Greeno blitzes half marathon field
There are a couple of reasons why Dan Greeno is recognized as one of the top distance runners in the state.
That was evident on Saturday when he blitzed the field in the 27th edition of the Rochester Half Marathon, setting a race record and roaring to a six-minute win.
"My goal was to break 1:07,'' he said.
Well, he did.
Greeno, 23, easily won with a time of 1:06.34, Brian Sames, 24, of Shakopee was second in 1:12.09 and Kelly Mortenson, 40, of St. Paul, finished third in 1:12.46.
"I've never run a really good half marathon,'' he said, "because I tend to go out too hard and don't have it at the end.
"So this was good for me; it's a good tune up for the Twin Cities.''
The Twin Cities Marathon is Oct. 2 and Greeno hopes to use that in order to qualify for the United States Olympic Trials in January. He would need to run a 2:19 or faster at Twin Cities.
The Trials also use a 1:05 half marathon qualifier.
"That's really out of my reach right now,'' he said.
Greeno was named Minnesota Runner of the Year in 2010, a title based on points accumulated throughout the year. He currently leads the points standings again.
"That's a nice honor,'' he said, "but there are runners with the USA Minnesota team who could definitely beat me.''
On Saturday, Greeno pretty much ran by himself.
"A friend of mine was going out with me but he suffered a cramp in his calf going up the hill in the first mile and had to quit,'' Greeno said, "so I was pretty much alone. There was great crowd support along the way and the volunteers were super but I'm not sure I could have run much faster even if I was pressed.
" The course was tough with a few early hills but overall I really liked it. And the weather was just great.
"Let's put it this way, I'm real happy with my time. It's a big motivator for me heading into the Twin Cities.''
Greeno is a 2010 graduate of Bethel University. He won the Human race 8K last March in St. Paul and just recently the Minnesota Distance Running Association 15K for the second straight year.
His previous best time in a half marathon was 1:07.37. He has never run a marathon.
"A 2:19 (marathon time) is definitely within reach,'' he said about the Twin Cities. "I figure to slow down about three minutes from today so my plan is to do a 1:09 at the half and hope for an even split the rest of the way.''
Greeno majored in media communication at Bethel. He currently works at Wells Fargo home mortgage in Minneapolis.