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America’s Tim Ritchie is hoping to run well in the New York City Marathon on Sunday

Tim Ritchie signed with Saucony and started his professional career on the track before moving into road racing in 2014. Ritchie raced 5Ks, 10Ks and half marathons. “That was my inroads into being a professional runner,” Ritchie said. “I didn’t quite have the credentials when I graduated to sign a contract or be competing in the elite field in New York. I had to earn my way in.” Ritchie spent a year as a volunteer assistant with the Yale cross country team, while working with McKirdy Trained coaching services. He won the USATF Marathon National Championship last December at the California International Marathon in Sacramento. Ritchie moved up from 18th at the halfway mark with a blistering finish to claim the title in 2 hours, 11 minutes, 56 seconds. “There’s much more of a need for patience and self control in the early miles. I try to break the race up into stages, and keep reminding myself that I have what it takes.” Tim was hired to be the head track coach at UMass which started in June. “It’s a new life and a new adjustment, trying to find that balance,” Ritchie said. “It takes some discipline, time management, patience both on my part and my athletes have been truly patient and supportive of me, as well.” UMass finished sixth in the men’s race at last weekend’s Atlantic 10 Championships and 13th in the women’s team competition. “I’ve found it impressive how quickly he was able to gain the trust of the team,” UMass senior Michael Famiglietti said. “He’s still an athlete himself out there competing.”  Ritchie’s buildup for the New York Marathon has not been perfect. He’s had to adjust his schedule to full-time coaching and contend with injuries and illness, too. “I’m in a good rhythm now. From a running standpoint, being out in western Mass has been awesome for me,” Ritchie said. “This training environment is phenomenal when it comes to trails, dirt roads, hills’ it’s a beautiful place to go for a run every day.” The men’s New York elite field is stacked with nine Olympians and three major marathon champions from 2017. Ritchie doesn’t harbor hopes of winning. He understands the landscape of elite distance running right now and is focused on his own best race. “I want to get the most I can out of myself and run with pride,” Tim said.   (11/02/2018) ⚡AMP

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