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North Central graduate finishes 2nd

INDIANAPOLIS — Futsum Zienasellassie was essentially retired. He is the most decorated long distance runner in Indiana high school history, led Northern Arizona to its first NCAA cross country title, won a national title as a professional.

Yet that doesn’t always mean much in this sport.

With a wife and a young son, you can’t just chase after a dream. Zienasellassie, 29, has no shoe deal or other sponsor.

After:She started jogging a mile at age 32. She will run her last mini-marathon on Saturday at age 80.

So during the pandemic, he stopped training altogether for 10 weeks, took a part-time job shoveling snow at a Flagstaff golf course, worked at a recreation center.

“You just think, ‘We picked the wrong sport,'” he said. “For the time we devote to it, for the strength with which we work.”

He didn’t choose to run. The race chose him. And he chose Indianapolis as his final stop on a possible path to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

It’s not often that a 13.1-mile race comes down to a sprint, but this one did. Leonard Korir edged out Zienasellassie just before the finish to win the USA Half Marathon on Saturday at the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

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