Jason Hartmann, training for his ING New York City Marathon debut, took a detour to run in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon last weekend as a pacesetter for an old high school teammate who happens to be named Dathan Ritzenhein.
“Dathan talked to me about pacing him in Chicago about six weeks ago,” said the self-coached Hartmann, who trains mostly on his own in Boulder, CO, but ran with Ritzenhein back in their shared hometown of Rockford, MI, and has occasionally trained with him since then. “I was looking for a race in preparation for New York, so it just kind of worked out for both of us.”
Hartmann, 30, took Ritzenhein through about 12 miles of the race, in which the two-time Olympian finished ninth in 2:07:47, a personal best by more than two minutes.
“As a close friend, to be able to see him PR was pretty cool,” said Hartmann, who finished fourth in the 2012 Boston Marathon as the top American. “It was nice to celebrate with him.”
And yes, Hartmann said: he was indeed nervous about his assignment. Arriving in Chicago with a head cold didn’t help, and neither did a late change of plan for the time at which Ritzenhein wanted to reach the halfway point.
“I was under the impression that he wanted 64 minutes and I [thought] ‘Oh, I’ll be fine doing that’ and then after the technical meeting he told me he wanted 63:30 and I was like ‘Oh, crap.’”
Hartmann paced his friend almost to the half-marathon mark, which Ritzenhein reached in 63:25.
"Jason wouldn't have been all that far off his half-marathon personal best if he'd gone through the halfway checkpoint, so it shows he's in excellent shape, especially considering how hard it is to run fast and even like that while pulling a group along," said Dan Lilot, who manages both Ritzenhein and Hartmann.
Frey’s Tactic: Mental Toughness
Don’t let her enthusiastic smile and heart-warming personality fool you: Michelle Frey is feeling fierce heading into the ING New York City Marathon, steadily gaining both momentum and speed.
Along with fellow New York entrant Andrew Carlson, the 30-year-old Minnesotan addressed the media on Thursday in the Twin Cities, the last stop on a three-city ING New York City Marathon tour in which race bibs were also presented to athletes in Flagstaff, AZ, and Little Rock, AR.
Frey will be making her ING New York City Marathon debut after competing in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships last weekend in Kavarna, Bulgaria, where temperatures rose to 86 degrees Fahrenheit during the race. She finished 32nd overall and fourth among Americans in 1:16:55. Her third-place showing in the 2012 USA Half-Marathon Championships in June, where she ran 1:11:45 in a personal best of just over a minute, is more indicative of a year in which Frey set PRs at four distances and ran her second-fastest marathon, 2:37:03, in finishing 22nd in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
She vowed to journalists on Thursday that she would have the mental fortitude to run her own race in NYC, where she is seeking to better her 2:35:51 personal best.
“I’ve had many marathons where I’ve gotten sucked into the pack, but they [may have] run stupidly and then we all died,” she said. Frey has run with many of the top American women who will toe the line in NYC, but said that it will be her race, and her agenda.
“I almost like to be a little bit naïve about the field,” she said. “I like to not know what I’m ranked. I like to not know [where] I’m seeded and who’s done what and who’s ranked what. Knowing that I’m fit and ready is enough for me to beat those people. I have to stick to my plan.”
Frey has run the More Magazine/Fitness Magazine Women’s Half-Marathon in Central Park, and she said that her friend Katie McGregor, an ING New York City Marathon veteran, and her coach, Chris Lundstrom, have been giving her pointers on the course.
Lundstrom, a retired pro marathoner who has twice run New York twice, is encouraging her to hold back, she said, “especially coming off the bridge at mile 17” onto First Avenue. “If you mentally aren’t strong enough, you’re done in the marathon,” said Frey, an Iowa City, IA, native and former member of Team USA Minnesota. “You have to be ready to keep pushing mentally. Running and competing are in my blood … I don’t think I’ll ever give up.”
Also presented with their race bibs on the tour were Janet Bawcom and Nick Arciniaga in Flagstaff and Leah Thorvilson in Little Rock.
The top three male finishers in last weekend’s Rock 'n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon will be meeting again on November 4: winner Simon Bairu of Canada (1:03:29), runner-up Sergio Reyes of the United States (1:03:31), and third-place finisher Scott Bauhs of the United States (1:04:29) are all set to compete in the ING New York City Marathon.
Reyes, who dictated the pace in the early miles, shattered his personal best by 35 seconds.
“My coach told me to wait to until 10 miles, but I got a little antsy early and wanted to test where everyone was at,” said Bairu, who broke from the pack at 9 miles and was joined by only Reyes. “I wasn’t sure if I got the win or not until the very end.” Bairu won two NCAA cross country championships at the University of Wisconsin and is the Canadian record-holder at 10,000 meters. He is coached by Jerry Schumacher.
Michelle Frey Photo by Kristine Smith
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg