American Galen Rupp feeling fit for Marathon

Aram Boghosian for the globe

Galen Rupp spoke at Friday’s Boston Marathon press conference at the Copley Plaza.

By Anthony Gulizia Globe Correspondent 

A period of rest and relaxation is the preferred method of recovery for a plantar fasciitis injury, not 10 miles of speed interval training and a grueling 22-mile run. But the latter is what Galen Rupp opted for, as he endured a challenging return from the injury in his left foot to emerge as a favorite in Monday’s 121st running of the Boston Marathon.

Rupp, who lives in Portland, Ore., won bronze in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro with a personal-best time of 2:10:05. He withdrew from the Houston Half Marathon in January, then aggravated the injury in the Prague Half Marathon April 1, when he finished 11th with a time of 1:01:59.


A cortisone injection has helped ease the pain, and Rupp, who will be running his first Boston, feels ready to challenge defending champion Lemi Berhanu Hayle of Ethiopia.

“Ideally you’re supposed to [rest], but we can’t really do that as elite athletes,” Rupp said Friday. “It’s been pretty up and down for a while training-wise, but I’ve been able to get through all the important stuff.

“It’s just been incredible how much [the injection] worked. I’ve been pain-free for a couple of weeks. I did some really good workouts to test it out. That was important to know it was good.

“ It’s such a weight lifted off my shoulders, and I don’t feel it every step. I’m just really looking forward to Monday.”

Hometown ties

Braintree’s Sean Quigley is also making his Boston debut — something he has been dreaming of since he attended the race as a child with his family. The 32-year-old attended Archbishop Williams and then La Salle University, where he established himself as an elite 10K competitor.


Quigley ran the Chicago Marathon in 2013, and set a personal best of 2:13:30 in Fukuoka. It has been a long wait for Quigley, who focuses on track racing, which often overlaps with Boston and has prohibited him from running in the past.

“This race is extra special for me,” said Quigley, who now lives in Lafayette, Colo. “Just an exciting time for me. It’s such a big event for the city and it’s exciting to finally be here. It’s going to be awesome.

“Hopefully I don’t get too distracted when I hear voices or try to pick out a face.”

First crack at it

Liz Costello grew up in Strafford, Pa., but she considers Boston her adopted home after moving to Brighton in 2014. She runs portions of the marathon course regularly and will make her debut Monday.

Costello, an established track competitor who finished sixth in the 2016 Olympic Trials in the 10,000, has never run a marathon. She was hoping to make her debut in the New York City Marathon last fall but was sidelined by a sacral stress fracture.

Now she is ready to compete in the elite women’s field, which is led by defending champion Atsede Baysa of Ethiopia.

“Racing 26 miles was not something I conceptualized,” Costello said. “I certainly can’t claim to know how it feels, but I have a better idea than what it looked like 16 weeks ago.

“My mileage is already relatively high as a 10K runner off the track. I nudged the mileage a little bit for a couple weeks. It’s just been a learning process.”

After the marathon, Costello is committed to returning to the track, with her sights on the 2020 Olympics.

Scare for McFadden

Monday will mark two weeks since wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden had her third surgery in three months to remedy a blood clot issue that jeopardized her life, let alone her racing career. The blood clots were discovered earlier this year and forced McFadden to withdraw from the Tokyo Marathon in February.

“If I were to travel to Japan for the Tokyo Marathon, I probably wouldn’t’ve made it back,” McFadden said.

Three procedures later, she is ready to tackle Boston, a race she has dominated for the last four years.

“It’s definitely going to take a little more heart and soul into this race,” McFadden said. “It’s already been such a journey. This year it’s about me first, and I’ve definitely been through a lot already, and to be here is a miracle in itself.

“It’s something I’ve been dealing with all year, but I would not miss Boston. I definitely wanted to get myself here.

“Monday I’ll see where I am with myself and create goals within this year. Can’t be upset if I don’t win. I’d be very pleased if I’m in the top three, and that would be a miracle. Just need to take it mile by mile.”

Memorable times

Meb Keflezighi is capping his last year of marathon racing with his fifth Boston appearance. The 41-year-old runner has a passion for the city after winning the race in 2014, adding to a victory in the New York City Marathon in 2009 and an Olympic silver medal in 2004. He has run Chicago once and New York 10 times, but Boston’s hilly, challenging course is his favorite. “I love Boston,” he said. “Boston is the easiest course you can remember but the hardest to win. Ask me to go back and run Chicago I ran once and I couldn’t. Ask me to go to New York, I’ve run the New York City Marathon [10] times and wouldn’t know where it goes. Here, I can tell you exactly where.” . . . Members of the John Hancock elite team participated in a shoe drive to benefit the St. Francis House. It is estimated that more than 2,000 pairs of shoes will be collected . . . This is the 60th anniversary of John J. Kelley’s victory in 1957 — the only time a BAA member has won.