I’m going to start this post off with an apology. I, like so many others, have made fun of Ryan Hall at one point or another. Erratic racing, DNFs, coach/no-coach, Meb’s Boston win… the news always seemed to find Ryan. With that being said, it’s pretty clear in retrospect that Ryan didn’t deserve most of it.
Erin Strout wrote a great piece for Runner’s World yesterday, and I encourage you to check it out. Ryan has often been described as a head case, and the picture painted by the article is just the opposite.
I think Ryan also deserves recognition for the times he went for it. I love watching Meb, and he is truly timeless. However, Meb’s finest attributes are his consistency, his work ethic and his racing tactics. Ryan was something else. He was the guy who broke an hour in the half marathon in Houston. He was the guy who went toe-to-toe with the east Africans in Boston. He was not afraid to put it out there, and in his prime, he really believed he could beat anyone.
Was his career too short? Yes. As fans of the sport, do we feel like we deserve more? Yes. With that being said, did Ryan give us everything he had? No doubt about it.
Here’s a nice tribute to Ryan (with some entertaining running news at the beginning).