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04 November 2020, 3pm

Rupp and Osako duel in Oregon

Fast half marathon in Eugene

by Helmut Winter

The Eugene Marathon (Oregon, USA) organised a low-profile half marathon in a nature reserve 20km to the south of the city which featured a duel between Galen Rupp (USA) and the Japanese marathon record holder Suguru Osako. Details of the race were only announced shortly before the start.

On the flat but winding route on Culp Creek, the two former members of the scandal-ridden Oregon project run by the suspended coach Alberto Salazar started with national records in mind. Ryan Hall had run 59:47 in 2018 in Rome-Ostia and Yusuke Ogura before the shutdown due to the corona virus in February 2020 1:00:00 in Kanagawa Marugame. But after 5km they were already well behind schedule. Pacemaker Patrick Tiernan (AUS) took them through 10km in 28:53 but by 15km Osako had fallen behind.

Passing 10 miles in 45:53 Rupp was faster than Greg Meyer’s vintage US record of 46:13 set back in 1983. Rupp was now on course for a time of just over an hour, but could not hit a sub-hour tempo and finished with 1:00:22, missing his official PB of 1:01:20 in his 2015 half marathon debut in Portland in 2015 by two seconds .

Almost a minute behind, a visibly exhausted Osako finished with 1:01:15, also missing his PB by two seconds (1:01:13 in the 2017 Marugame half marathon).


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