Ben True

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Ben True
Ben True 2016.jpg
Ben True running 5000 m at the 2016 Olympic Trials
Personal information
Nationality American
Born (1985-12-29) December 29, 1985 (age 31)[1]
North Yarmouth, Maine, U.S.
Residence Hanover, New Hampshire
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight 164 lb (74 kg)[2]
Sport Athletics
Event(s) 1500 m – 15 km
College team Dartmouth
Club Saucony Elite Racing
Coached by Tim Broe[3]
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 3000 m: 7:35.53 (2017)[1]
5000 m: 13:02.74 (2014)[1]
10,000 m: 27:41.17 (2012)[1]

Ben True (born December 29, 1985) is an American track and field and cross-country athlete, who competed for Dartmouth College and currently trains in Hanover, New Hampshire, while competing for Saucony and In the Arena. True was the top American at both the 2011 and 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, as well as the 2011 USATF Road Running Circuit Champion, winning the 5 km and 10 km Road Championships along the way.[4][5]

True is married to triathlete Sarah Groff.[6]

Early career[edit]

Born and raised in North Yarmouth, Maine, True competed as a Nordic skier and runner throughout his time at Greely High School and Dartmouth College. He earned All-American honors twice at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships while in high school, twice at the NCAA Men's Cross Country Championship, three times at the NCAA Skiing Championships, once at the NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship, and at the 2007 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.[7][8] True studied art history and architecture at Dartmouth.

Professional career (2009–present)[edit]

After graduating from Dartmouth, True joined the Oregon Track Club for his first year as a professional runner. While at OTC, he was Top Mainer at the Beach to Beacon 10k in 2009, finishing 10th overall, and represented the Ivy League Alumni Select team at the Izumo Ekiden in Izumo City, Japan.


In the summer of 2010, True returned to Hanover, New Hampshire, to train with In the Arena Track Club, an NGO that provides opportunities for elite athletes to compete professionally while working part-time to strengthen their local communities.[9] True coaches and manages a cross-country and track team at Indian River Middle School in Enfield, New Hampshire.


True joined the Saucony Elite Racing team in 2011. Since joining Saucony, True has improved his track PR's to 7:36:59 for 3000m, 13:02.74 for 5000m, and 27:41.17 for 10,000m.[10] On the roads, he has won four national championships ranging from 5k to 15k, as well as the 2011 United States Road Circuit Championship.

True was also the top American at both the 2011[11] and 2013[12] IAAF World Cross Country Championships, finishing 35th and 6th. His 2013 performance was the highest finish for an American since 1995 and led the American team to a second-place finish behind Ethiopia, defeating Kenya for the first time since 1984.


At the 2013 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, True finished 4th in both the 5000m and the 10000m. A top-three finish in either event would have qualified him for the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.[13]

Starting in 2013, True trained with Liberty University alum Sam Chelanga in Hanover, New Hampshire. This continued until early 2015 when Chelanga announced he would be moving to Tucson, Arizona to train with Coach James Li and his group of athletes including Bernard Lagat, Lawi Lalang and Abdihakem Abdirahman among others.


During the Payton Jordan Invitational track meet in the spring, True ran a world-leading 13:02.74 in the 5000m, winning the race and clocking the 9th fastest time ever run by an American over that distance.[14] True also won the 2014 Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving day, outperforming Sam Chelanga during the last half-mile.


On April 18, 2015, True began a breakout year by winning the BAA 5K in a new American 5k road record, 13:22.[15][16][17][18]

In June 2015, True won the New York Diamond League 5000 meters and ran 27:43.79 in a 10 km at 2015 Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, CA earning a qualifying time[19] for Athletics at the 2016 Summer Olympics and 2015 World Championships in Athletics

On June 25, Ben True placed second in 10 km and made fourth US team 2015 World Championships in Athletics at 2015 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. On July 18, he had another second place in Heusden, Belgium. True placed 6th 2015 World.

