PARTIAL PREVIEW OF USA OLYMPIC TRIALS 10,000m AT NYC HALF
By Chris Lotsbom
(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
March 15, 2012
NEW YORK -- Sunday's NYC Half is headlined by Olympians, World Championships medalists, and World Marathon Major winners. But among the American contenders, there is a contingent that, come June, will all be aiming for the same three spots on the Olympic team in the 10,000m. In a partial preview of the longest race contested on the track, Dathan Ritzenhein, Ed Moran, Bobby Curtis and Scott Bauhs all are set to run against one another here on Sunday.
"This really fits well in that it's a great jumping point to see exactly where the fitness levels are this early," said Moran, who will be running his debut half-marathon here. "I think the bonus is that we get to see how a lot of the top contenders look comparative to each other this early in the season."
Though the Olympic Trials are still three months away, this early season match-up gives fans and athletes alike a preview before everyone shifts gears to the track.
"It's a good early season litmus test to see where we are," said Moran, 30, who lives in Williamsburg, Va.
Though Moran will keep an eye on his competitors, his main focus will be on how his body reacts, taking note of any adjustments that may need to be made before he goes for the Olympic time standards later this Spring.
"It will be an additional data point to make adjustments from what we are doing," he said.
Bauhs, 25, from Mammoth Lakes, Calif., thinks the 10,000m and half-marathon are too far apart in distance to draw a conclusion from Sunday's results. Emphasizing the different speed and tactical aspects of both, Bauhs is hesitant to say Sunday's race will be like the one in Eugene.
"It's not going to be tactical, at least like the 10,000m will be in Eugene. I see them mostly as different races, as in the way they will be run," he said. "But it will be good to see what shape we are in. We all will have to run more races after this and before then.
"I've barely done anything on the track [thus far]. But before I step foot on the line in Eugene, I'm going to have so much more speed in my legs, which I just don't have right now. It's just a different build up," said Bauhs.
Bauhs also was quick to point out that Ritzenhein is coming off of marathon training, and that Galen Rupp, Chris Solinsky, and Matt Tegenkamp aren't competing this weekend, something that skews the half-marathon a bit more.
But, for the four Americans racing Sunday who have yet to earn 2012 Olympic births, the event will be a starting point for things to come.
"It'll be a positive experience," said Moran. "You learn, you adjust, and you adapt. That's what makes you a better distance runner."