized it as one of the 10 Greenest Races in North America. The event is committed to sustainability and has been twice awarded Gold Level Certification by the Council for Responsible Sport. The Eugene Marathon is an LLC that not only brings an annual estimated economic impact of over $1.5 million to the local region but also works as a vehicle for philanthropic giving and fundraising for charities and youth groups–raising over $50,000 annually. Visit eugenemarathon.com for more information about the 2021 event.

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