American record holder and two-time Olympian Ryan Hall has announced his retirement and will not compete at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles next month.
“Up to this point, I always believed my best races were still ahead of me,” Hall, told The New York Times. “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.’”
Hall is the fastest American to run 26.2 miles with a 2:04:58 performance at the windy 2011 Boston Marathon. The time can not be ratified as an American record due to the net downhill nature of the Boston Marathon course. His next best run was a 2:06:17 finish at the 2008 London Marathon.
“Ryan Hall has inspired a whole generation of young American runners to believing they can compete with the world's best over the marathon distance,” Hall's representation at Fynn Sports Management said in a statement. “His fearless front running style defines his legacy in our sport.”
Hall does hold the U.S. record for the half-marathon as he became the first man to run under 60-minutes for 13.1 miles with a 59:43 win at the 2007 Houston Half-Marathon.
Hall won the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and went on to finish 10th at the Summer Games in Beijing. He also qualified for the 2012 Olympics in London with a runner-up finish.
Hall's career took a turn as he pulled out of the Olympic marathon after about 10 miles with pain in his left quadriceps. He was also dealing with plantar fasciitis in the lead-up to the Olympics. It was the first time that he did not finish a marathon in his career.
A series of injuries forced him to withdraw from the 2012 New York City Marathon, 2013 Boston Marathon and 2013 New York City Marathon before ultimately returning to action with a 20th place finish in 2:17 at the 2014 Boston Marathon.
Hall's last crack at the marathon came at the 2015 LA Marathon but dropped out of the race after the half-way point.
Hall was listed on U.S.A. Track and Field's early declarations for the Olympic Trials Marathon but will not attempt to make his third Olympic team.
His wife, Sara, will run the women's race in Los Angeles as she tries to make her first Olympic team. The Halls spent a lot of time training in Adidis Ababa, Ethiopia and adopted four Ethiopian orphans in 2015.
- Christopher Chavez