Tag: Tim Ritchie

Ritchie Does It Again

Tim Ritchie has been named the athlete of the month for October by the USATF-NE.

Ritchie CVS 5k Mason

Tim crossing the line at the CVS Downtown 5k in Providence back in September. Courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise after the way he ran at the Twin Cities Marathon.  Per the USATF-NE website:

Tim Ritchie of the Boston Athletic Association and Brighton MA is the USATF – New England Athlete of the Month for October 2013. On October 6 at the USA Marathon Championships held at the Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis, Tim finished 6th in 2:14:50. This is the fastest marathon by a New Englander in more than 20 years. Ritchie, a 2009 graduate of Boston College and currently an assistant track and cross country at his alma mater, improved his previous personal best at the distance by almost 7 minutes. He was also USATF-NE athlete of the month in November 2011.

Check out the full list of USATF-NE Athletes of the Month.

Congrats to Tim on yet another well-earned accolade!

Another Weekend Wrap Up

The Pros: The US Marathon Championships were held at the Twin Cities Marathon and Tim Ritchie ran the race that we’ve been expecting. That’s not meant to downplay it at all since running a 2:14 in your second attempt at the distance is absolutely spectacular. Summing it up best, Matt Pelletier said, “I think we all knew it was coming.” Indeed, Matt, indeed. What Tim has shown in race results at other distances over the last year or so has not-so-subtley hinted at something like this. The end result was another top ten finish for the BAA stud (6th, to be exact). The men’s race was won by Nick Arciniaga (2:13:11) and the women’s race by Annie Bersagel (2:30:53).

Tim now sits at 5th place overall in the season standings with only one event left (the .US Road Racing National Championship). Over the course of the season, Tim has earned nearly $11,000. That seems like a petty sum for someone who has five top ten finishes in championship races. Just think of how much money the Braves are paying Dan Uggla right now to sit at home during the playoffs. Runners really are underpaid.

The Kids: College kids, that is. A big race this past weekend for the kids was the Paul Short Invitational (hosted by Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA). Dartmouth senior Abbey D’Agostino won her second race in as many attempts this season in repeating at this prestigious event. Abbey ran a 19:44 and easily outpaced the runner up (Samantha Ginther of Indiana, 20:10). Dartmouth scored second place finishes for the both the women’s and men’s teams on the backs of strong races by D’Agostino and then senior Will Geoghegan’s third place effort in the men’s race.

Said Dartmouth coach Mark Coogan of his team’s efforts: “This past weekend was good, I was pleasantly surprised by how well the women ran. I think we handled the heat and ran very well as a group helping each other out during the race. That is best the women have done as a team in a long long time.”

Luckily the Dartmouth squads had their chance to do their thing before the remaining races were called due to the weather. The excessive heat was a bit much for both the runners and the medical staff. How hot was it? Excellent question. Couldn’t find it in a quick web search, but we’ll go out on a limb and say it was hot to very hot.

Ridiculous weather aside, Abbey continues to steamroll along, winning by almost a minute in her first meet and then nearly 30 seconds in this latest race. “I think we all knew it was coming,” said Matty P once again, and it was still oddly appropriate. Anyway, too bad Abbey and the rest of Dartmouth’s top seven won’t be competing at the New England Championships at Franklin Park this weekend.

The Other Guys: One race that caught our attention from the weekend was the Grace Race in Chelmsford, MA. This was a small race, with only 75 people finishing. Think about that: seventy-five people. In that tiny field two runners went under 25:00 for five miles, and another two broke 26:00, and fifth place was still under 27:00. Glarius Rop and his training partner Amos Sang tore it up. Those were the two aforementioned gentlemen who went under 24 minutes. Glarius (24:37) edged Amos (24:44). The rest of the field was running for third.

Lindsay Willard easily won the women’s race with her 29:12 effort. That was fast enough to break into the top ten overall.

Newbould Kozloski Nahant

Newbould cruises along at Nahant, courtesy of Krissy Kozloski.

