Characteristics of a Champion [7] – Ryan Hall

fall down seven, get up eight Champions may lose, but they don’t become losers.  Champions may be temporarily disappointed with a sub-par performance, but they don’t remain disappointed.   They decide to learn, taking the lessons to start over with a stronger desire to succeed… and sometimes, they decide to start over moving in an entirely new direction.


After finishing dead last… Ryan Hall found his true calling

“It was the 5,000-meter race at the 2006 London Grand Prix—the field was stacked with world record holder (then and now) Kenenisa Bekele, and top Americans like Bernard Lagat and Adam Goucher. The pace was hot early and I was off it quickly. Guys all around me were dropping out. By the time I hit 100 meters to go, the race was over and I was getting the dreaded pity clap. I remember thinking, I can’t believe I’m getting the pity clap. The humiliation made me take a good look at my running abilities [in short vs. long distances]. The following January, I ran 59:43 in the Houston Half Marathon. None of my successes would have happened if I hadn’t gotten last.”

An excerpt from “Dead Freakin’ Last…“, a Runner’s World article.


Ryan Hall

Ryan Hall (b. October 14, 1982- ) is a two-time U.S. Olympic marathoner and the American record holder in the half marathon.

Hall’s 2:04:58 at the 2011 Boston Marathon is the fastest marathon ever run by an American; the time doesn’t count as the American marathon because Boston’s point-to-point, net-elevation-loss course makes it ineligible for record purposes.

After graduating from Stanford in 2005, Hall began his professional career as a 5,000-meter runner, and represented the United States in the event at the 2005 world championships. He soon after concentrated on road racing, starting with the national 20K title in the fall of 2006. Hall’s big road breakthrough came at the Houston Half Marathon in January 2007. He won in 59:43, an American record. Hall remains the only American to have broken an hour for the half marathon.

Hall made his marathon debut at the 2007 London Marathon, where he placed seventh in 2:08:24. The time is the American record for a debut marathon.

Hall won the 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials, which were held the day before the 2007 New York City Marathon. His time of 2:09:02 is the event record.

Read Ryan’s full story here.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  

Thomas A. Edison