Thursday, May 8, 2008

Here's Why Khalid Wasn't Racing Sunday

Four-time Chicago winner Khalid Khannouchi, who placed fourth in the men's U.S. Olympic Trials, is training for Beijing just in case one of the top three falters. He didn't race the Palos Bank Southwest Half Marathon, but made an appearance.
Here's why he has to be serious . . .

New York, May 8, 2008—Defending champion and course record-holder Dathan Ritzenhein has withdrawn from the Healthy Kidney 10K, a New York Road Runners race scheduled for Saturday, May 17, in Central Park . He is suffering from a lingering foot injury that has sidelined him for the past 13 weeks.
Ritzenhein, 25, of Eugene, OR, told race organizers that the injury to the third metatarsal of his left foot, which he sustained at the USA Cross Country Championships in February, has persisted; Ritzenhein won that race, and has not competed since. In November 2007, Ritzenhein qualified to represent the United States in the men’s marathon at the Olympic Games in Beijing on August 24.
“We’re very disappointed not to be able to return to New York for the Healthy Kidney 10K,” Ritzenhein said on a conference call today. “With a whole array of ailments, it hasn’t come together in time for me to take on the great field that’s been assembled for the race. Knowing that it might set back my preparation [for Beijing ], it was with regret that we made the decision to withdraw.” Ritzenhein said he will use the next three weeks to build up to full training volume and intensity. He then plans to begin a 12-week marathon training regimen. Although he will run the 10,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field in Eugene on July 4, he said he definitely will run the marathon at the Olympic Games.
“Dathan is a mega-talent and he deserves the chance to maximize his opportunity to get himself in the best possible shape for Beijing ,” said Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners. “We are in full support of his decision.”

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