Dathan Ritzenhein has been an American distance-running fixture at the Olympic Games, competing in the 10,000m in 2004 and 2012, and in the marathon in 2008.
However, he won’t be in Rio this summer for the 2016 Olympics. Ritzenhein dropped out of the U.S. Olympic Trials marathon in February with leg cramps, and he informed MLive.com that he won’t be in Eugene, Oregon next week for the Olympic Trials for track. He had considered competing in the 10,000m.
Ritzenhein told MLive that he had some nagging injuries this spring and was unable to find a 10,000m qualifying race to coincide with his health and fitness. With that, he will sit out this Olympic cycle.
“I’ve just tried to move past it,” Ritzenhein told MLive. “One of the things for a while was the battle with myself with wanting to do it with closing the book knowing I wasn’t in condition to do it. I’ve come to terms with that now. I just want to move to the next thing.”
Ritzenhein placed 9th in the 2008 Olympic Marathon in Beijing, the highest among American finishers in the race. He also earned a bronze medal at the 2009 World Half Marathon Championships.
The next thing for Ritzenhein is actually this weekend. He will be part of the elite field at the B.A.A. 10K on Sunday, his first race since the Trials marathon. Ritzenhein will be joined by several high-profile Americans, including Shalane Flanagan, Amy Cragg and Abdi Abdirahman.
They will be competing against a strong international field that includes Geoffrey Mutai, Mary Wacera and Atsede Baysa.
Ritzenhein, 33, was adament that his Olympic quest isn’t over—it’s just taking a break in 2016.
— Dathan Ritzenhein (@djritzenhein) June 22, 2016