Ryan Hall Half Marathon Record Holder and Olympian Shares His New Book: Run the Mile You’re In

Ryan Hall talks about Run The Mile You’re In

Having dreamed of playing professional baseball, one small decision changed the course of his life.

Olympic athlete and American record holder in the half marathon Ryan Hall hasn’t always loved running. In his new book, Run the Mile You’re In: Finding God in Every Step, Ryan reveals how he got his unlikely start in running, both the “why” and the secret to the success of his 20-year athletic career, and encourages others to run their own races with confidence.

One small decision

When he was only 13 years old, Hall felt a desire he’d never had before—to run the 15 miles around his neighborhood lake. As a boy who loved basketball, football, and dreamed of playing professional baseball, a 15-mile run at 7,000 feet was more than a challenge. But following that urge introduced him to his life’s purpose for the first time: running.

First run 15 miles

Barely completing his grueling first run with the company and encouragement of his father, that day marked the beginning of his epic running career filled with failures (dropping out of the London Olympic Games), exceptional breakthroughs, and competing at the highest level—representing the United States at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.

In 2009, Hall and his wife Sara co-founded The Steps Foundation, a nonprofit that works to eliminate extreme poverty across the globe by providing adequate nutrition, education, shelter and career training, and have donated prize winnings to care for some of the most vulnerable people around the world.

Representing the United States at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games

Fueled by a desire to help others through his running, Ryan discovered secrets to dealing with defeat and disappointment, enduring immense pain, building resilience, and ultimately, running as if he’d already won.

Run the Mile You’re In

In Run the Mile You’re In, readers will journey with him through the highs and lows of his career, and be encouraged to pursue their own talents in order to make a positive difference in the lives of those around them.

Half marathon record holder and fastest marathon ever run by an American

Ryan Hall is the American record holder for the half marathon (59:43) and has the fastest marathon time ever run by an American, with a PR of 2:04:58. He represented the United States of America at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games in the marathon. Ryan grew up in Big Bear Lake in southern California, attended Stanford University, and is currently retired from professional running.

Ryan is a coach and speaker and lives in Flagstaff, AZ with his wife Sara and their four adopted daughters.

Questions Ryan is asked:

2:29 First Four:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Where were you born?
  3. Where do you live now?
  4. What is your favorite race distance or type of race?

3:43 What was working for you at the 2011 Boston Marathon when you ran 2:04:58?

5:16 Why is that not the official USATF record?

6:58 What does it feel like to train and qualify for the Olympics?

8:35 What is it like to be at the Olympics and performing on a global stage?

11:00 What inspired you to write Run the Mile You’re In and what does it mean to you?

13:27 What does ‘Winning” mean to you?

15:33  How did your race feel when you set the American record in the Half-Marathon at 59:43?

19:06 When and where did you set that record?

19:16 Is it still the record?

20:26 At the 2014 Boston Marathon, how did your teammates work together in Meb’s win?

26:16 What is the Steps Foundation you and your wife, Sara, started?

29:28 Do any of your daughters run?

30:54 Do you coach your daughter?

31:31 When did you do the World Marathon Challenge and how did it compare to your days as a pro?

33:41 Why did you leave your shoes at the finish line of the final marathon?

36:17 How is weight-lifting similar to, and different from, running?

38:59 Do you compete in weight-lifting?

39:10 What weight are you dead lifting?

40:10 What do you hope people take away from this episode and your book?

45:00 Final Kick Round:

  1. What is your favorite local training run or outing (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?
  2. Favorite running book(s), video or resource?
  3. Who or what would you like to have featured on the Run To The Top podcast?

Quotes by Ryan:

“Often times, you see an athlete perform at their very best and you don’t see the years and years of hard work that went into that moment.”

“I think about all the kids who are getting into the sport of running and have this dream about going to the Olympics and every for years we have 3 guys who get to go in the Marathon, so to get to be one of those three people was a huge honor.”

“In the traditional view of winning or losing, there’s only one person who gets to experience winning and everyone else is a loser. But I’ve also found in sports, it doesn’t have to be that way if you change your mindset of how you look at whatever sport you do, and you’re able to change your goal from tring to beat someone to trying to just give your own personal excellence.”

“The cool thing about running is that we all experience the same thing.”

“What I’m burning for now as a coach is I want to get someone way faster than I ever ran.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run


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Mentioned in this podcast:

Run To The Top Winners Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

Care Of – Personalized Supplements

Book: Run the Mile You’re In by Ryan Hall

Ryan & Sara’s Website

The Hall Steps Foundation

Sara Hall

Team World Vision

World Marathon Challenge

Dream Center LA

Jim Ryan: America’s Greatest Miler

Meb Keflezighi Wins 2014 Boston Marathon

Humphrey’s Peak – Flagstaff, Arizona


Follow Ryan on:




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