Competitor's Bob Babbitt interviews American distance runner Ryan Hall. This is the second part of the interview.
Tags:Marathon Runner Ryan Hall Interview Part 2/5,competitor,bob babbitt,interview,ryan hall
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Interviewer: Out of college what do you feel your distance was? Were you still thinking mile maybe 5,000 what were you thinking out of college.
Ryan: Yeah so after my first couple of years of really struggling and last place. Honestly I get last place in so many races its not even funny like I used to wear this shirt around that said I could do all things on the front and on the back said through Christ who strengthens me and I’ll never forget cooling down wearing the shirt and I just got in the last place in this 800 meter race and it was a string of a whole bunch of last place finishes and this guys is like don’t worry man you’ll be alright if you believe what’s on your shirt and I was like it just really like hit my heart its like do I really believe what’s on my shirt you know.
And it kind of that’s where like my feet had to really kind of come in to what I was doing you know.
Ryan: And it was my faith that kind of pulled me through those tough times and also my faith that allowed me too not to be so hard pressed about the mile to like not be so prideful about it and like hey this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to make myself to do this even if its not how gifted what I’m gifted to do and so that’s when I really learned is just to open up my mind be like where God made me to do and so I think that’s something we can all learn from this do what your made to do and what you’re passionate to do and I’m so glad that I was open minded enough to the 5 k and then in 2006 after my first year professionally to move on to the marathon and get ready for the Olympics in 2008.
Interviewer: You talked about your faith and you talked about going through tough times and there was a point in college you left school you went back to Big Bear and weren’t quite sure what was going to happen?
Ryan: Yeah my sophomore year in college I left school for winter quarter and went back to Big Bear and just kind of really depressed honestly because I kind of built my world on my running and it was crashing you know like I said getting last place and just really struggling and so I wasn’t happy at all you know. I decided to go home and kind of get my identity back in order that had to see myself as God’s child first who also ran rather than a runner who happen to be God’s child you know its kind of getting my identity in order was really huge for me and really was a huge shift in my career and allowed me to really enjoy it more and to be able to just go out there and enjoy the gift and let it go.
Ryan: You know and this really blossoms as I have been able to do that.
Interviewer: And when you went from the 5 came offset you jump in the Houston Marathon and you know break the American record 59.43 faster than anybody has ever run and its your basically your first time out of the box. One was who saw it in you to make that jump to half marathon was that Trevor?
Ryan: Oh my coach Terrence. No, you know what it kind of came from me you know like I was in Europe 2006 after my first year being a professional runner. I was watching race, I was in the race but I was watching the race finish on the jumbo tron and that’s how far behind I was because I’m racing guys like Haley and these guys are the best runners in the world and they just do crazy stuff.
They go out and 4 minutes for the first mile they settle for a couple of lapse and they hit it again and then they close in 52 seconds and run their last mile in some 4 minutes and it’s like its not in the cards for me. Maybe one of you guys out there can handle that but I certainly can’t and so that’s when I was like alright I need to take a good look I am old enough now. I know what my speed is like. I know my natural ability is ands so I kind of need to take a step back and figure out what I would be most competitive in because like I said from the time I started running I always believe I could run with the best guys in the world and I wasn’t seeing that at all.
Now as I’m close those guys in a marathon as I was in the 5 k so I’m definitely heading in the right direction.
Interviewer: And you break the American record for the half marathon what was the response for you obviously you say you expected to run with the best guys and also while it was a little bit of a surprise you – one surprises everybody else was well how did that change the perception of Ryan Hall out in the regular world?
Ryan: Yeah I think you kind of hit the nail in the head there because like I always knew it was possible and it was fun to finally get there you know like I don’t know if you guys saw he finish but I was really excited because I finally arrived you know like I talk about all those hard times I went there and then when you actually get there I’m sure all you guys can relate to that you know when you’ve been on the rocky road and then you finally hit that magical day its amazing you know and so I definitely soaked that in and it’s a good experience and I think it did kind of change the perception of everyone else you know like myself, my dad, Sarah a lot of people who believed in me all along the journey but it didn’t change their beliefs but it kind of changed the beliefs of everyone around me.
Interviewer: And then you go to London for your first ever marathon and its basically road racing hall of fame in – but everybody was there and your drop a little early but then usually when you watch a marathon TV drop they don’t come back but you bridged back up which probably surprised a heck out of those guys.
Ryan: Yeah it was a really intimidating first marathon to be in because they’re talking about going out at world record pace and like I said – Paul Tergat, Hendrix all these guys who’ve already won New York, Boston, Chicago world record holder like all these is just amazing runners and I’m running in the B group with the guy who won the Olympics Baldini.
Interviewer: The B group.
Ryan: The silver medalist Martin and the guy who just own New York and then so they were in the B group and so we get down a little bit slower and then you know those warm day they were running quite as quick as they have said they are going to run and we started catching up to them going over Tower Bridge and I’m not sure if you guys are running along the Marathon before but its amazing experience the crowd there is just unreal. My coach told me he was like don’t racing till you get to 20 miles like first one you win with your head the last 6 with your heart but my heart kind of got the best of me at right around 13 miles I took off and caught back up well I never forget it was the coolest experience you know here watching movies of – and seen them compete in Olympics winning gold medals and catching back up to them.
And I’ll never forget catching them they’re kind of looking around and they’re kind of doing this like double take because they see this white kid.
Interviewer: He jumped out of it yes.
Ryan: Yeah I think they thought I cut course because I’m like that so it was a lot of fun and then you know what into the race I didn’t finish that far behind a lot of guys like Paul Tergat who was the world record holder at the time and he comes up to me after the race this big old eyes and he was like wow, wow that was so awesome it was like that was your first race and he puts his hands on my head and starts going like this and just talking to me and I was like I usually don’t like that type of thing but I was like I’m cool with this whatever.
Interviewer: Whatever Paul Tergat wants to do. Yeah.
Ryan: Yeah whatever he wants.
Interviewer: head whatever you want to do with that that’s good stuff.
Ryan: Yeah so I got some Paul Tergat JJ on my head if you guys want to come over and rub it.