Ryan Bak Runs 2:14! in Marathon Debut

–  Ryan Bak (Bend, Ore.) has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete
of the Week after running his debut road marathon at the California
International Marathon in 2:14:17 as the top American finisher.

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Bak finished second overall and well under the U.S. Olympic Team Trials
– Marathon standard of 2:19:00. Bak ran a near even race as he came
through the halfway point in 1:07:17.

“I was elated and very happy to finish second and run as fast as I
did,” Bak said. “I hit halfway and felt very comfortable. As each mile
clicked off I felt great. With 10 km to go, I knew I’d be under the
standard and I started to get excited.”

Bak retired from competitive racing in 2009 and returned to running
this July when he relocated to Bend, Oregon. Bak was a Division III
standout at Trinity College before representing the Oregon Track Club
as a 5,000m runner. Bak competed in both the 2004 and 2008 trials on
the track in the 5,000m.

Since Bak has returned to training this summer, he has explored longer
trail races including both the USA 50 km and Marathon Trail
Championships, where Bak finished as the runner-up to his training
partner Max King.

“I’m exploring longer stuff and I think it suits me better than shorter
and faster stuff on the track,” Bak said. “I’ve finally found my niche
and it feels great.”

Now in its tenth year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed
to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF
names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on
www.usatf.org. Selections are based on top performances and results
from the previous week.

Winners: January 5, Bill Tribou CT; January 12, Tyler Sorensen; January
20, Josh Cox; January 26,Ben Shorey; February 2, Ashton Eaton; February
9, Ashton Eaton; February 16, Bernard Lagat; February 23, Ryan Crouser;
March 2, Jillian Camarena-Williams; March 10, Bill Collins; March 16,
Miles Batty; March 23, Shalane Flanagan NC-MA; March 30, John Nunn; April 6,
Aries Merritt; April 13, Gunnar Nixon; April 20, Desiree Davila; April
27, Nolan Shaheed; May 4, Emma Coburn; May 11, Willie Gault; May 18,
English Gardner; May
25, Kibwé Johnson; June 1, Khadevis Robinson; June 8, Carmelita Jeter;
June 15, Lukas Verzbicas; June 22, Aisling Cuffe NY; June 29, Trevor
Barron; July 6, Aldrich Bailey; July 13, Jillian Camarena-Williams;
July 20, Johnnye Valien; July 27, Bernard Lagat; August 3, Marcus Krah;
August 9, Leo Manzano; August 17, Magdalena Lewy Boulet; August 24,
Brigetta Barrett; September 7, LaShinda Demus; September 14, Kasie
Enman VT;
September 21, Galen Rupp; September 28, Max King; October 5,
Kathryn Martin NY; October 13, William Boland; October 19, Janet
Cherobon-Bawcom; October 26, Michael Wardian; November 2 Sara Hall;
November 9, Meb Keflezighi; November 16, Shalane Flanagan NC-MA; November 23,
Ryan Haebe; November 30, Dave Talcott; December 7, Ryan Bak, OR-CT

About USA Track & Field

USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track
& field, long-distance running and race walking in the United
States. USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, the
World’s #1 Track & Field Team, the most-watched events at the
Olympics, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory
sport, and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States: www.usatf.org.

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