Tim Ritchie, a Boston College alumni who now runs for Saucony, won the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon on Saturday. It was a big race from Tim, resulting in a big lead over some big competition. Tim punched his way through the tape as the figurative cherry on top of his final time of 61:24. Yeah…let that sink in. We’ve heard that this is the 10th fastest half marathon time ever run by an American. Runner up Jake Riley, a former national cross country champ amongst other things, crossed the line in 63:26. That’s no slouch of a time either, but not near enough to keep Tim in sight that day.
We sent some questions out Tim, after he had a chance to let it all soak in. But before we get to the interview, we gotta share this tweet with a clip of Tim punching his way to victory. One of the best tweets we’ve ever seen. No hyperbole there…just an awesome visual.
— Rock n Roll Marathon (@RunRocknRoll) October 31, 2015
I saw a quote from you that said something along the lines of “I don’t race for time, only for the win”…but did you know you were ready to rip off such a historically fast time?
… I knew the field here is usually very good so I thought it might take a 1:02 or faster to fight for the win. Training had been going well and consistent so I figured if the race was quick then I could hang. Sub 1:02 (previous PR) was on my mind going in, but was not the primary focus. From mile 4 to mile 5, I ran about 4:32 and that opened up a gap on 2nd place Jake Riley. I figured a few more of those might keep that gap open. So I just kept on pressing and trying to finish. I knew I was near 1:02, but did not know for sure until I was on the phone with Coach Kerr a little later. So the win was a lot of fun and the new PR a nice bonus!
How has your life changed since the win? Anymore sponsor opportunities, increased media attention, etc.
… Life has not changed much and I do not think I would let it. In all good (and bad!!) performances, I find it best to just accept them and carry on. I am already in deep with my sponsor Saucony, so no changes there. They were excited afterwards and happy to see me back to form. That company really rocks and has believed in me throughout. A few interviews here and there (LVL being the most important…), but none of that compares to the nice messages I have received from family and friends. Everyone was pretty pumped which is a great reminder of why I do this in the first place. Now time to recover and get back to work.
After that race you’re one to watch at the Trials. What do you think of that? How exciting is that?
… If I am one to watch at the Trials, then I am one of MANY! I will be excited to be a part of the Trials if I can get there in one piece (God-willing). The marathon, so they tell me, is almost double the half-marathon, so you cannot draw a direct line between success in one to success in the other. I just have to prepare myself for anything and anyone. I want to be patient but make sure I do not get too comfortable or underestimate any of my strong competitors. Should be a crazy race!
Have there been any major changes/adjustments to your training since you started up running again after that stress fracture? If so, what were they and how much of a difference do you think its made?
… We made a few adjustments to training, but they were to continue to make training more and more simple. Hard workouts, solid long runs, mileage that my body can handle/recover from and nothing crazy. I added in some more strength work to keep my body strong and balanced and weekly massage to try and stay fresh and loose. So, the biggest changes have been when I am not running - spending more time to eat right, sleep more, mentally prepare for workouts/races and take care of the body. Now, with three months to go… more of the same.
Lastly, how great was it to see Lou get his OTQ on the same day?
… Lou’s OTQ was the highlight of my day for sure. He (and his “squad”) were super pumped. We are all in this crazy running thing together so I was very excited to see his hard work lead to such a great achievement. Also, he is a BC Eagle so that adds another to the Trials start line. Boston should be sending quite the crew to LA in February - a great testament to Boston’s continued rise to the top of the running world.