As I drove home from work Thursday night, I could see my cell phone in its mount continuously lighting up. Uh oh, something big must be happening. Rupp was in town to make a run at the American indoor 5k record at BU. I was there last year when Rupp nearly broke the American mile record, and was pissed I was missing this attempt. Not only was able to witness a great race followed by an impressive workout in 2013, but I also had the chance to photobomb my own picture with a few legends (you read that right). None of that would be happening this time.
On the track tonight was Rupp, along with Sam Chelanga and Cam Levins. Cam was going for the Canadian national record. Not to be forgotten was Ruben Sança, who was looking to take down his own Cape Verdean national record. A couple of national records were at stake and the right ingredients were in place for it: a loud crowd, a fast track and people to run with.
For various reasons, none of the Level Brain Trust could be there but we have our ways of getting remote updates. Joe Navas was getting texts from Mike Merrill and relaying them to the rest of us. I was excited when I saw the news pop up but, being the safe driver that I am, I couldn’t even respond.
Sure, it’d be better to actually be there, but Joe sums it up nicely with his texts about being cheap and great journalism. It brings a special character to what we do. We’ll get by the best we can with what we have to work with, even if it is just off the cuff screen shots and rough video. It’s the underground, baby!
Joe and I are on Whirlaway along with both Ruben Sança and Nick Karwoski. I was happy when I saw their results, but also shocked. Their times were so fast that I had trouble processing them. I’m not trying to say that I had some special foresight and knew the times were off, not at all. It was more like ‘Holy shit my two Whirlaway teammates are running sub 13:45 indoors?! Are you kidding me? I need to step up my game!’
When the dust settled, Ruben did not lower his national record of 13:56. Instead he ran a still very fast 14:14.79. Right on his heels was Nick in 14:17.80. Wow. The grand prix series will be pretty competitive this year if these guys can keep that up! Too bad they had to calm the fervor a bit post race, but it’s not like anybody’s going to be disappointed in those times.
The results have since been updated, but it might take some time for everybody to see that the initial ones were not accurate.
Up front, Rupp, Chelanga and Levins were out in their own world. As has already been widely reported (and seen live by many of you), Levins ended up getting a new Canadian record of 13:19.16 and Rupp set a new high water mark for Americans with his 13:01.26. In the aftermath of Rupp’s new AR it’s easy to overlook the fact that Sam Chelanga also went well under Lopez Lomong’s old AR of 13:07. Chelanga ran a 13:04.35 and looked very strong the whole way.
Thanks again to Mike Giberti, we have video of the race available for all to see here: