Runners with Allergies

EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon native Galen Rupp won the 10,000-meter final Thursday at the USA Track & Field Championships. His time was 28 minutes, 38.17 seconds.

But what was that thing on his face?

“He is so allergic that coach Alberto Salazar scratched him from the 10,000 at the Prefontaine Classic earlier this month when pollen counts spiked,” reported Ken Goe for The Oregonian.

“They were high again on Thursday. … Rupp hung out at the Oregon coast, away from the pollen-heavy southern Willamette Valley, until Thursday. He stayed in his hotel room after arriving in Eugene. And when he stepped onto the on the track, he was wearing a black surgical mask.”

So what is a surgical mask or an allergy mask? Either way, show off your creativity and participate in our “Galen Rupp, masked man” caption contest. While you’re at it, view this photo essay from The Oregonian that features great shots from the USA Track & Field Championships.

Here’s more reaction to Rupp’s mask:

The Washington Post: Galen Rupp wins the  10,000-meter finals:

He looked like a bank robber. Or a hockey goalie, or Darth Vader. … The mask “helped,” Rupp said. “I know it looks silly. I get embarrassed wearing it to be honest with you. … But if it’s going to help me out … that’s the most important thing.” … Though the mask helps early, Rupp said, it becomes increasingly uncomfortable when it heats up and rubs against his nose, cheeks and chin. He said Salazar told him to throw it off when he couldn’t take it any longer.

The Register Guard details Rupp’s commitment to the mask:

As for Rupp, he drove to Eugene from the coast earlier today, then hung out in his hotel room. Whenever he did venture outside, he made sure he was wearing the black surgical mask. “Whenever I went into a store,” he joked. “It looked like I was going to rob them.”

The Statesman Journal: ‘Masked man’ Rupp wins 10,000 title again:

“It really just comes out of the allergies,” Rupp said. “I’m really allergic. They did a skin test, and I was 30 for 32 (in reactions to allergens). … It’s something I’ve always had, and I’m real fortunate to have great doctors who stay on top of it and do everything they can to make sure that I’m at my best. I’ve worn the mask before in warmups and never before really racing.”

7 Responses to Runners with Allergies

  1. Lisa says:

    Hi where can I get the abovementioned combination for hot weather here in the States? Do you have different sizes, and how do you choose?

    • Hi Lisa,
      We offer free shipping anywhere on the planet. You can order your products directly from our website and get free shipping anywhere in the world. We offer a fast, efficient, secure with next day despatch guaranteed whilst we have stock.
      It usually takes 7-10 days for delivery in the US.
      Please send me an email for Respro® products in the States and sizing info.

    • SIZING

      It is important that a mask fits correctly otherwise air will just pass through the gaps and not function how it is intended. Even if it has the best filter; if it is a poor fit it will reduce its ability to filter out the pollutants.

      If you do use our website service, we strongly recommend that you send in your details to confirm your sizing. We ask this so that we can ensure you have the correct size and that the mask will be of benefit to you or those who are using it. It is also important for any sizing issues that may arise so we are able to assess and resolve any problems.

      Our policy on returns:
      If we have advised you of the size for your mask and it is subsequently found to be an incorrect size, then we will exchange the mask.

      If you choose to make the decision on the size of the mask and purchase the wrong size, then we are not at liberty to exchange the mask as it is considered a personal item. Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations June 2014 if the item has been used or the seal broken then we are not liable to refund or exchange the item as this poses a contamination and subsequent product liability issue and therefore we are unable to resell the item.

      Please see the following link for sizing assistance and supply the following measurements so we can confirm your size:



      Neck size:

      Head size:

      Eye to chin length:

      (most people know their height)

      (most people know their weight)

      Neck Size:
      Using piece of cotton or string, measure the circumference around the neck. use a ruler to determine the length of string. This is the neck circumference. Easier still check your shirt size.

      Head size (AKA Hat Size):
      Using piece of cotton or string, measure the circumference around the head. use a ruler to determine the length of string. This is the head or hat size circumference.

      Eye to Chin:
      Take a piece of string and place it between the eyes on the top of the nose bridge, run the string over the tip of your nose and down to just under the chin. This is the eye to chin length. Please note the curved line and the point to point distance. If you are in doubt then a Passport image would also be useful.

  2. Karen Riedl says:

    thanks for the article. I am a four miler with bad allergies. I have run for about forty years and I just cannot quit. So I will look for one of these masks!

    • Respro UK Ltd says:

      Hi Karen!

      Some more info on SUMMER RUNNING:

      The best configuration for running in hot climate would be the Respro® Allergy mask (air permeable mask cover shell) with a set of Powa valves. It would combine comfort, breathability and submicron particulate filtration with the most efficient valves for evacuating heat, water vapour and Carbon Dioxide at elevated breathing rates.
      The stock filter (as fitted) is a Hepatype filter, perfect for sub-micron particulates. For filtering gases and vapors you would require the combination filter of the Chemical/Particle filter we supply separately. this would be charcoal layer laminated to the Hepatype particulate layer.

      You can buy our masks on our website

      Team Respro®

  3. Pingback: Distance running legend Craig Virgin: What is Galen Rupp taking that is giving him such amazing powers? | Twitchy

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