Dathan Ritzenhein rans 1:01:24 half marathon in New Orleans as he gets ready to run Boston in April

Dathan Ritzenhein topped the field at the Humana Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon in a time of 1 hours, 1 minute and 24 seconds to edge out Emmanuel Bett.

“I surprised myself, actually,” he told The Advocate. “(Runner-up Bett Emmanuel) led nearly 13 miles, basically someone I could hang off about 5-10 seconds most of the time, and then the last mile I threw in a big kick.”

The rest of the top five were: Tyler McCandless (1:03:48), Kenneth Foster (1:08:50) and Tyler Alverson (1:11:51).

Ritzenhein, a three-time Olympian dogged by injuries most of 2018, last ran competitively in November when he was 12th at the USATF 5K championship in New York.

The 2019 Boston Marathon is April 15. The 36-year-old Ritzenhein was forced to pull out of last year's race about a week before with inflammation in his right leg. In 2015, he finished seventh and was the top American finisher in his Boston Marathon debut.

Last year, Ritzenhein also warmed up for Boston by finishing second in March at the New York Half Marathon.

posted Tuesday February 12th