BIRMINGHAM – 2008 Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein (Portland, Ore.) ran the second fastest U.S. time in history to finish third Sunday at the 18th IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, in Birmingham, UK. Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea won his fourth world title in 59:35 while Bernard Kipyego of Kenya just outkicked Ritzenhein for the runner-up position, running 59:59. Ritzenhein’s 1:00:00, led the Team USA men to a fourth-place team finish.
Other Team USA finishers included a 20th-place finish by Andrew Carlson (Flagstaff, Ariz.) in 1:02:50; James Carney (Boulder, Colo.) 38th in 1:04:00; Brett Gotcher (Flagstaff, Ariz.) 64th in 1:05:43; and Scott Bauhs (Chico, Calif.) in 1:06:07.
Kenya won the team competition with a total time of 3:01:06, Eritrea was second in 3:02:39 and Ethiopia edged out the U.S. for third 3:06:42 to 3:06:50.
Amy Yoder Begley (Portland, Ore.) finished 11th in 1:10:09 to lead the Team USA women to a fifth-place team finish. Begley was followed by teammates Serena Burla (Baldwin, Mo.), who finished 17th in 1:10:55; Amy Hastings (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) finished 33rd in 1:13:20; Heidi Westerling (Acworth, N.H.) was 38th in 1:14:22: and Elva Dryer (Gunnison, Colo.) finished 48th in 1:16:42. Mary Keitany of Kenya dominated the women’s field, running 1:06:36.
Kenya also won the women’s team competition with a combined time of 3:22:30.
For more information on Team USA at the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, visit www.usatf.org.