Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Oh No, Say It Ain't So

Ryan Hall's not running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon? My first thought: No, it can't be true. But the truth: It is. Hall decided that 10-10-10 was not his day to try to break the American marathon record.

I thought I was seeing things when I was scrolling through my Facebook feed last night. I was tired, it was late, and I was distracted as I tried to eat, read, talk to my husband and listen to the Terry Fox story on ESPN. But my eyes weren't deceiving me on the information shared by Runner's World and local multisport store Running Away. The Chicago Marathon event office released a statement from Ryan Hall, detailing his reasons for dropping Chicago from his schedule, and it hit my inbox this morning.

So why'd he do it? Like any runner training for a marathon, the poor guy is tired. He ran the Philadelphia Half Marathon on September 19, but instead of leading the pack to the finish line as he did last year, he finished 13th (according to results), two minutes off the time that won it for him and nearly four minutes off his record at that distance. After the race, he had a week of what he called sub-par efforts and decided fatigue was the culprit and could keep him from accomplishing his goals in Chicago.

"I have made the very difficult decision to withdraw from the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon," Hall says. "Perhaps I was a bit too eager to capitalize on the lightning fast course, atmosphere and history of the event in my race preparations, causing me to over-train and suffer from perpetual fatigue."

While this is definitely not news I wanted to read, especially because have a fast phenom on the course race-day inspires me just a little more to do my best, it's easy to tell that Hall thought long and hard about his decision. And that he's totally in tune with his body and what it can and can't handle, something I know I've lacked more than once (I'm not even going to begin telling those stories here).

But don't think that Hall won't be coming to Chicago for race weekend. He might not be racing, but he'll still be here to support his Hall Steps Foundation and other charities. Keep your eyes peeled for Hall sights, just not on the race course.

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