Posts Tagged ‘Dathan Ritzenhein’

On Sunday its Great North time. It’s a pity Martin Lel has had to pull out of a race again, this time it’s a fever that has knocked him back. It leaves the race pretty much there for the taking for Haile Gebreselassie. Or so you might think. I have a sneaking suspicion that a few of the other elites in the field might just fancy their chances against the little maestro a lot more than they would have a couple of years back. Geb is the greatest runner of all time, but everyone has to start slowing down eventually don’t they? When exactly this path will cross those currently on upward paths is difficult to say.

On Sunday I think Geb will have his hands full with Dathan Ritzenhein in particular. Dathan has been racing sparingly over the summer (if at all?) so knowing his exact current shape is not possible. That said, he has I think the best distance coach in the world in Alberto Salazar, and he has also had a great last 12 months, so I would be surprised if he isn’t racing in the top drawer on Sunday.

In the women’s race Mara Yamauchi faces off against Berhane Adere, Irina Mikitenko and Constantina Dita. I suspect Dita is not the force she was pre-Beijing, as her recent showings in London have been poor by her standards.

On the same weekend there is another half marathon, in the US, with in my opinion a higher quality field. It’s the Philadelphia half and top 26-mile man Ryan Hall is up against Gebre Gebremariam, the 2009 World XC champion and therefore simply the best runner on the planet for 2009. This year Gebremariam has been killing everyone on the US road circuit, and is probably the number one road racer for 2010. They also have Abderrahim Goumri. Perennial number 2 man in big city marathons, but also a 2:05 (I think) marathoner. Wow!

The women’s race in Philadelphia is also arguably stronger than that at Great North. Shalene Flanagon (US 10k record holder) is up against Meseret Defar who is making her Half Marathon debut. Defar debuting at the half is probably the most exciting bit of the entire weekend, in either race.  An absolute world class track runner, one of I think four women to EVER have broken 30 minutes for 10000m on the track. 30 minutes!! That’s almost national class for men for Pete’s sake. I am really looking forward to seeing how she gets on.

Bring it on!

Ps. I got the half-marathon ball rolling last week with my own (paltry by comparison) effort in the Nottingham Half Marathon. It signalled the official ending of my 10-week summer running-hiatus. I ran 81:50 and here are my splits. Onwards and upwards please.

Mile Time Split Projected Finish Time
1 00:05:47 00:05:47 01:15:46
2 00:12:30 00:06:43 01:21:53
3 00:18:49 00:06:19 01:22:10
4 00:25:06 00:06:17 01:22:12
5 00:31:10 00:06:04 01:21:39
6 00:37:50 00:06:40 01:22:36
7 00:43:59 00:06:09 01:22:19
8 00:50:29 00:06:30 01:22:40
9 00:56:48 00:06:19 01:22:41
10 01:03:06 00:06:18 01:22:40
11 01:09:14 00:06:08 01:22:27
12 01:15:33 00:06:19 01:22:29
13 01:21:16 00:05:43 01:21:54
13.1 01:21:51 00:00:35 01:21:51
  Ave: 00:06:15  

Read Full Post »