In a surprise announcement, two-time Olympian Ryan Hall has said he is retiring from professional running—just four weeks ahead of the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles.
The 33-year-old Hall, who nine years ago set a still-standing American record of 59:43 at the Armco Houston Half Marathon, where his wife Sara will compete this Sunday, made the announcement in a New York Times story.
“So thankful for all the memories of the last 20 years of my running career,” Hall wrote on his Facebook page Friday afternoon. “Thankful for the people I’ve meet, the places I’ve been, the good days the bad days, and hugely thankful for everyone that’s invested in me throughout my career. It was an amazing ride but it wasn’t meant to last forever. Thanks for everyone’s support! I’m looking forward to helping others experience their own breakthroughs whether it be on the roads or in their hearts.”
Last fall, Hall admitted to struggling with injuries and inconsistent training since 2012. He also said his buildup to the 2016 Trials had been less than ideal.
“The last four years certainly have been very trying,” Hall said last October. “The last Olympic Trials cost me four years of struggle as I got plantar fasciitis about a month before the trials and ran through the trials with it. Then I trained for the Olympics with plantar fasciitis, which resulted in my stride changing and an endless chain of injury after injury.”
Hall, who has been sponsored by the shoe and apparel brand ASICS since graduating from Stanford University in 2005, cited chronically low testosterone levels as the reason for his retirement in the Times story—something he alluded to for the first time in an interview last fall.
“It’s been the most frustrating challenge I’ve faced in my running career because I haven’t been able to figure out exactly why it’s happening,” Hall admitted. “Running is very tough on the body in many ways but I think one of the biggest ways is hormonally. Every time I’ve had blood work done, I’ve had clinically low testosterone levels, which affects everything. It has been really frustrating to put together months of really good training only to lose it all due to sudden fatigue that requires complete rest. This has kind of been the trend for me over the last couple of years, which is why my results have been so up and down and why sometimes I am so hopeful about my running and other times not so much.”
Hall, who won the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in New York in a Trials record 2:09:02 and finished second to Meb Keflezighi at the 2012 Trials in Houston, dropped out of the 2012 Olympic Marathon with a hamstring injury. Laden with injuries and illness in recent years, Hall hasn’t finished a marathon since placing 20th at Boston in 2014, where he ran 2:17:50.
“Ryan inspired a whole generation of American runners,” his longtime agent, Ray Flynn, Tweeted on Friday. “His fearless running style defines his legacy in our sport.”
The Halls live in Redding, Calif., with their four daughters—Hana, Mia, Jasmine and Lily—adopted last September from Ethiopia.