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The fastest-ever American marathoner and half-marathoner, Ryan Hall made his mark in elite-level track, road racing, and cross country for nearly two decades.
A two-time California state high school cross country champion, he ran a 4:02 mile his senior year. While at Stanford, he finished second in the 2003 NCAA cross country championship and was the 2005 NCAA 5000-meter champion.
Hall's breakout as a professional took place on the snow-covered hills of Van Cortlandt Park, where he stormed to the 2006 USA Cross Country Championship title. The following year he set the still-standing American half-marathon record of 59:43, which remains the only sub-1:00:00 time by an American.
Hall won the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, held in Central Park on November 3, 2007. The following spring he ran 2:06:17 at the London Marathon, making him the second-fastest American marathoner on a record-eligible course. Hall’s time of 2:04:58 at the 2011 Boston Marathon is the fastest ever by an American, though the point-to-point downhill course is ineligible for records.
A two-time Olympian, Hall retired from competition in January 2016. He and his wife, Sara Hall, also an elite distance runner, founded The Hall Steps Foundation, which supports social justice efforts. In 2015 the Halls adopted four Ethiopian girls, who share their parents’ love of running.