Brandon Newbould made the trip to Chelmsford, lured by the cash prizes even though his legs still had some Nahant 30k residue lingering in them. Brandon didn’t expect to see such a deep field waiting for him there on the starting line. According to Brandon, Glarius and Amos took it out with a 4:30 uphill opening mile. Perhaps Glarius is really motivated by his loss at the Level Renner 10k back in August and really wants to exact his revenge on poor unsuspecting runners, or perphaps he’s really just that good. Either way, “I think we all knew it was coming,” said Matty P. We’d be annoyed that Matt keeps giving us the same line, but damn it, it’s just so appropriate for everything we’re discussing here. Well said, Matt.

Anyway, Newbould had to settle for only a 4th place finish after running a 25:34. Not bad a for a guy still getting over a 30k and focused on a quickly approaching fall marathon.

Ritchie, Fullerton Earn Some Points

CVS 5k Scott Mason

Fullerton goes after it, courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

The US National 5k Championships were held in Providence back on September 22, once again as part of the CVS Downtown 5k race. This post race interview with Pat Fullerton and Tim Ritchie almost slipped through the cracks during our hectic month of race coverage that was September. It’d be a shame to overlook Fullerton’s first big Level interview.

In the race itself, Tim placed 6th overall (14:02.7) and Pat was 12th (14:20.7). For national championship scoring purposes, Tim was 4th and Pat was 8th, so they both earned top ten status and Tim got himself another top five finish. Pretty impressive.

As Tim says in the interview, it’s a tactical race and there’s really only one big move and that comes at the end. Things really shake out in that last mile and the lead pack will be together for the most part up until then. With that in mind, it was quite surprising to see Pat out in front when the gun went off. It led to a moment of “Is that? Wait. Really? Is Pat leading the race?” It didn’t last long, as he settled back in and ended up running a PR by thirty seconds. Not a bad showing for someone that still doesn’t have a lot of 5k experience.

With that PR, Pat scored himself some series points. It’s safe to say that Pat won’t be sitting in a tie for 38th place for long if he keeps racing like this. With a little more experience on this stage he could become a constant up in the front. is anything In the standings, Tim is currently sitting in sixth place. The seven points he picked up for his efforts helped him leapfrog a few other runners to get him into the top ten.

Here’s the interview:

New England is also has some representation up front in the women’s standings. Katie DiCamillo is currently 10th, while Shalane Flanagan and Molly Huddle are both tied with other runners for 11th. In the 5k championships more specifically, Katie Matthews placed 9th (16:09.2).

The next championship distance is the marathon, which will be the Twin Cities Marathon on October 6th.

New Haven 20k Q’s

The US 20k Championships were held on Labor Day in New Haven, CT. Matt Tegenkamp (1:00:10) and Meghan Peyton (1:09:57) were the big winners on the day. As is becoming the norm, Tim Ritchie and Katie DiCamillo each put up another top ten finish. It’s hard to not expect to see their names near the top of the results now, which shows just how good they’ve become.

We sent off some questions to Tim for a quick follow up Q&A:

Now that you are a seasoned pro at these bigger races, has the approach changed?

Every race always has similarities and differences, for the local 5k, the national championship and everything in between. I always just do what my Coach tells me. I always look to improve on something in my arsenal each race, learn something new and gain valuable racing experience. In that, each approach is different – a varied race plan, a new goal, etc. But every race for me is also consistently the best way to do what I love to do – run hard. There lies the similarities with each approach.

I go into them all grateful to have made it to the start line, hungry to leave my best on the course and blessed to be a runner. The more I run these bigger races the more I get to know my competitors, the level of competition, how to handle travel and how to not panic on a national caliber race. I still would not call myself a seasoned pro yet though… not without a W.

What was your first mile split? How about the last two miles? Along those lines, did the race go according to plan?

First mile at the 20k was around 444 and the last two averaged around 505 a piece. Those splits look like night and day, but were pretty much on par with the race plan. This race always goes out hard and last year for me was too hard. [Note: Last year Tim ran a faster time (1:01:47) but only finished in 14th place.] The race plan this time around was to sit in the back as the leaders pulled away (happened around 2.5-3 miles in) and wait to go and get them later. The humidity was very high, so there was some expected carnage. I sat in a pack around 15-20th through 10k and then began to inch up to the guys falling back. The whole race was pretty slow for everyone. I was just trying to be less slow over the last 10k. The goal was to sneak into the top 10 and I was 8th, so the patient plan paid off this time.

