Ben True continues to rack up the accolades and pad his résumé in 2013. The newly crowned US 15k champion led the US men’s team to a stunning silver medal at the world cross country championships in Poland on Sunday. In what has been dubbed the ‘Miracle on Dirt’, Ben finished in sixth place and (along with Chris Derrick) earned the automatic ‘A’ standard for the 10,000m at the world championships. The USATF thought so highly of his race that Ben was named their Athlete of the Week.
Once Ben got back to the states we were able to conduct a quick interview with him:
Was their a team wide strategy for Team USA? I saw a lap by lap listing of positions, and it looked like you guys methodically worked your way up the field as the race progressed.
After previewing the course, we all knew that it was a difficult course where going out conservatively would be beneficial in the end. We all thought that the tough conditions would favor us, so we were calm and confident. Chris Derrick and I were able to work together for most of the race, as we held onto the back of the lead group as it slowly whittled down to ten.
Was this the most challenging course you’ve ever run? What made it so? Was it the course itself, the conditions, or the combination of the two?
The course was definitely extremely difficult. Lack of straightaways, an interesting combination of thick mud, snow and ice, as well as running up and down a steep alpine skiing slope, made it a challenging course. Staying upright and on your feet was almost as important as running fast.
Having to deal with Lyme disease leading up to the Trials last year not only deprived you of a shot at Olympic spot, but also to show everyone your ‘A’ game and possibly becoming more of a household name. Even with the success you’ve experienced on the roads since then, do you think that you might’ve been flying under the radar still leading up to this race?
Yes, I definitely believe that. Most people view running success with results on the track (making teams, etc.) or winning marathons. Everything else sort of slips under the radar.
What did you guys do to celebrate?
The entire team and staff toasted champagne afterwards to celebrate the great racing by everyone.
What do you plan on doing with the silver medal? Are you the type to put it on display, tuck it away out of view, or make an insanely awesome belt buckle out of it?
Never heard of the belt buckle idea- I like it! Although, most likely it will be tucked away in a drawer somewhere. I’m not the type who displays them.
Will you be returning to Boston to defend your crown at the BAA 5k again?
Unfortunately I am not racing the BAA 5k this year. I’ll be heading out to California for a few track races instead.
Thanks to Michael Scott for the amazing pictures. Find more of his great work here on his Shutterfly page.