On September 11, True ran 13:05 at Diamond League finale in Brussels.[20]


May 28, 2016, True placed 11th at the Eugene Diamond League 5000 meters in 13:12.67 in preparation for US Olympic Track and Field Trials in July 2016.[21] He placed fifth in the 5000 m at the Olympic trials with a time of 13:36.40.[22]

On June 17, True placed third in 1500 meters at 2016 adidas BOOST Boston Games in US leading time 3:36.05 behind Nick Willis and Collins Cheboi.[23]

On August 6, True placed first in the 19th TD Beach To Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, with a time of 28:17. True became the first American and native Maine runner to win the race.[24][25]

On November 24, True won the 2016 Manchester Road Race, beating out one of the most competitive fields the race has seen. Both True and Leonard Korir were given the same finishing time (21:31), though the win was given to True. [26]

US Teams[edit]

World team place
2009 road 13th[27]
2011 12 km xc 35th
2013 12 km xc 6th
2015 10 km outdoor
2015 5 km outdoor 6th


  1. ^ a b c d IAAF. "Athlete profile for Ben True". 
  2. ^ Lorge, Sarah. (March 1, 2013) Big Ben | Runner's World. Retrieved on August 8, 2016.
  3. ^ "Ben True Thinks He Can Medal at World Championships". Retrieved March 17, 2016. 
  4. ^ USA Track & Field – Men. Retrieved on August 8, 2016.
  5. ^ "Ben True | Saucony Athletes". Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ Groff, Sarah (March 12, 2014). "Taking the Plunge". Retrieved August 23, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Men 1500 Meter Run 2007 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships". Retrieved June 2, 2016. 
  8. ^ "True-ly an Impressive Career Wearing Green –—Official Web Site of Dartmouth Varsity Athletics". Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Athletes". In the Arena. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  10. ^ Athlete Profile Ben True. "Athlete profile for Ben True". Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Senior Race Result – 40th IAAF World Cross Country Championships 2013". March 24, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Senior Race Result – 39th IAAF World Cross Country Championships". March 20, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Ben True Locked & Loaded For US 10K Team | Ben True Videos". Flotrack. June 14, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  14. ^ "2014 Payton Jordan Invitational". 
  15. ^ Press Releases | NYRR. Retrieved on August 8, 2016.
  16. ^ NYRR Media Relations on Twitter: ".@bentrue wins the #BAA5K in a new American 5k road record, 13:22!". (April 18, 2015). Retrieved on August 8, 2016.
  17. ^ Hetzel, Megan. (April 18, 2015) Ben True, Molly Huddle Set American Records to Win BAA 5K | Runner's World. Retrieved on August 8, 2016.
  18. ^ USA Track & Field – Huddle and True set pending American records at B.A.A. 5k. (April 18, 2015). Retrieved on August 8, 2016.
  19. ^ Weekly, Athletics. (April 15, 2015) IAAF approves entry standards for Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Athletics Weekly. Retrieved on August 8, 2016.
  20. ^ Complete Brussels Diamond League Results (iaaf results service) 11/09/2015. Retrieved on August 8, 2016.
  21. ^ "Men 5000 Meter Run 2016 Prefontaine Classic – 5/27/2016 to 5/28/2016 Diamond League Hayward Field – Eugene, OR". Retrieved June 2, 2016. 
  22. ^ U.S. Olympic Trials – Track & Field.
  23. ^ Adidas Boost Boston Games Jun 17, 2016 Jun 18, 2016.
  24. ^ Maine Native Ben True Becomes First American Ever to Win TD Beach to Beacon, Kenya's Mary Keitany Shatters Course Record at 19th Edition of Iconic Road Race. (January 1, 1998). Retrieved on August 8, 2016.
  25. ^ TD Beach to Beacon 10K Cape Elizabeth, ME, August 6, 2016.
  26. ^ Ben True, Emily Sisson Win 80th Manchester Road Race.
  27. ^ Larner, Brett. (October 13, 2009) japan running news: Gitau Delivers Another Izumo Ekiden Win – Updated. Retrieved on August 8, 2016.