Agreed. Something about Hall in particular evokes a lot of anger from American running fans when he fails to perform. It was the same with Alan Webb before him and it is the same with Galen Rupp now. I'm guessing that it is because he is/was the best white American runner in his distance in his day. Nobody cared when Meb ran 2:20+. Nobody cares when Ritz does not run well. But when Hall has a bad race, people want to destroy the guy.
I think the bigger issue is that Hall has run too many marathons. Hall was a near 4:00 miler in high school and NCAA 5000 champion in college. He was a US XC champion in 2004 or 2005 and world XC team member. But for the past like 8 years he has run nothing but marathons, and tough ones (NY/Boston) at that. I think he sold himself out, ran too many marathons, destroyed his body, and now is done. He is still arguably the best American marathon ever though. This performance does not change that.[/quote]