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Sara Hall won The Marathon Project in Chandler, Arizona, on Sunday, December 20, running 2:20:32—making her the second-fastest American marathoner of all time. She took almost 90 seconds off her previous PR of 2:22:01, which she ran only 11 weeks ago at the London Marathon.
For about the first 18 miles of the race Hall, 37, flirted with the pace of Deena Kastor’s American record— 2:19:36—which has stood since 2006. But Hall, who ran behind two male pacesetters, couldn’t quite maintain the pace through the later miles.
Keira D’Amato, the Virginia realtor who earlier this year ran an American record for the women’s-only 10 mile, finished second in 2:22:56, taking nearly 12 minutes off her previous marathon best.
Kellyn Taylor, 34, who went with Hall for the first half of the race, fell back in the second half and finished in 2:25:22.
The 37-year-old Hall ran a personal best 2:22.01 at London on Oct. 4 and was hoping on a short turnaround to better Deena Kastor's 14-year American record of 2:19.36, set at London in 2006. She came close with another significant PR drop, improving from sixth best in U.S. history to second ahead of Jordan Hasay's 2:20.57 at Chicago in 2017.
"London was so wonderful getting to place as high as I possibly could have," Hall said. "This was more of a time trial, and that's kind of tough when it feels like training sometimes. I really look forward to when we can get back to normal races with crowds, but I feel so grateful for the guys I was able to run with. They kept me honest in the second half when I was really struggling."
She said being No. 2 on the American marathon list is "kind of surreal. I've had so much disappointment in my career (including not finishing at the U.S. Olympic Trials in February) and I would have walked from this sport 10 years ago. But my husband just relentlessly believed in me and God encouraged me there was more there. I kind of (rediscovered) my love for it. Getting rid of the fear of failure really helped me enjoy it a lot more."
Two-time Olympian Ryan Hall, third fastest all-time among American men's marathoners, now coaches his wife, whose next goal is to make the U.S. Olympic track team for Tokyo in the 10,000-meter.
Sara Hall 2:20:32
Keira D'Amato 2:22:56
Kellyn Taylor 2:25:22
Emma Bates 2:25:40
Natasha Wodak 2:26:19(12/20/2020) Views: 992 ⚡AMP