Alan Culpepper
Culpepper during the 2005 Boston Marathon
Personal information
Full nameAlan Lawrence Culpepper
Born (1972-09-15) September 15, 1972 (age 51)
Fort Worth, Texas
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight130 lb (59 kg)[1]
SportTrack, distance running
Event(s)5000 meters, 10,000 meters, marathon
College teamColorado
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)1500 meters: 3:38.64[2]
Mile: 3:55.12[2]
3000 meters: 7:47.30[2]
5000 meters: 13:25.75[2]
10,000 meters: 27:33.93[2]
Marathon: 2:09:41[2]

Alan Lawrence Culpepper (born September 15, 1972) is an American distance runner and two time United States Olympian (2000 & 2004). Along with competing on four World Championship teams, his accomplishments include finishing fourth in the Boston Marathon in 2005, winning the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon and finishing 12th at the 2004 Olympic marathon in Athens. His 2:09:41 at the 2002 Chicago Marathon tied him with Alberto Salazar for the fastest ever debut marathon by an American, and remains his fastest marathon. Culpepper has won three U.S. Cross Country titles and three track titles (two at 10,000 m and one at 5,000 m). His personal bests include 3:55.1 for the mile, 13:25 for 5k and 27:33 in the 10k.[citation needed]

Running career

High school and collegiate

Culpepper graduated in 1991 from Coronado HS in El Paso, Texas. In 1989 and 1990 he won five Texas state titles in cross country and track, but did not compete in his final season (1991).

He went on to attend the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, where he developed into a national-class runner. In 1996 he won the NCAA outdoor 5,000 m title and placed 10th at the Olympic Trials in that event; the following year he improved to 2nd at the USATF Nationals (behind Bob Kennedy) and represented the USA at the 1997 World Championships.[1]


Following graduation from Colorado, Culpepper continued to live and train near Boulder. In 1999 he won his first open national title, the USA Cross Country Championships. That spring he also won the 10,000 m at the USATF Outdoor Championships and ran that event at the 1999 World Championships. In 2000, he took second in the 10,000 m at the U.S. Olympic Trials, overtaking champion Mebrahtom Keflezighi in the final lap but not quite managing to pass him by the finish line.[1]

Culpepper represented the U.S. at 10,000 m at the 2001 World Championships as well. He won another U.S. track championship in 2002 when he took the 5,000 m title. That fall, in his debut marathon in Chicago, he ran 2:09:41. In 2003, he won the U.S. 10,000 m title.[1]

After taking 2003 off from marathons, Culpepper ran his second at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Birmingham, Alabama. Renewing his long-time rivalry with Keflezighi, Culpepper bested "Meb" in 2:11:42, with the lead changing several times in the final miles. Culpepper then placed 12th at the Athens Olympic Marathon, which would have been the best performance by an American marathoner in several Olympics had Keflezighi not won the silver medal.[1]

In 2005, Culpepper ran a 13:25.75 personal best in the 5,000 meter run at the 2005 Norwich Union British Grand Prix in London, England. He ran 2:11:02 to take fifth in the 2006 Boston Marathon.

At the 2007 US Cross-Country Championships, Culpepper won his third cross country title, finishing first in the 12,000 m with a time of 37:09. (This race is featured in the documentary, SHOWDOWN – Five Elite Distance Runners, One Dream.)[1]

Personal life

Culpepper married American distance runner Shayne Culpepper (formerly Shayne Wille), also a University of Colorado graduate, in 1997. They have four sons, Cruz (b. April 2002), Levi (b. June 2006), Rocco (b. May 2008), and Chase (b. Feb 2012). Shayne also represented the United States in the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Recent news

On February 10, 2007, Alan won the Open Men's 12K at the 2007 USA Cross Country Championships in Boulder, Colorado. He finished the race, held at Flatirons Golf Course, in a time of 37:09.[3] It was Culpepper's third USA Cross Country victory; he also won in 1999 and 2003.

On June 8, 2008 Culpepper won the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon in Denver, Colorado. He crossed the finish line with a time of 1:07:57.[4]

Alan assumed the head cross country coach position at Fairview High School (Boulder, Colorado) for the 2019 season.[5]

Alan assumed the head cross country coach position at Erie High School (Colorado) for the 2023 season[6]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing the  United States
2002 Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States 6th Marathon 2:09:41
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 12th Marathon 2:15:26


  1. ^ a b c d e f "USATF Bio: Alan Culpepper (2008)". USA Track and Field.
  2. ^ a b c d e f All-Athletics. "Profile of Alan CULPEPPER". Archived from the original on April 22, 2016. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  3. ^ "2007 USA Cross Country Championships, presented by Gleukos, Open Men's 12K Results by Place". Archived from the original on February 21, 2007. Retrieved February 11, 2007.
  4. ^ "Culpepper Wins Rocky Mtn. Half Marathon". KCNC-TV. June 8, 2008. Archived from the original on October 25, 2008. Retrieved May 1, 2009.
  5. ^ "Former Olympian Alan Culpepper takes over Fairview cross country program". CU Buff Zone. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  6. ^ Stanesa, Courtney (July 29, 2023). "Welcome Coach Culpepper to EHS XC". Erie High School. Retrieved August 9, 2023.