I button-holed old friend Alberto Salazar to discuss last weekend’s 3:50.92 indoor mile PR by Galen Rupp at the B.U. Terrier Classic across town. Salazar has coached Rupp since his high school days in Oregon, and lead him and training partner Mo Farah of Great Britain to the gold and silver medals at last summer’s London Olympic 10,000 meters. Of course, Alberto grew up in nearby Wayland, Mass. where he began his own legendary running career. Tonight, Al and a bunch of his old Greater Boston Track Club mates will meet up with their old coach Bill Squires for a laugh-filled dinner in the Back Bay.
Rupp’s 3:50.92 solo mile at B.U. was the fifth-fastest indoor mile in history and # 2 on the all-time U.S. list. His coach was pleased, it’s what he expected, but wasn’t overly impressed.
“He ran 3:334.7 last year for 1500 meters,” said Al. “That’s equivalent to a 3:51.7 mile. So he’s just a little faster now. It’s a natural progression as he gets older, not like a WOW! all of a sudden sort of thing. He’s gotten faster at all distances from the mile to 10,000 meters.”
The Salazar-Rupp connection began when Al saw Galen play soccer on the same team as one of his sons in junior high. That led to a long-term relationship similar to the foundation of the old British club system where an athlete is coached by one man his whole career. But even now with success at the highest levels, Galen has only whetted his appetite for more. Continue reading