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Ben Blankenship is moving up from the 1500-metre event that he specialized in since 2008 to the marathon. He is making the move under the direction of American half marathon record holder Ryan Hall.
The 33-year-old Stillwater, Minnesota native owns a best of 3:34.26, which he set in 2016 in the Brussels Diamond League meet.
That same year he competed in the Rio Olympic Games and finished eighth.
His brief foray into longer distance racing includes a solid 28:08.20 two years ago. It appears, that he has yet to run a half marathon. His record with World Athletics does not indicate one.
Blankenship shared with Instagram followers, “some opportunities only come around once in a lifetime — and when those opportunities happen, you rip it. I’ve always had the philosophy that I wanted to be coached by individuals who have achieved what I want to achieve.”
Hall has had success coaching others including his wife Sara, who is one of the fastest marathon runners in the US with her 2:20:32 from 2020. She, like her husband, holds the national record in the half marathon at 67:15. There is also Canadian Rory Linkletter who also happens to hold the national record in the half marathon at 61:08.
He added, “this build is all about strength and becoming one of the most versatile athletes possible — from the 1500m to the marathon. This past week @ryanhall3 and I began the journey to the marathon start line, with one of the best Americans to ever do it as my coach. It’s a radical change, but one both of us are excited about. Buckle up because it’s going to be a wild ride.”
He sounds enthusiastic.
It is a big change having most recently been with the Oregon Track Club in Eugene, Oregon.
Linkletter and Sara Hall were quick to reply on the social media app, Hall taking first dibs on the training partner role.
Based on Blankenship’s 1500m and 3000m bests, he would run 2:08-2:09 on a fast course, however, anything can and often does happen in the marathon.