Dathan Ritzenhein retires from competitive running

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s official: legendary West Michigan runner Dathan Ritzenhein is retiring from the sport.

The 37-year-old Rockford, Mich. native tweeted the news Thursday morning, saying, “What an amazing ride this has been! Thank you for the years of support as I lived the dream.”

Ritzenhein was a standout runner at Rockford High School. The former 5K American record holder went on to become a two-time global medalist, five-time national champion and three-time Olympian.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Ritzenhein said running will continue to be his passion and devotion and that while you won’t find him competing on a race course, he’ll never be far away.

“I love this sport and I couldn’t go without it. It has given me so much (that) it’s time for me to give back. I won’t be on the start line but I’ll never be far away. I won’t be in a rocking chair or out on the golf course. You’ll probably find me behind a stopwatch or cheering on the side of the road. Thank you for all the support over these years. It was truly (an) amazing journey, I’m looking forward to the next chapter!

Dathan Ritzenhein, May 7, 2020