The whole point was that we can cut a fast guy some slack for having a tough time persisting at his career. The dislike for Hall is unwarranted, especially given he and his wife's continued investment in the running community. If he stays active through to his masters years, then the comparison will have been apt.
Ok, I've merged two threads into one.
Yes, you nailed it. Ryan Hall has had an INCREDIBLE career. That's what I wanted people to appreciate.
There's just no similarity between the two, so it was a stupid equation intended solely to get hits. World record holder in the marathon, as well as probably multiple age group wr's, Olympic gold medalist, universally acknowledged as a class act, vs. an American half marathon record holder and fastest American born marathoner with idiosyncrasies and until recently no explanation for the sudden dropoff. I hope he gets back but you could have just said like many other marathoners, Hall is done before 30.
I didn't do this in the article but I think you could equate them. No, in the public's mind you can't equate as Olympic gold is a lot better than "fastest white dude ever" but but maybe in a scientist's you could. I'd like to see a Sports Gene chapter on this.
The fact of the matter is Joanie had it A LOT easier in 1985 than Hall has it nowadays.
Here's a stat for you that I just figured out.
Guess when the first Ethiopian woman broke 2:30 for the marathon?
Guess when the first Kenyan woman broke 2:30 for the marathon?
Fatuma Roba was the first Ethiopian woman to break 2:30 in the marathon. She did it in Rome (2:29:05) in March of 1996.
Angelina Kanana was the first Kenyan woman to break 2:30 in the marathon. That happened at Hamburg in April of 1994 (she ran 2:29:59).
So basically Joanie was competing against ZERO african competition zero.
Heck, I'll go a step further.
Guess when the first Japanese woman broke 2:30 for the marathon?
Misako Miyahara ran 2:29:37 in Osaka in 1988.
So she was one of the fastest North American/European woman of her era. Hall clearly is the fastest North American/European man of his era.
No non-African has come close to Hall's 2:04:58. The next best time from a non-African born runner is 2:06:05 for Ronaldo da Costa of Brazil. If you want to ignore that as Brazil certainly didn't have good women's marathoners when Joanie was competing, the next best time is 2:06:16 for Toshinari Takaoka which is 1-second better than Hall's non-winded aided best (2:06:17).