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Alberto Salazar: The Great Rehabilitator?

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Nov. 1, 2010
  • Updated Sep. 12, 2012 at 12:56 PM UTC
Alberto Salazar has been tinkering with Dathan Ritzenhein's stride. Will it pay off?
Alberto Salazar has been tinkering with Dathan Ritzenhein’s stride. Will it pay off on Sunday? Photo: PhotoRun.net

The three-time NYC Marathon champion has been working on Dathan Ritzenhein’s stride. Will his tinkering pay off for Ritz on Sunday?

As a coach, Alberto Salazar had become obsessed with optimizing his runners’ form. Ritzenhein left former coach Brad Hudson for Salazar last year in the hopes of revitalizing his struggling career.

“Alberto told me, ‘It’s imperative that you believe completely in what we’re going to do,’ ” Ritzenhein recalled, “ ‘because it will be completely different from anything you’ve been taught.’ ”

Ritzenhein, who will be running his second New York City Marathon on Sunday, finished 11th in his Big Apple debut in 2006, running 2:14:01. One year later he finished second to Ryan Hall at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Central Park.

Since making the switch to Salazar, Ritzenhein has revamped his running career, setting a then American record of 12:56.27 in the 5,000 meters on the track last summer, along with a sixth-place finish in the 10,000 meters at the IAAF Track & Field Championships. Last fall, he ran 60-flat at the IAAF World Half MArathon Championships, taking the bronze medal.

For More: The New Yorker

FILED UNDER: New York City Marathon / News / NYC Marathon News TAGS: / / / / /

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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