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Ryan Hall to toe the start line at the 2009 Philadelphia Distance Run

Posted Aug 12 2009 10:04pm
Hall Philadelphia, PA – August 12, 2009 – The only American to break one hour in the half marathon, U.S. Olympian Ryan Hall will toe the start line at the 32nd Annual ING Philadelphia Distance Run on Sunday, September 20, 2009.

“I’m looking forward to racing my first ING Philadelphia Distance Run this September. There have been some great U.S. performances at the race over the years and I’m hoping to bring a performance that will add my name to the ranks,” said Hall. “The race fits perfectly into my fall schedule and I’m excited to be part of an event with such a great tradition here on home soil.”

Hall set the U.S. half marathon record and earned a national title on January 14, 2007, when he won the men’s U.S. Half Marathon National Championship in 59 minutes 43 seconds.

He became the first and only American to break the one-hour barrier at the distance. His time bettered the previous U.S. record by Mark Curp that had stood for 21 years. Four of the top five all-time half marathon performances by U.S. Men, including Curp’s record setting performance in 1985, were run in Philadelphia.

In 2005, American Deena Kastor made history in Philadelphia when she shattered Joan Benoit’s long-standing American record by 41 seconds in a time of 1 hour, 7 minutes and 53 seconds. Four of the top five fastest U.S. women' s half marathon times have taken place at the annual Philadelphia event.

“As the site of five World and five American records, the course in Philadelphia is fast and flat,” said Matt Turnbull, Elite Athlete Coordinator for the event. “We have seen some great performances here in the past and the race is held at a great time of year. Having Ryan in the field is a great addition to this year’s race and we’re excited to see how he runs.”

Hall, 26, won the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in New York and went on to finish 10th in the Beijing Olympics. Most recently, he finished third in the 2009 Boston Marathon (2:09:40), becoming the first American to reach the men’s podium since 1985.

Race weekend begins Thursday, September 17, when hundreds of future marathoners are set to kickoff the ING Run for Something Better training program at Franklin Field. ING Run For Something Better helps kids learn that physical activity is fun, while fostering their desire to exercise before obesity even begins. The kickoff event begins at 11:00 am.

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