Ryan Hall Ready to Return to Streets of New York for 2011 New York Half Marathon

By Chris Lotsbom
March 17, 2011
(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

New York (17-Mar) -- Storylines flood the sixth running of the NYC Half-Marathon, which will be contested here in the streets of the Big Apple on Sunday.  One of them surrounds Ryan Hall, the American record holder in the half-marathon, who will be racing for only the second time since deciding to coach himself at the end of last year.  He last raced here at the 2009 ING New York City Marathon where he finished fourth.

"I'm excited for this race," said Hall, who has been training in Flagstaff, Ariz., since breaking away from the Mammoth Track Club and coach Terrence Mahon.

Hall said his transition from being part of the Mammoth Lakes, Calif., team to being self-coached has gone smoothly.

"Sometimes I think you're in a situation that's not working out and the temptation is to change everything, when really you just need to tweak it five percent," Hall continued.  "I learned a lot from Terrence over my years there, and what I did worked initially and worked for a while.  But I just needed to kind of tweak it a little."

The biggest change for Hall has been the extra recovery which he has allowed after workouts.  Taking more easy days and having more flexibility has given Hall the freedom to do what his body tells him, he said.

"Terrence was really good about taking my feedback and applying it to workouts.  But I knew every Tuesday was an interval day, and if you didn't do your intervals Tuesday then you missed your interval chance," described Hall.  "I felt like we were really married to this seven-day schedule, where it was like we had to fit in intervals, tempo run, and long run in seven days, and I needed more rest between workouts." He added: "But I loved training with the Mammoth crew."

Hall, who is preparing for the Boston Marathon next month, is running in his second race of 2011.  He placed second in 62:20 at the USA Half-Marathon Championships in Houston on January 29.

"I'm realizing more and more that getting completely healthy is a process, and it takes time and patience," Hall added. "Maybe more time than I initially thought, but every week is getting better and better."

Hall said he does not plan to return a month early to Boston like he did last year before running 2:08:41 to become the fastest American ever to run the Hopkinton to Boston race.  Instead, he will come from altitude a few days prior to the race, something he is testing out here.

On Sunday, Hall will be facing an extremely talented American and international field, which features eleven Olympians and seven men who have run sub-61 minutes.  Former ING New York City Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi, three-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, and half-marathon debutant Galen Rupp are also competing.  International entrants include Gebre Gebremariam (Ethiopia), Mo Farah (Great Britain), Marilson Gomes dos Santos (Brazil), and Peter Kamais (Kenya) will be toeing the line in Central Park.

The NYC Half will feature nearly 10,000 runners who will begin with a loop of Central Park, then head through Times Square, to eventually finish on the West Side Highway in Lower Manhattan.

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