Ben Blankenship is on the Comeback Trail
By Down the Backstretch
When Ben Blankenship, who has clocked a 3:54 Mile, looks out the window of the "house on the hill" in Eugene, that he shares with Hassan Mead, he sees "the cathedral," Hayward Field at the University of Oregon. It has become one of the training sites Blankenship will use to launch his comeback into the track world after an extended absence.
Blankenship had a breakout year in 2011 on the U.S. and European track circuit. He dropped his PR in his main event, the 1500 meters to 3:37.23, and seemed on the verge of breaking into the upper echelon of the rapidly rising U.S. middle distance corps. But then he started to slide down the other side of the "roller coaster" that is one's fortunes as a distance runner. A pain in his hip that he had been ignoring did not go away, so he had to have an operation to "clean out" the joint in September 2011. It was not a hip replacement, as has been reported elsewhere, but rather an outpatient laparoscopic surgery that repaired the pain-inducing, minor damage to the joint.
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