Ryan Hall is a retired American long-distance runner who holds the U.S. record in the half marathon. With his half marathon record time (59:43), he became the first U.S. runner to break the one-hour barrier in the event.
He is also the only American to run a sub-2:05 marathon (2:04:58 at the 2011 Boston marathon). However, this time is not eligible to be a record due to the course being point-to-point and its elevation drop. Hall won the marathon at the 2008 United States Olympic Trials and placed tenth in the Olympic marathon in Beijing.
Hall has been sponsored by ASICS since 2005. His coach at the time was Terrence Mahon, a former runner at Villanova University. In 2006 he won his first national title in the 12K cross-country championships, winning by 27 seconds.
On September 16, 2006, Hall won the Great Cow Harbor 10K in Northport, New York, setting a new course record of 28:22. Hall’s road-running success continued when he broke the U.S. 20k record on October 8, 2006, running 57:54, 48 seconds faster than the previous record run by Abdi Abdirahman in 2005.
On January 14, 2007, Hall won the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon in a time of 59:43, which makes him the 49th fastest half marathoner in history as of February 2013. The performance also demolished the previous North American record of 1:00:55, set by Mark Curp on September 15, 1985, in Philadelphia.
On April 22, 2007, Hall placed 7th in the Flora London Marathon. His time of 2:08:24 was the fastest marathon debut by any American.
On November 3, 2007, Hall won the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon in a Trials-record 2:09:02 in New York City, New York. With this win, he, Dathan Ritzenhein, and Brian Sell qualified to run the marathon at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
On April 13, 2008, Hall placed 5th in the Flora London Marathon. Hall, 25, competing in only his third marathon, finished in 2:06:17. The only American to run faster is Khalid Khannouchi, who in 2002 ran 2:05:38 in London and 2:05:56 in Chicago.
Hall was featured on the cover of the September 2008 Runner’s World magazine and talks about his “run for glory” in the marathon in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. On August 24, 2008, Hall was the second American to cross the finish line the 2008 Men’s Olympic Marathon, placing 10th with a time of 2:12:33. He ran at a much more conservative pace than the lead pack did, and gradually moved from 21st place at the 15k mark up to 10th at the 40 km mark. His teammates Dathan Ritzenhein and Brian Sell finished 9th and 22nd, respectively.
Hall was chosen as the 2008 Road Runner of the Year in the Open Male division by the Road Runners Club of America.
On April 20, 2009, Hall participated in the 2009 Boston Marathon, finishing third overall in 2:09:40 behind Deriba Merga of Ethiopia and Daniel Rono of Kenya. Merga and Rono finished with times of 2:08:42 and 2:09:32, respectively. He returned to the race in 2010, but only managed fourth place, although his time of 2:08:41 was the fastest ever by an American at Boston.
In 2010, Hall finished fourth in the Boston Marathon, and fourteenth in the Philadelphia Distance Run half marathon. Due to fatigue, he withdrew from the Chicago Marathon. In October, Hall left his coach Josh Cox (successor of Terrence Mahon), and the Mammoth Track Club. He won at the 2010 USA 7 Mile Championships.
Sub-2:05:00 at the 2011 Boston Marathon
On December 16, 2010, Hall announced that he would be running the 2011 Boston Marathon, marking his third consecutive appearance in the race. On April 18, 2011, Hall ran the fastest marathon ever by an American, 2:04:58, to finish fourth. Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai ran 57 seconds under the recognized world record at the time, in winning in 2:03:02, and credited Hall with setting – and maintaining – a fast early pace. However, this was not an American record, since the Boston course is not eligible for records owing to its point-to-point layout and its elevation drop of greater than 1 m/km; a strong net tailwind (15–20 miles/hr) contributed to the runners’ remarkable 2011 times.
In January 2012, Hall led at halfway point but finished second behind Meb Keflezighi in the Olympic marathon trials in Houston, Texas with a time of 2:09:30, securing his spot on his second Olympic team. At the Olympics in London, Hall dropped out of the marathon around the eleven mile mark while he ran this race with a hamstring injury. After his disappointment at the Olympics, Hall signed up for the New York City Marathon for later that year, but was unable to run it and withdrew from the race (before it was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy) in September.
In 2013, Hall signed up for the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon, but withdrew from both due to injuries.
In April 2014, Hall finished 20th in a time of 2:17:50 at the 2014 Boston Marathon, his first marathon finish since the 2012 Olympic trials. In September 2014, Hall announced that he was being coached by Jack Daniels. Hall announced that he will be running the Utah Valley Marathon in June 2015 but did not record a finish.
On March 15, 2015 at the Los Angeles Marathon, Hall took the lead at the start running the first mile in 4:42 at near world record pace but dropped out at the halfway point after losing touch with the lead pack at the fifth mile. His wife Sara was competing in her first marathon in the same race.
Since July 2015, Ryan Hall’s running volume got restricted to 12 miles per week.
In January, 2016, Hall announced his retirement from racing, citing the harmful effects it has had on his body. At that time, Hall weighed only 127 pounds (58 kg) due to low testosterone.