Olympic marathoner Galen Rupp may have missed the podium in the Tokyo Olympics but he's got another chance at a medal this year, setting his sights on winning another major race: the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Rupp, a former Chicago Marathon champion and bronze medalist in Rio, finished eighth during his Olympic appearance this summer, far outcompeting his fellow American teammates.
Tokyo marked Rupp's fourth Olympic appearance, but it also left him with little time between races, coming just weeks before he returns to Chicago for another shot at a marathon medal.
"Running in Chicago, it's about winning," he said. "You've got to learn to break people. Nobody's going to do that work for you, you know? You've got to learn how to pass people, when to push, when to back off and ultimately, you know, when to make that final long drive to the finish line."
Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Many Chicago Marathon fans will remember Galen Rupp's 2017 victory, when he became the first American to win the Chicago Marathon since Khalid Khannouchi.
"Winning in Chicago, I think taught me so much and gave me so much confidence because I was running against a great field and there was a lot of back and forth, you know, throughout the race and learning to be patient, pick your spots and then, you know, when it's time to go, be very decisive in that move," he said. "Those are all tremendous things that I took away from victory in Chicago in 2017 that I think are really going to serve me well."
Rupp's Chicago victory was followed by a rough journey back to the top as he suffered an injury and underwent Achilles tendon surgery in 2018. He later went on to win the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
"I ran in the Chicago Marathon in 2019, but you know, that didn't go great," he said. "I just don't think I was ready and I thought I was at the time but, you know, in the race my body just wasn't able to hold it up and I had to stop and drop out, you know, around mile 20. So there was a lot of nerves definitely headed into the trials, but since then it's been really good. I've definitely tried to take advantage of this extra time."
After Tokyo, Rupp will return to the Windy City race this weekend- making a clear statement that he is ready to return to racing in a big way.
If Rupp claims another victory in Chicago, he will be only the seventh man in Bank of America Chicago Marathon history to do so, according to race organizers.