What do you think you can improve on for the next one?

The goal of top 10 was set because I had been having a very busy few weeks of work/life with a lot of travel and less sleep/consistency etc. Coach was well aware of this and when I told him I also had to work the Sunday before the race and wouldn’t get down to New Haven until 8pm he said half seriously, “…top 20.” He knows I like to race aggressively and that I would not be fresh enough to carry that aggression for 20k. I think for the next one, I would not chance much for the race itself. I just need to get back on schedule now that the school year has begun – with running, working, eating, sleeping, etc. I know my fitness is around here somewhere, I just gotta dig it out from underneath the haze I have been in.

What is the next race for you?

Next race for me is the CVS 5k in Providence RI on 9/22. I’ve run this race a few years now and always get my butt kicked. This year I want to be in the hunt, cover moves and be with the leaders for the final 400m.

Do you think you’ll be going to XC Nationals again?

As of now (spoiler alert!) I have no plans to race XC Nationals. Captain Harvey can be very convincing though. I know the BAA Unicorns have a stellar team this year and could see the podium again. It would be fun to help them get there.

Will Captain Harvey be ready for XC Nationals himself? Brian’s running the Via of Lehigh Valley Marathon this weekend (and not defending his WMDP XC Festival race crown). No pressure, Brian.

We also sent some questions to Katie DiCamillo and she got right back to us with some insight on her race:

Each race has been so different, so my approach has changed depending on the course and the weather. Going into the 20k, I knew the splits were going to be a bit slower than normal due to the humidity. I think it was almost 100% at the start! I was breathing fairly heavy on my warm up, so I knew I had to be very relaxed and conservative for this first few miles.

This first mile went out in about 5:20. In the first 10k of the race, we ran 5:30 to 5:35 pretty consistently. The race went according to plan for the most part. My main goal was to see where Im at in my traing for the NYC marathon.

Ritchie, Reilly Victorious at Carver

The air was noticeably cooler on Friday night. I remembered it was the night of the Blessing of the Fleet Road Race in Narragansett, RI at what was probably the time Sam Alexander was breaking the tape (51:12 for the win). That race always seemed to be uncomfortably hot (much like many others this time of year) but if it could be cooler for that one, then there was hope that it could be cooler for Carver, right? Wrong.

Temps seemed to be about average at race time in Carver (79-80, I think) but luckily the course offered quite a bit of shade. You wouldn’t be able to tell from the results that it was hot at all from the way Tim Ritchie and Ruben Sança broke it open. It was basically a two man race that came down to a kick at the end. With about 400m to go, Ritchie made his move and Sança couldn’t quite cover it.

Tim Ritchie takes this round from Ruben Sança at Carver. Courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

Tim Ritchie takes this round from Ruben Sança at Carver. Courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

This round went to Ritchie, but it was just another battle between the two that goes back to their high school days. “He’s one of the guys that makes me nervous before a race. I’ll see him on the line and I’ll be like ‘okay, this is going to be harder than I thought’.” For Ruben, it was his debut road race in a Whirlaway singlet. Getting out-kicked is never ideal, but Ruben is only two and a half months removed from knee surgery and is still rounding into form. Ruben is feeling stronger and confident, and with a little more time to recover, it could make for a heck of showdown between the two down the road.

In the women’s race, it was all Steph Reilly. The Team RUN competitor and Bryant University coach (and last but not least Olympian) cruised to the victory in 27:48. Steph was almost a minute up on her nearest competitor, Carly Shea (BAA, 28:43). Not bad for someone who’s putting their body through the wringer with P90X exercises. According to Steph, she was feeling the effects of those strenuous workouts, but it’s all part of a plan to build up some more strength this summer.

Carly Shea fared pretty well herself. Although she lost to Reilly, she did manage to score her first PR as a mom. A PR of any kind is always a good sign so it looks like her comeback is progressing nicely.

As always, Scott Mason Photo had the race covered and you can check out his amazing work on his website. Krissy Kozlosky was also on the scene and put up quite a few excellent shots as well. Enjoy, and support your photographers!


