Dathan Ritzenhein secures the bronze medal at the IAAF/EDF Energy World Half Marathon Championships in Birmingham (Getty Images) © Copyright
“Four years after making my debut in New York City, I’m ready to come back and restart my marathon career with a new appreciation for the event,” said Ritzenhein. “I’m older, stronger, and less naïve, but I have even more desire to come back and try to win this amazing race. Winning the ING New York City Marathon will not be easy, but I know I have a chance to do something incredible on November 7.”
Ritzenhein, 27, who is coached by three-time New York City Marathon winner Alberto Salazar, has been sidelined for much of this year with nagging injuries and a stress fracture in his right foot, but he is optimistic that he’ll be at full speed by race day.
“I’ve stayed in shape through running both outside and on the Alter-G treadmill, and I’ve cross-trained very hard, so my fitness level is good,” said Ritzenhein. “I just need to get in some solid, consistent, and specific training and I’ll be in great shape.”
Ritzenhein joins a men’s field that is shaping up to be among the best ever, featuring fellow American and defending ING New York City Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi and World Marathon record-holder Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, who will be making his New York Marathon debut.
Ritzenhein, of Portland, OR, also ran well in New York at the 2008 Olympic Team Trials – Men’s Marathon, in which he finished second and made the Olympic team. He went on to finish ninth at the Beijing Games. In 2009, Ritzenhein set his marathon personal best in London, where he finished in 2:10:00. Also in 2009, he took the bronze medal at the World Half-Marathon Championships clocking 60 minutes exactly.
Ritzenhein has had a strong career on the track and cross country course as well. He is the reigning USA Cross Country champion and also won in 2005 and 2008. He finished sixth in the 10,000m at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin, and he held the U.S. 5000m record at 12:56.27 until it was broken this year by Bernard Lagat.
Ritzenhein and his wife, Kalin, are expecting their second child by the end of this week. They have a 2-year-old daughter, Addison.
New York Road Runners (organisers) for the IAAF