Ryan Hall announced he has decided to pull out of the Chicago Marathon on October 10. Photo: PhotoRun.net
Ryan Hall announced he has decided to pull out of the Chicago Marathon on October 10. Photo: PhotoRun.net

U.S. half marathon record holder doesn’t feel he’s ready to race.

Written by: David Monti
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

The U.S. record holder for the half marathon, Ryan Hall, has decided to withdraw from the Bank of America Chicago Marathon scheduled for Sunday, October 10.

“I have made the very difficult decision to withdraw from the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon,” Hall said in a statement provided to Race Results Weekly by his manager, Ray Flynn.  “Perhaps I was a bit too eager to capitalize on the lightning fast course, atmosphere, and history of the Chicago Marathon in my race preparations, causing me to over-train and suffer from perpetual fatigue.  Despite pouring my heart and soul into these last six months of training and all my best efforts to rest and recover, I have been unable to restore my body to were it needs to be for me to step to the starting line prepared to fulfill what I promised when I first agreed to the race.”

Hall’s withdrawal was first reported on the website of the Chicago Tribune by Olympics sports reporter Phil Hersh.

The 27 year-old Hall, who has a marathon personal best time of 2:06:17, had chosen to run Chicago this year after finishing fourth at both the ING New York City Marathon last November, and the Boston Marathon last April.  Hall was attracted to Chicago’s flat and fast course, and had hoped to take a run at Khalid Khannouchi’s American record of 2:05:38 set in London in 2002.

But Hall, who lives in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., had a poor outing at the ING Rock ‘N’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon on September 20, finishing 13th in 1:03:56, nearly four minutes behind the winner, Matthew Kisorio of Kenya.  He knew something was wrong.

“I am committed to excellence in whatever I do, so if I am not fully ready to run I owe it to myself, the sponsors and race organizers, and my fans to not show up with less than my very best, but instead save my Chicago debut for another day, which will hopefully come soon,” Hall continued.

The men’s field at Chicago, a World Marathon Majors (WMM) event, remains strong.  Olympic champion Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya will face off against 2010 Virgin London Marathon champion Tsegaye Kebede, and 2010 Boston Marathon champion Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot.  The 2009/2010 WMM points title is likely to be decided in Chicago with the $500,000 winner-take-all prize going to either Wanjiru or Kebede.