Frank Lara Wants to Go Sub 60:00 and Break Ryan Hall’s American Record in Valencia

By Jonathan Gault
October 22, 2021

Among the many elite international runners heading to Valencia this weekend, there is only one American: 26-year-old Frank Lara of Roots Running. And he’s not just there for a vacation (though he confirmed that Valencia is very nice).

Lara told that, after finishing 18th in the 10,000 at the Olympic Trials, he and coach Richey Hansen decided to chase a fast half marathon in the fall and decided Valencia would be the place to do it.

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“Training has been going really well!” Lara told LetsRun. “Every workout has gone as expected or better so we have a lot of confidence going into this. The goal in training has been to break 60 minutes, and this is the perfect place to do it. The American record is definitely in my sights, but if I compete well over the final 5k I think I’ll be really happy with the time either way. It’s the most competitive field I’ve ever been in and I’m beyond excited.”

Wait a second, Frank. Did you just say American record? Only three Americans have ever broken 60:00, and Lara, whose pb is 61:50 from Houston last year, isn’t one of them. Ryan Hall‘s 59:43 American record, which has stood since 2007, is an even taller task.

But even if Lara can’t crack 60:00, he could be in line for a big pb as he’s a much better runner than he was when he ran 61:50 in January 2020. Since then, he’s won the 2020 US 15k title and run track pbs of 13:27 and 27:43 this year.

There are a couple of potential limiting factors for sub-60:00, however. In his most recent race at the US 10-mile champs on September 12, Lara only ran 47:13 for 10 miles. That’s only 61:53 pace, and it’s 3+ miles short of his target distance. The other limiting factor is the shoes. Lara recently signed with Altra. Will they have a supershoe for him to race in? Or will they let him wear a different brand to chase a pb in Valencia?

All of that is TBD, but Lara is worth watching on Sunday.

The crew discussed Lara’s American record attempt during their Friday 15 Supporters Club podcast. You can watch the Lara segment below.

For a full race-preview click here and to read how Yalemzerf Yehualaw’s half marathon WR won’t be ratified, but she and Gidey are confident they can get the record click here.