Register now for the Level Renner 10k…

Level Renner Road Race Gomez Mason logo

BAA 10k & US Half Championship

Stephen Sambu and Mamitu Daska won the BAA 10k this past Sunday. The race was the second installment in the three part Distance Medley series.

In 2012, Geoffrey Mutai ran a blazing 27:29 and the first two runners broke 28:00. However, Sambu only needed a 28:06 to top Lelisa Desisa (28:15). The intense heat of the day just might have had a role in the slower times, as well. For a more in depth look at the race and the series, check out this excellent write up by Mike Keebler.

With that time, Sambu catapulted from 5th to 1st in the overall Distance Medley standings. Stephen now has a 26 second lead over second place Allan Kiprono. Nate Jenkins is the top area runner in the standings, currently sitting in 6th place.

Speaking of Nate, he continued on his comeback with another strong race, clocking 30:59 for ten kilometers. Nate was the fourth of a quartet of area guys that came in under 31 minutes. The group was led by Tadesse Biratu (Malden MA, 30:21), Mark Amirault (Walpole MA,  30:48), Dan Harper (Somerville MA, 30:55) and then Nate came in a few seconds later.

In the women’s race, someone beat Kim Smith! Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia ran a 31:45 and finished a whopping 1:49 ahead of Smith. Kim ran a 31:36 in winning the race last year, so it would seem that Smith possibly let Daska go and took it easy in the heat with her eyes on the bigger picture. It’s just speculation on our part, but Daska doesn’t even appear to be in the Medley standings and Smith is comfortably in first place still. After two events, Kim has a 71 second lead over second place Millicent Kuria of Kenya.

The top ten in the women’s race was chock full of locals. Besides Smith, who is based out of Providence these days, there was another five familiar faces putting up big races. They were:

4th place – Katie DiCamillo… 34:33
7th place – Mary Kate Champagne… 35:30
8th place – Hilary Dionne… 36:23
9th place – Aly Millett… 37:24
10th place – Kara Haas… 37:47

Kara Haas not only placed tenth overall, but she was also the top masters runner on the day. Not too shabby. Joseph Ekuom got top masters honors in the men’s race with his 33:21 effort.

Changing gears here a little bit, as some of you may know this entity known as Level Renner is almost two years old now. Naturally there are races that we’ve covered multiple times now and it’s interesting to see how much people have improved from year to year (including the video quality and the interview skills). One of the things that we especially love about it is getting an up close look at people as they try to make that leap to the next level.

Along that line, the US Half Marathon Championships were the day before the BAA 10k, and one local stud laid down an absolutely smoking time: Tim Ritchie.

Tim ran a 1:02:29 and placed 4th. That time put Tim a scant 67 seconds behind Meb (2nd place, 1:01:22) and 28 seconds ahead of Abdi (6th, 1:02:57). In 2012, Tim placed 5th with a 1:03:57 and Abdi won it all with his 1:02:46. Now Tim’s mixing it up with the Olympians a little more. That’s a lot of time to knock off in one year, and is no small feat.

Another guy with local ties, Chris Barnicle, ran an impressive 1:03:15 which got him into 10th place. That would’ve placed him much higher last year, so it’s obvious that this edition was much more competitive. The course was the same from year to year, which makes Tim leap even more impressive.

The race itself was one by Mo Trafeh in 61:17, but seeing the results from this race and then the BAA 10k results really made Tim’s achievement stand out. It was just last year that we interviewed Tim after he ran a 29:59 and placed 12th at the BAA 10k. Tim even wrote up a pretty good race report for the site.

Hatton, Harvey & Ritchie after the 2012 BAA 10k.

Hatton, Harvey & Ritchie after the 2012 BAA 10k.

After his marathon build up and then the sub-14 5k at Hollis, we were very interested in how he would do at the BAA 10k in 2013. Not realizing the timing of the two events, we were pleasantly surprised to see what he did for the half.

If a runner’s going to miss a local race, well missing it for a national championship is probably the most satisfying reason out there. That’s the type of news we love to deliver and hope to see much more of in the future.

Ritchie Returns to Form at Hollis

In the men’s race at the Hollis 5k (June 13th), Tim Ritchie led the way with a 13:47. For Tim it was his first race since the Boston Marathon, and what a race it was. The top four all went under 14 minutes:

Tim rolls on the downhill course, courtesy of Krissy Kozlosky.

