The fifth Athletics Illustrated Person of the Week honour is awarded to Dathan Ritzenhein for the week of May 11, 2020. Ritzenhein retired from competitive running at age 37 last week. He was one of America’s most prolific distance runners during the 2000s.

He was one of America’s all-time best over a range of distances from 3,000-metres to the marathon.

Until Bernard Lagat ran 12:54.12 in 2010, Ritzenhein held the national 5,000-metre record at 12:56.27.

The Grand Rapids, Michigan native is a three-time American cross country champion. He participated in three Olympic Games, three IAAF World Track and Field Championships, and three IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

Personal bests

3,000 metres – 7:39.03
2-mile – 8:11.74
5,000 metres – 12:56.27
10,000 metres – 27:22.28
Half-marathon – 1:00:00
Marathon – 2:07:47

World Athletics
Athletics Illustrated
Final Surge


The Athletics Illustrated Person of the Week recognition is an endeavor that aims to recognise noteworthy or newsworthy achievements, actions or events in the sport of athletics by individuals who are involved or have affected the sport in some way.

The weekly decision will be the discretion of Athletics Illustrated, however, input from readers is welcome.

At the end of each year, the Person of the Week honours will be reviewed and featured along with a Person of the Year recognition taken from the list of weekly honours.

If you feel someone should be recognised, please register, login, and provide the person’s name and reason.