It is quite amazing, with two months left in the year, to ponder how many records have fallen in 2020.
When lockdowns were enacted and events were cancelled in March, you wouldn't have been blamed for writing off 2020 as a lost year. How would athletes train? Where would they race? Who would pay for it all? These were genuine questions that no one could definitively answer at the time.
Instead, it has been the opposite. With no Olympics and few major races on the calendar, athletes have hunted records like never before, and they have tumbled in droves. The American record in the women's 5,000 tumbled, followed swiftly by world records in the men's and women's 5,000 and men's 10,000. Jessica Hull and Stewart McSweyn seem to have rewritten half of the Australian record book by themselves.
This summer (and fall) have proven that, with no championships to peak for and remarkable new shoe technology, athletes can run incredibly fast, despite the presence of a global pandemic.
With that in mind, it's possible that, by the time you read this, we will have a new American record in the men's half marathon.
We don't know how fit Galen Rupp is right now, but we know his talent. And we know he's racing a half marathon today in Oregon (sadly, it won't be streamed) against former NOP teammate Suguru Osako. Rupp hasn't raced since the Olympic Marathon Trials in February, but the very fact that he has deemed himself fit enough to put in a hard effort means Ryan Hall's 59:43 American record -- untouched for 13 years -- is in jeopardy.
Unlike Rupp's previous half marathons, this is not a tuneup or rustbuster. There is no race to peak for beyond this. This is it. Put that version of Rupp in Alphaflys and it would be somewhat surprising if Rupp didn't break 59:43.
He's not the only one racing today. There are NCAA conference meets in North Carolina (ACCs), Louisiana (SECs), and Kansas (Big 12s). November and December aren't usually big seasons for racing even in a non-pandemic year, so enjoy the feeling of races and results while it lasts.