Saucony athlete Ben True, the American record-holder for 5K on the roads, became the first American men’s open division winner at the 2018 New York City Half Marathon that was held on Sunday (18).
At his first attempt at the distance, the 32-year-old True crossed the finish line in 1:02:39, three seconds ahead of two-time Olympian and fellow American Dathan Ritzenhein. The field in Sunday’s race included nine Olympians overall who navigated a route from Prospect Park in Brooklyn to Central Park in Manhattan.
“The way Ben handled Sunday’s world class field, deep with Olympians and the marathon-distance elite, tells us he’s on track for more great performances in 2018,” said Amanda Reiss, chief marketing officer for Saucony. “Ben is not only an incredibly gifted runner but a tremendous person who shares our brand’s values, inspiring runners everywhere to ‘run their world.’ Ben continues to help us set the standards for performance innovation, working with our design team to create the footwear that empowers runners to achieve their personal best, just as he does. The entire Saucony family is incredibly proud of Ben and we wish him a tremendous Spring racing season.”
“Knowing that most of the field were marathoners, or at least have done the half many times before, I knew that I probably had a little bit better closing speed than them,” said True, who ran in the Saucony Type A8. “I hid for the majority of the race and then used my speed to get around the other competitors over the last kilometer. I appreciated all the support from the spectators who braved the cold out there, as well as my Saucony family who believes in me as much as I do them.”
True of Hanover, NH, is the American record holder for 5K with a time of 13:20. He has won seven national titles on the road at distances including 5K, 10K, 15K, and 10 miles and has twice been the top U.S. finisher at the world cross country championships. True’s 6th-place finish at world cross in 2013 led the American men to a surprise team silver medal. He is coached by Ray Treacy, who is also the Cross Country and Track and Field coach at Providence College in Rhode Island.
Two-time Olympian and Saucony athlete Molly Huddle became the first American ever to win the NYC Half Marathon in 2015. She went on to claim victory there in 2016 and 2017 to make it three in a row.