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Ryan Hall

Ryan grew up in southern California.  His dad was a former drafted major league baseball player and Ryan spent hours with his dad tirelessly throwing a baseball, attempting to follow in his dad’s footsteps.  When he was 13 years old, Ryan says that God gave him an aspiration to run around Big Bear Lake, a bright blue lake in the high mountains of SoCal. Running around the lake is challenging and it’s 15 miles around.  The lake is also at 7,000 feet altitude which makes it difficult to breathe.  “The vision came to me as a surprise because I’d had zero interest in the sport of running,” says Ryan.  The only running he had done was short sprints on the basketball court, football field or baseball diamond.  “I felt a strong pull in my heart,” says Ryan.  That following Saturday, Ryan laced up his high-top basketball shoes and headed out the door for what turned out to be a long and painful run.  In his exhaustion, Ryan says he connected with God easier.  “I felt God speak to the depths of my heart for the first time in my life,” he says.  “God unleashed His purpose for the next season of my life and that I would one day run with the best runners in the world.  He also said I would be given the gift of helping others through my running.”

Ryan focused on running in high school and into college. He met Sara as a junior in high school. They both attended Stanford and dated through college.  They got engaged after graduation and married 3 months later!  “I never would have made it to the level in running that I did if I didn’t use my successes, which were few and far between, to propel me through the valleys that lay between,” says Ryan.  During college years, Ryan won the 2003 and 2005  Cross Country Championships and the NCAA Division 1 national title in the 5,000 meters.  In 2007, Ryan qualified for the Beijing Olympics with a record time of 2:09:32.  “Was so special about that race wasn’t the performance,” says Ryan. “It was, instead, the connection I felt with God during the race.”  Ryan says when he hears from God while he is running, he customarily spends additional time with the Lord afterwards with a Bible and notepad as he reads the Word.   He finished 10th in his first Olympic experience.  In 2011, Ryan qualified for his second Olympic team.  He retired from running in 2015.

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