Surprise, Surprise: Men’s Olympic Marathon Preview

Ryan Hall. Photo:

Ryan Hall

Once touted as the next great hope for American marathoning, Hall has produced fast times in his career but has only made the podium of one major marathon, when he finished third at Boston in 2009. Hall made the stunning announcement in 2010 that he was leaving his longtime coach Terrence Mahon and the Mammoth Track Club. A devout Christian, Hall has written and spoken extensively about how he is now using God and prayer as his guide to running fast.

Age at the Olympics: 29

Trains in: Redding, Calif., and Flagstaff, Ariz.

PR: 2:04:58 (2011 Boston Marathon)

Recent results: 2011 Boston Marathon, fourth, 2:04:58; 2011 Chicago Marathon, fifth, 2:08:04

Previous Olympics: 2008: 10th, marathon

Olympic outlook: Hall likes to run fast and hard, and he isn’t afraid to take off at an imprudent pace from the gun. This running style could bode well for him at the Olympics, as the revolution started by the late Sammy Wanjiru has male marathoners throwing tactics to the wind. If the frontrunners set a blistering pace at the start, expect Hall to go with them.

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