Ryan Hall, who is in taper for the April 19 Boston Marathon, is signed to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 10, it was announced Tuesday. According to executive race director Carey Pinkowski, speaking in Chicago, and Hall, via a conference call hookup from Boston, the 27-year-old will attempt to lower the American record of 2:05:38, set by Khalid Khannouchi on April 14, 2002 at the London Marathon. Hall, who trains in Mammoth Lakes, CA, also will lead a tam of 100 runners representing his non-profit organization, The Hall Steps Foundation, which seeks to help end poverty. One of its specific goals is to establish a mentor running program for at-risk youth.
"I have been preparing for an attempt to lower the American record since I ran my first marathon in London in 2007," Hall said. "It's (Chicago is) remarkably flat and fast with a veteran production team that sets a stage for athletes to produce personal and national records, which is my goal. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon also has a long history of generating millions of dollars for charitable causes, so it felt like the ideal place to expand our Hall Steps Foundation running team from the 20 that will run in Boston to 100 in Chicago."
Hall's PR is 2:06:17, set in London in 2008 before he ran a 2:09:02 to win the Olympic trials at hilly New York going into the Beijing Games. He placed 10th on Beijing's flat course in 2:13:33.
Said Pinkowski: "Ryan is a very smart athlete and has gone about his career the right way, starting with an amazing debut in London in 2007. He has positioned himself for a breakout race in Chicago this fall and has all the focus and drive needed to make a run at the American record. What is unique about Ryan is his interest beyond personal success and his tireless charitable efforts. He's an athlete and a humanitarian."
Will an American record be good enough to win??
Chicago is out of the blocks fast. New York makes an announcement tomorrow. This is very early, but interesting nonetheless. Photo is copyrighted by Sports Illustrated, shot by Heinz Kluetmeir.