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Monday, October 25, 2010


The following excerpt is from the running website Lets Run.   Quote Of The Day

 "The thing that is really sad about Ryan Hall is that he reminds us of our own failures. Ryan is the best we have and if he can't win a major race how will we? His failures hit a chord with our internal ego, and it is devestating.

Everytime I see him race I have flashbacks to my own races, my own dissapointments. Failures like PRing by 20 seconds in the 5k and still getting blasted in the last lap by some kid from Eldorett or any other time we compete to the max of our ability and still get manhandled. Ryan is far more talented than me and watching him fail is the most devestating thing to ever happen to my running psych. Everytime he loses we wonder why we run. This supertalent, this Highschool and NCAA all star who blows the rest of us away at the trials and has every advantage an American can have is easily put away by some hut dwelling corn eating teen from Iten.

So to you who wonder why we are obsessed with Ryan Hall, maybe you should wonder why you aren't. He symbolizes the best any of us can do at this point."
- Message boarder Jung Campbell posting on Ryan Hall and his decision to be self-coached.
Now, that is a mouthful.  I am left to wonder what 'best' means.  Icons have their place, but the implication is that, as runners we are a failure if we are unable to run as fast as another .  This is erroneous at best.  To me, this is insulting and flies in the face of all that I have come to love about our sport.  To me, best is only relative to my own incarnations.
The concept that we cannot at once be successful and anonymous is short-sighted and dangerous.  Listen, we have a choice, and it is an important one... a choice which has far reaching consequences, they reach so far, we can't even understand these consequences except in fleeting moments, so choose carefully.  Each moment we are given the opportunity to be ordinary in the realm of the exceptional OR... to be special amongst the ordinary.
I won't give any further thoughts on this, it is an individual choice and one worth thinking about today on your run.  That said, I welcome questions and thoughts on how you approach your running and what constitutes success for you.


  1. Success to me is pushing myself to the best of my ability. Right now, it is running 2 miles without pain in my hip. A few months ago, it was completing a half-marathon. I may be pushing myself toward different things, but the goal is the same: do my best with what I have.

    Thanks for the thinking post.

  2. Hmmm. I almost laughed out loud when reading that quote because I disagree with the authors view of Ryan Hall and the "he is the best and all we have" message. If you think about other countries, especially those with exceptional runners, their country's sport IS Running. They don't have Kobe Bryants, Michael Jordan's, etc. In America kids want to grow up and be like (fill in American athlete here). In other countries, take Kenya for example, kids want to run. That is there goal, not basketball, football, baseball etc. So to me the running world in other countries has a larger field to choose their elite from. In America it is divided among many sports.
    If watching Ryan Hall "fail" makes you wonder why you ever run then you have a problem. Failure is when you stop trying.

  3. Some of those letsrun posters don't have much better to do.

  4. I run because I love to run. Regardless of my time at the finish, I always enjoy the camaraderie of fellow runners on the course and the sense of accomplishment at finishing a difficult race.

    As far a hitting a chord with our internal ego, Ryan Hall is an extraordinary runner as well as a great human being. He invests both his time and money to help at risk children through the Hall Steps Foundation. We all have the ability to change others lives for the better, now that's an ego booster!

  5. great your thoughts and perceptions on this things..

  6. Er, did Ryan Hall retire? I wonder if the poster understands that his career is still developing as we speak?

    My success is defined by the quality of my post race beer.


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