Why We Run: Ryan Hall

With the Boston Marathon being held this week and it also be right after Easter it makes sense to reflect on one of the most recent great USA runners: Ryan Hall, who retired last year. It would be easy to mock him. He departed from wise and skilled coaches to do “faith based training.” Literally, he let the spirit of his lord guild his training. The results were not very good. He went from the best American to a broken down athlete, physically and mentally wasted until he retired, a full 7 years sooner than someone like Meb who has an army of scientists coaches and assistances.

It would be easy to rip him for that. To take this as a shot to prove science over religion. To lump him into the same group as religious people who don’t take medicine because God will heal you. But to do so would be to miss the real point of why Ryan Hall or any of us run. For ourselves. Because it’s not the results, the fame of even as professionals the money. It’s because we all seek something from running beyond that. By all accounts Ryan Hall used running to connect himself to something dear to him, his faith. I

It made me remember that with a nice pay check on the line while leading the ultra world championship race and running up Squall Valley I dropped back to suggest to second and third place at the time that we take a moment to appreciate the sunrise. That would look silly unless you accept that some things are more important than money, results and finishing times. Ryan Hall, was a professional runner, but he was a runner first and he ran for the same reason we all do; and while the result may have not been what he hoped for the process is exactly what he needed and wanted and ask yourself if the journey isn’t the real reason we run, not the destination.

After all, deep down, why do you run?

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