Despite Missing Paris Olympics Berth, Veteran Marathoner Sara Hall Remains Positive, Calls It, ‘No Better Feeling.’

Published 02/06/2024, 11:43 AM EST

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Sara Hall has been a consistent figure in the exclusive world of American elite distance running since her junior days. A Stanford alum, Hall holds the record for being the second-fastest American woman in the half marathon in addition to making her mark in NCAA history. Hall has a background in competitive running spanning almost two decades, making it one of dedication, success, and, naturally, occasional setbacks.

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At 40, she entered the Olympic Marathon Trials despite the odds after withdrawing from the Houston Half Marathon due to injury. However, despite not making the Olympic squad, her positive outlook towards the Olympic trials outcome has won her some love.

Sara Hall wins hearts despite losing Olympics trial

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At the 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Orlando, Florida, Sara Hall ran a time of 2:26:06 and finished fifth. She struggled with cramps between 18 and 19 miles, which caused an increasing gap she was unable to close. In a heartfelt post-race reflection on X, she said, “Even when you come up short, there’s no better feeling than going all-in and all-out on something you love.”

Further adding, “Man I missed doing that and loved every moment of being out there again flying along, flanked by an incredible group of women I love and respect so much.” In addition, she set a new American masters marathon record at the Trials surpassing Des Linden’s 2023 Chicago marathon record of 2:27:35. She still fell short of the podium finish missing the Olympics cut. This was her sixth Olympic circuit participation and eighth Olympic Trials overall, representing years of commitment to the sport.

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Looking back at Hall’s athletics career

Sara Hall established herself as a formidable figure throughout her career: Winning everything from the Foot Locker high school national cross country title in 2000 to 12 US championships and a gold medal in the steeplechase at the 2011 Pan American Games.

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She has made incredible progress over longer distances under the guidance of her husband, two-time Olympian Ryan Hall. And went on to shine in the Marathon Project in 2020 clocking 2:20:32, and is the third-fastest American marathoner of all time.

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Even with setbacks—like the IT band syndrome that kept her out of the race for most of 2022—Hall has proven she can bounce back by going back to professional racing. A sad thread running through her illustrious career is her yearning to win the one competition that has evaded her, the Olympics.

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Written by:

Divya Purohit

714Articles

One take at a time

Hi there! I am Divya Purohit, and I am a Olympics sports writer at EssentiallySports. As an avid sports junkie I delved in the world of sports journalism and started crafting content around my favorite athletes. By means of my distinct storytelling approach, I provide perceptive viewpoints on diverse sports stories.
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Edited by:

Garima Yadav

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