2 JEFF VEIGA…………….13:53.7
3 PAT FULLERTON……..13:59.2
4 NICK KARWOSKI……..13:58.9

As usual, Tim wasn’t letting the fast downhill course or the ideal conditions distract him from his goal of leading the BAA to the title. “The team win was the only thing on my mind. The personal win and the fast time were unexpected bonuses. I wanted to help Eric, Brian and I get up front and take the top spots. I was not too confident in a kick at this point in my training so I wanted to get it going from the start. The hope was to clear out everyone except Eric and Brian so we could go 1-2-3. It was good to have others in the mix though – made the race exciting, tough and fun, but also meant I had to work the whole 3.1 miles. We ended up 1-5-6 [Note: 1-3-4 when you take out the two non-scorers], but still good enough for the top team on the day.”

Tim’s plan held up, as his Unicorns won it by two minutes over the WMDP Wolfpack. Sean Duncan led the Wolfpack with a 14:27 8th place performance.

Right behind Tim was Jeff Veiga, the All-American from UMass Lowell. Jeff recently graduated and is relatively new to the road racing scene. This was only his third race for RUN and his first Grand Prix event (as a team scorer at least).

Jeff, who only weeks ago placed 4th at DII NCAA’s with a 4th place finish in the 10k (30:41), was not short on confidence as he entered into the USATF-NE fray: “My training wasn’t really consistent leading up to the race and I wasn’t taking it too seriously either. But I knew going into the race that I was just going to go out with whoever took it because there wasn’t any real stud in the race that I couldn’t run with. So I showed up just trying to get the W because time didnt matter, especially on a downhill course. Ritchie probably knew he had it the whole way but I tried to put up a decent fight.”

Just behind Veiga was Pat Fullerton, and although he didn’t factor into the scoring, Pat still ran a heck of a race. It was a PR* [note: should that be the shorthand notation for a downhill PR? If it’s not already, let’s make that official] for him, just like it was for many in the race. But since it’s downhill it doesn’t really put things in perspective. You get a better sense of the progress he’s made when you compare that to the 14:34 Pat ran on the same course last year.

Pat was eager to see what he could do on the fast course against some stacked competition, but that didn’t mean he was exactly resting up for it. “I wasn’t tapering, I ran more miles this past week than I usually do. It was a big race for me because at the Jack Kerouac race I was with the leaders with a mile to go and lost by 30 secs. So I just wanted to show up and run to my ability and I think this time I did! I’m still new to this 3k/5k distance but I’m getting better every race so I can’t complain!” Hit up McDonald’s, Pat. You earned it.

The Masters

Chris Magill won the 5k crown by narrowly edging Joe Navas. Chris was just under the 15 minutes barrier (at 14:58.1) while Navas was painfully just over the mystical barrier (15:00.4). Magill and Navas finished 21st and 23rd overall, respectively. Finishing in between them was Brandon Newbould, one of quite a few runners (including the aforementioned Sean Duncan) in the race who were pulling the badass double of a downhill race at Hollis followed by an uphill race at Mt. Washington two days later.

There was a tense moment at the end when Navas was sneaking up on Magill in full on distance running ninja mode. Joe had the element of surprise and was about to make his last strong move when Dave Kanzanjian started cheering for Joe loudly. Normally that’s helpful for runners, but in this case it seemed to wake up Magill: “I did hear someone cheering for Joe and I knew I had to kick it in to the finish. Navas is an extremely tough competitor. Also, I knew I had to give it my all to help out the BAA all stars (Ritche, Ashe, and Harvey) get the team title.”

The Whirlaway men’s team rode Navas’ second place performance to a second place finish of their own. Dirigo RC brought their ‘A’ game and bested the Whirlaway squad by about 36 seconds. Leading the way for Dirigo was Andy Spaulding (15:16).

Photos courtesy of Krissy Kozlosky. Check out her page for more great shots from the race.

Tim Ritchie: The Real Deal Interview

Tim Ritchie will be making his marathon debut on the big stage: the Boston Marathon. Tim ran for Boston College and even works at Heartbreak Hill Running Company, so it’s safe to say that this is his home course.

