Mottram and Ritzenhein To Face Off at Healthy Kidney 10k Ritzenhein and Hudson Moving to Boulder By David Monti (c) 2007 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved Editor's Note: David Monti is an elite athlete coordinator for many New York Road Runner events including the ING NYC Marathon.
YORK (25-Apr-2007) -- Two of the most promising young stars in distance
running, Craig Mottram and Dathan Ritzenhein, will face-off at the
Healthy Kidney 10-K on Saturday, May 19, event organizers announced
here today. It will be the third edition of this popular road race
which raises money for the National Kidney Foundation, Inc., and last
year recorded nearly 5,000 finishers.
"Today we announce two of
the brightest stars in the sport today," said Mary Wittenberg,
president and CEO of New York Road Runners, which organizes the event.
Speaking at a press luncheon at the New York Athletic Club she added:
"Dathan and Mottram add a special spark."
Mottram, the 2005 IAAF
World Championships bronze medalist at 5000m, and Ritzenhein, the 2005
U.S. 10 km road running champion, have only faced each other twice in
their young careers, and both times the tall Australian has had the
upper hand. At the 2005 IAAF World Cross Country Championships,
Mottram finished 22nd to Ritzenhein's 62nd, and at the Carlsbad 5000
the same year, Mottram finished second to Ritzenhein's seventh.
"It's been a couple of years," said Ritzenhein of his last competitive meeting with Mottram. "I was a young pup then."
both Mottram, 26, and Ritzenhein, 24, have matured in the past two
years. Mottram has expanded his range to become world class from the
1500m (3:33.97 PB) through the 10,000m (27:50.55), with the 5000m being
his strongest event (12:55.76). Ritzenhein moved up in distance from
the 10,000m (27:35.65 PB) to the half-marathon (1:01:25 PB) and then
the marathon, making his debut at the ING New York City Marathon last
November (2:14:01). The American, who is in the process of moving from
Boulder, Colo., to Eugene, Ore., sees the Healthy Kidney 10-K as a sort
of meeting in the middle for the two athletes.
definitely going to be easier in a 10-K hilly road race (to beat
Mottram)," said Ritzenhein who's 10-K personal best of 28:11 is only
one second off of the Central Park Record set by Paul Koech of Kenya in
1997. "He's a very mentally tough runner," he said of Mottram. "He
definitely feels he's the best. He'll be a formidable opponent."
will have the added burden of training while he and wife Kalin, who is
pregnant with their first child, relocate to Oregon. The former
University of Colorado star has lived in Boulder for six years and is
moving with his coach, Brad Hudson, because they feel his body will
respond better to training at sea level, and because Eugene has more
trails with soft wood chip surfaces to help guard against injuries.
was a difficult decision because we love Boulder," Ritzenhein
explained. "That's where our friends are. This was the next logical
step for us."
Ritzenhein said that Jason Hartmann, who is also
coached by Hudson, would be moving, too, but not Jorge Torres.
Ritzenhein's house has already been sold, and they plan to be in
Eugene, the home of the University of Oregon and the 2008 U.S. Olympic
Trials, by early May.
"We just got lucky and the house sold in four days," he said.
race in New York will be his first since suffering a stress reaction in
one of his foot bones last March. To maintain his fitness while the
foot healed, he ran 130 miles per week for four weeks on a special
treadmill in Alberto Salazar's garage in Portland, Ore. The treadmill,
which Ritzenhein referred to as an "anti-gravity treadmill," uses air
pressure to reduce the amount of the athlete's body weight which he
must support while running. He was able to run while bearing only
about 65% of his body weight. He watched re-runs of the television
program "The OC" to alleviate the boredom.
for Mottram, who goes by the nickname "Buster," he's ready to return to
New York again after his second place finish in the Wanamaker Mile at
the Millrose Games last January where he was narrowly defeated by
two-time Olympic medalist, Bernard Lagat.
"Once again I'm really
looking forward to the Healthy Kidney 10-K, especially knowing Dathan
is in the field," said Mottram in a prepared statement. "I seem to be
making a habit of coming in to New York and to try to take on the best
American runners. Dathan will offer a great challenge, so I know I'll
have to be in very good form to keep up with him and have a chance of
winning again in New York."
In addition to the $20,000 prize
money purse on offer with $7,500 going to the winner, the Embassy of
the United Arab Emirates, which sponsors the race, has put up a $20,000
bonus for beating Koech's mark. Mottram came within three seconds of
the record at last year's race despite running on a sore foot.
stakes are high with egos on the line," added Wittenberg. "Buster has
owned this race in its history and Dathan is looking to unseat him."
Craig Mottram competing at the 2006 Healthy Kidney 10-K; Dathan
Ritzenhein competing at the 2006 ING New York City Marathon (Photos
courtesy of New York Road Runners).