Zurich Flash: Dathan Ritzenhein Sets AR of 12:56.27! by Larry Eder



Dathan Ritzenhein, running down the field, WC 2009, Men's 10,000 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net.

In the first Golden League meet after the World Championships, Dathan Ritzenhein showed that his last two month forays into fast track work is paying dividends. Last week, in the World Championships, Dathan finished sixth in the WC 10,000 meters, running 5ks in 13:50/13:32 for a 27:22.28. It was a personal best by over twelve seconds and showed that Dathan's move to faster training, as part of the Oregon project, was already paying him back!

On Friday evening, Zurich time, August 28, 2009, Dathan Ritzenhein finished a very competitive third in the 5,000 meters won by Kenenisa Bekele, the world record holder in both the 5,000m and 10,000m. Dathan moved up from eighth to third in the last 1,000 meters and did not stop, hitting the finish line in 12:56.27, a huge personal best and also a new American record!

Dathan Ritzenhein broke the venerable record of one Bob Kennedy, who set his 5,000 meter record, also in Zurich, in 1996. Kennedy's time was 12:58.21.

In a recent interview in Berlin for RBR, Dathan Ritzenhein told us that his training since the US champs has focused on fast repeats, such as quarter repeats in 56 seconds, tempo runs and good 20 milers at 5:30 per mile pace. Ritz is running two more track races, per that conversation: another 5k, and one 3k. We wish him continued success!

More details to follow.

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