As you may have heard, Abdi, Hall and Meb all dropped out of the race. While this greatly affects the chances of an American winning the whole thing this year it leaves the door open for another American to make a name for themselves (see: Jason Hartmann, 2012). While Jason will be back this year, he may not be the only one to watch.

Tim is more focused on place and wouldn’t give a goal time, but a quick look at the conversion charts in the old Daniels’ Running Formula tells us that Tim is capable of anywhere between a 2:12-2:14. A number in a book is one thing, but to actually do it is quite another. Tim has been adding impressive showings at big races to his resume for a while now, including three top-five finishes at national championships in 2012 (the 15k, half marathon and ten mile races). Not too long ago he finished 6th at the 2013 15k national championships.

I met with Tim this morning on the Common for a quick interview to get his thoughts leading up to the race. This one lasts little longer than six seconds and is about more than just hand gestures:

Feature image courtesy Davenport Photography.

Tim Ritchie Boston Marathon Preview

EJN nabs an exclusive interview with Tim Ritchie of the BAA. Tim appears ready to make a big splash on the marathoning scene, and tells us about it:

Okay, as you can tell something didn’t quite workout. What happened was simply that I had no one to man the camera so after setting it on a tripod we tried to mark our spots as best as we could (where we were standing in that first shot). It came out horribly wrong. It was a pretty damn good interview, if I may say so (like 40 mins worth too), and I’m awkwardly off camera for most of it. We realized that might be a problem afterwards, and after a quick discussion we decided to shoot some “stock footage” in which we were both in frame and we could set the audio to that.

On the bench we ended up getting another 8 minutes or so of footage and we were actually talking about hand gestures and Game of Thrones the whole time (and what a douche that guy was who walked in front of the camera). But it was obvious to us that nothing really useable would come out of it so it just ended up being a fun time. Still can’t believe that guy walked in front of the camera.

I thought it could make for a good gag video so here it is. It’s asking a lot for anyone to attempt to watch a 35 minute video even when the sound lines up, so to do extend this video here to include all 35 minutes wouldn’t have gone over well. I should be able to release the actual interview as a podcast so you can listen to it at your leisure.

Legit interview with Hilary Dionne coming soon, and we’re both in frame for that one. I promise.

GBTC Going to Nationals, Plus More

Here’s a quick guest blog to lead us off. This one comes from Tom Derderian about the GBTC:

The GBTC men’s team will be traveling to Chicago, IL, this weekend for the first ever USATF National Club Team 8 km Championships. The team members are Brennan BonnerBrian McNamaraMatt HaringaRyan Irwin, and Chris Kibler. The championship has qualifying standards of 17 minutes for 5K and 28 minutes for 8K. Twenty-six teams are entered.

GBTC is the only team from New England attending the race, and is traveling on a USATF-NE grant awarding them $150 each, and will receive lodging from the meet. Team prize money ranges from $3,000 for first to $1,000 for fifth place. The championship is part of the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k taking place on Sunday April 7th, in Grant Park, IL. The Hansons-Brooks Distance Project won last year’s team race and have two teams entered this year.

Congrats to the GBTC on receiving the grant and good luck to them out in Chicago! Recently the Western Mass Distance Project also received a grant from the USATF-NE for their trip out to XC Club Nationals. Interested in a grant? Find out more here.

Thanks to Reno Stirrat and Facebook we saw this:

Newton’s Ezekial in it for the long run at Boston Marathon

Ephraim Ezekial is a teammate of mine, a very fast runner and a good guy. Give the article a read to find out a little something more about him.

RunnersConnect just recently featured video interviews with a couple of names that might sound familiar to Level Legion: Terry Shea and Mario Fraioli. Terry’s interview has to do with preparing for and racing on the Boston Marathon course, and Mario goes over his first book:

The Official Rock n’ Roll Guide to Marathon and Half Marathon training.

Wrapping up today’s news is a call for questions. I’ll be siting down with Tim Ritchie tomorrow to talk about his upcoming marathon debut, and hopefully Hilary Dionne in the next couple of days. If you have questions that you’d like me to ask either of them, feel free to comment here or send out via Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Please don’t mail any in on postcards.

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