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America’s Best Distance Runner Galen Rupp is misunderstood by many other runners

Writing for Outside, Martin Fritz Huber ponders the lack of warmth some in the running community feel for two-time Olympic medalist Galen Rupp. Here is Huber's piece, which begins this way: "He's the best American runner in generation. Too bad nobody likes him." I have trouble right away with the premise because, ahem, I like him. Huber suggests Rupp's relative lack of popularity within the running community stems from media inaccessibility, a deficit of charisma and for being part of the Nike Oregon Project, which some believe pushes the boundaries of the rules.  The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, for instance, has had the Oregon Project and coach Alberto Salazar under investigation for at least three years without uncovering enough evidence to make a case. Huber cites a LetsRun.com piece which consulted six experts, including Kara Goucher, Danny Mackey, Steve Magness and three coaches who chose not to be identified, about several topics leading into the Boston Marathon. Only one was quoted as being willing to root for Rupp in the race. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, asking Goucher, Mackey and Magness whether they would root for Rupp or the Oregon Project is like asking three Fenway Park season ticket-holders if they will root for the Yankees. I don't have trouble getting interviews with Rupp, perhaps because I haven't jumped to conclusions about the circumstantial and anecdotal allegations made against him and Salazar.  I find Rupp, who starred at Central Catholic and the University of Oregon, to be very smart, very focused, very competitive, very religious, a little shy, and not all that interested in seeing his name in headlines.  And, let's face it, he and Salazar have been used as punching bags, both in the British tabloid press and on the LetsRun message boards, where anybody with an uninformed opinion and/or an axe to grind can hide behind a pseudonym and bash away. Rupp can be warm when he doesn't feel threatened, and remains exceedingly popular at Hayward Field, where he starred as a Duck and has run regularly since turning pro. (Editor note: the stories we post here about Galen are the most popular.)  (05/19/2018) ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe/ Oregon Live
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