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Olympic marathoner Hall eyes U.S. mark in Chicago
Daily Herald Staff Report

U.S. Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall said Tuesday he intends return to Chicago to break the American record of 2:05:38 set by Khalid Khannouchi in the 2002 Chicago Marathon.

 

Associated Press file

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Published: 4/6/2010 2:53 PM

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Move over Khannouchi, here comes Hall, and he wants your record.

U.S. Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall said Tuesday he intends return to Chicago to break the American record of 2:05:38 set by Khalid Khannouchi in the 2002 Chicago Marathon.

The 27-year-old marathoner, who is preparing for the upcoming Boston Marathon, also will lead a team of 100 runners representing his nonprofit organization, The Hall Steps Foundation.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon returns on Oct. 10, 2010 with a field of 45,000 runners.

"I have been preparing for an attempt to lower the American record since I ran my first marathon in London in 2007, and there is no other U.S. course that could allow me a better opportunity than Chicago," Hall said in a teleconference from Boston. "It's remarkably flat and fast with a veteran production team that sets a stage for athletes to produce personal and national records, which is my goal.

In conjunction with the Chicago race, Hall will lead a team of 100 runners to raise funds for the non-profit organization he founded with his wife, Sara. The Hall Steps Foundation's main mission is to take small steps toward the marathon goal of ending poverty. To that end, it supports international efforts to provide clean water, end human trafficking and fund rescue homes. In the U.S., it seeks to establish a mentor running program for at risk youth.

In all, about 150 charities will be represented by runners in the October race, with a goal to race $10 million for charities on race day.

Hall's current personal record is the 2:06:17 mark he set in London in 2008 before qualifying for the 2008 U.S. Olympic marathon team with a commanding 2:09:02 first-place finish in New York. At the Beijing Olympic, Hall placed 10th with a 2:12:33 finish time.

"Ryan is a very smart athlete and has gone about his career the right way starting with an amazing debut in London in 2007," said Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago Marathon executive race director. "He has positioned himself for a breakout race in Chicago this fall and has all the focus and drive needed to make a run at the American record.

"What is unique about Ryan is his interest beyond personal success and his tireless charitable efforts. He's an athlete and a humanitarian."

Registration for the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon closed on March 23, but a limited number of entries are still available through its charity partners, including The Hall Steps Foundation. For information on how to register through a charity, visit chicagomarathon.com.