On Friday January 15th, distance runner Ryan Hall announced his retirement from competition. In The New York Times, Hall summons his low testosterone levels and chronic fatigue as the reasons for his retirement. He says,
“Up to this point, I always believe my beat races were still ahead of me. I’ve explored every issue to get back to the level I’ve been at, and my body is not responding. I realized that it was time to stop striving, to finally be satisfied and decide ‘mission accomplished.'”
Not only does Hall hold the fastest marathon by an American (2:04:58; Boston, 2011), but the 33-year-old California native also holds the half marathon record (59:43; Houston, Texas, 2007) and fastest debut marathon (2:08:24;London, 2007). Notably, Hall is the only American runner to have broken the one-hour barrier in the half marathon.
While often criticized for his nontraditional training and racing, Hall noted in The New York Times he acknowledges the many failures in his career but believes that it set him up for success. After his debut and dominant win at the 2008 Olympic Team Trials Marathon, Hall’s times suffered, and he turned to new “faith-based” training methods. In April 2011 at the Boston Marathon, Hall finished fourth in an American-best time and in 2012, finished second at the Olympic Team Marathon Trials.
Hall is best known for inspiring a whole new generation os young American runners, proving that they can compete with the world’s best over the marathon distance. Former Olympian and agent Ray Flynn tweeted: “His fearless front running style defines his legacy in our sport.”