There I was, camped out on the far side of the first curve, waiting to watch Rupp run. It was bad enough that I was just using my iPhone to capture it all but then one of the Flotrack camera guys had to come over and stand next to me. I felt even more ridiculous when I was side by side with the guy holding the legit camera.
We all know what happened in Rupp’s mile (3:50.92, 2nd fastest ever for an American) and the place was electric. There was a rumor going around that Rupp and Salazar were going to head next door immediately after the race to run a workout on a treadmill. Wouldn’t it be incredible to be able to check that out? Yeah, treadmills suck, but it’s not every day you get to be around an Olympic medalist as they do something like this.
Surprisingly, Salazar and Rupp lingered in the infield for a bit and were very approachable. I waited for my chance and asked Salazar if I could “quietly observe” the workout. He said yes without hesitation, and it was on! It was going to be a Flotrack feature, so I didn’t want to step on anybody’s toes or get in the way. Alberto instructed me to follow them when they left, and the adventure began.
It was cool to watch Galen get caught up in a mini-mob on the way over. While filming that, I got separated from Salazar and wasn’t sure where to go. One of their group stopped me at the door and gave me the ‘of course he did’ look when I told him that Alberto said it was okay. After a bit of hesitation, I walked in anyway and it was fine after that.
Watching Rupp and his teammate Dorian Ulrey do their thing was quite impressive. It was a 5 mile tempo that started at about 4:50 pace went down into the 4:40′s. Afterwards they did some sprints on the treadmill, the whole time Alberto was roaming and checking in on them. They made it look absolutely effortless. They could’ve been doing 8 minute miles for all I knew.
I had no idea what to do with myself. I didn’t want to get in the way of Flotrack’s project (and also didn’t want to be that guy in the background of every shot). On top of that, I never dreamed of having this access to Rupp and Salazar at this meet so I wasn’t exactly prepared for that. For a spur of the moment thing, I think it came out alright.
To see Flotrack’s piece (if you haven’t already) check it out here. Finally, I just wanted a pic with Rupp. Galen was alone for a brief second and I asked. He was cool with it and as soon as I handed my camera to the woman next to us, it all went wrong. Squires and Salazar came over and they wanted a group shot with Rupp, but didn’t know the woman was holding my camera. I stood off to the side for a second thinking I didn’t want to barge in on their photo. Then I thought ‘they’re using my camera, screw it, I’m jumping in anyway’. That’s how I worked my way into this pic with a couple of legends: