Ritz's Time Dilemma

When is Ritz going to have the race that sets him apart?  To say the Dathan Ritzenhein hasn’t had a breakthrough is hardly fair.  The Foot Locker, NCAA, and multiple time USA XC champion, not to mention former American record holder, three time Olympian, and World Half Marathon Championships Bronze medalist has had his fair share of success in the running world.  Despite all of his success, including a 9th place finish in the Beijing Olympic marathon, Ritz hasn’t run a time in the marathon that really sticks out.  2:09:55 is by no means bad, but it’s not anywhere near Hall’s 2:06:17 (I’m not going to count Hall’s wind aided 2:04:58 in Boston).

Ritz’s times in the track world are above and beyond and he’s clearly shown that he knows how to compete in the marathon, but the real issue is that he just doesn’t have a world beater time that really catches the eye. The time is important; maybe too important.  Heck, Michaelangelo did some pretty cool artwork before he was 30, but we know him most for his painting on that church ceiling somewhere in Europe, and he didn’t finish that until he was 37.  To be honest, it doesn’t even seem much like a question of if, for Ritz, but rather a question of when.  So, how about Chicago?

This will be Ritz’s first marathon since the Olympic Trials Marathon earlier this year where he finished a disappointing 4th place, so it could be interesting to see how he bounces back from that disappointment.  He seemed to bounce back well at the Olympics with a 13th place finish in the 10k, but the marathon is a different ballgame.  Or so I’m told (I haven’t run one).

Chicago is as fast as London with the winner sitting in the mid 2:05 to mid 2:06 range for the past few years.
  With a half marathon personal best of 60:00 (only 17 seconds off of Hall’s American Record), Ritz shouldn’t be thinking about anything outside of that range, especially if he wants to be considered with the likes of Hall and Meb.  It’s no doubt that Ryan Hall is the poster child of American marathoning today, and time is the only thing holding Ritz back from being the same.

Unfortunately for Ritz (and anybody else who hates it) it is a day and age where the ability to compete takes a back seat to time.
  The number one question for everybody who claims to have run a marathon is “That’s great!  What was your time?” Very rarely have I heard “Oh, yeah?  What place did you get?”  That’s why Ritz needs this time so badly.  On paper it’s there, but that doesn’t mean much once the gun goes off.  So what do you think?  Can he knock some time off and put his name a little higher on that list?  I hope so, because let’s be honest: Nobody gives a hoot (not even owls) about the Statue of David; it’s all about that Sistine Chapel.

Bowerman Awards Photo Gallery

Johanna Gretschel 2017 Bowerman Award finalists

Last night, the USTFCCCA named Raevyn Rogers of the University of Oregon and Christian Coleman of the University of Tennessee as the 2017 Bowerman Award Winners. Rogers, the NCAA record holder for 800m, is the third women's winner from Oregon, and Coleman, the NCAA 60m and 100m record holder, is the first-ever winner for the Volunteers. Check out the photo gallery from the evening in Phoenix, Arizona below; watch interviews and highlights from the event here.

Christian Coleman Wins The 2017 Bowerman Award

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Tennessee’s Christian Coleman has been named The Bowerman award winner for the 2017 NCAA season.

Raevyn Rogers Wins The 2017 Bowerman Award

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Oregon’s Raevyn Rogers has been named The Bowerman award winner for the 2017 NCAA season.

NXN Champ Katelyn Tuohy To Attempt H.S. 5K Record LIVE on FloTrack

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Nike Cross National champion Katelyn Tuohy has just one more 5K on her schedule, and that one will be the fastest of them all. On Saturday, January 20, LIVE ON FLOTRACK, she will toe the line at the VA Showcase in a special section of the 5K with the sole purpose of taking down Brie Oakley's 15:55 national record. 

Ruby Stauber To Transfer From LSU To Oregon

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After a standout freshman season with LSU, Ruby Stauber will take her talents to the Pacific Northwest to compete for the University of Oregon. A since-deleted tweet from the Wayzata High School girls cross country account first made the announcement, and FloTrack later confirmed it with Stauber.

'Just Wait,' Fred Kerley Could Win The Bowerman

Image of Sport Fred Kerley

This week, FloTrack will introduce you to all six Bowerman finalists ahead of Friday's Bowerman Awards, which will crown one male and one female as the best track and field athletes in the NCAA for the 2017 season. You can watch the awards ceremony live from Phoenix on FloTrack here.

How Raevyn Rogers Could Win The Bowerman

Image of Sport Raevyn Rogers

This week, FloTrack will introduce you to all six Bowerman finalists ahead of Friday's Bowerman Awards, which will crown one male and one female as the best track and field athletes in the NCAA for the 2017 season. You can watch the awards ceremony live from Phoenix on FloTrack here.

How Christian Coleman Could Win The Bowerman Award

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This week, FloTrack will introduce you to all six Bowerman finalists ahead of Friday's Bowerman Awards, which will crown one male and one female as the best track and field athletes in the NCAA for the 2017 season. You can watch the awards ceremony live from Phoenix on FloTrack here.

Who's No. 1? FloTrack Tackles The Katelyn Tuohy vs Claudia Lane Debate

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If you've paid the slightest modicum of attention to high school girls cross country this season, you know the names Katelyn Tuohy and Claudia Lane. 

2017 Bowerman Blind Resume Test

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The Bowerman Award Ceremony will be LIVE on FloTrack this Friday, December 15, at 9 PM ET.