GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A world-class runner from Rockford who finished 7th in this year’s Boston Marathon said he hopes to win the race the next time around.
Dathan Ritzenhein, a U.S. record holder and three-time Olympian, was the top American finisher in the Boston Marathon and finished 7th overall.
“I had those secret ambitions,” he said. “Everybody wants to win the Boston Marathon.”
Ritzenhein said he was leading 21 miles into the race as he came up on the course’s famous “Heartbreak Hill” — the highest point of the race after running uphill for about 5 miles.
But, he said, it was his first marathon in a year and a half.
“I hadn’t trained that much relative to other marathons,” he said. “I was a little nervous. I maybe was a little cautious going down the last few miles. But I finished well, felt great. … Hopefully I’ll go back again and have another shot at it.”
West Michigan has a good record at the Boston Marathon. Rockford’s Greg Meyer won it in 1983 and Lisa Rainsberger, who graduated from Battle Creek Central High School, won it in 1985. Jason Hartman, also of Rockford, has been the top American finisher.
“The thing about Boston is anybody can win,” Ritzenhein said. “It’s not like some of the races where it’s a rabbit race and you have to be the fastest guy. You can be smart, you can train well for the hills, and things like that, and it’s a little bit of an equalizer.”