The coaching dilemma is finally over. The famed Italian distance coach, Renato Canova, will now coach American marathoner Ryan Hall.
This ends a long period of doubt in Hall’s marathon career. While he was billed as the next big superstar in American distance running, he soon succumbed to injury and disappointments.
When he graduated from Stanford University in 2005, Hall chose Terrence Mahon to be his coach. Mahon had coached distance greats such as Deena Kastor, Anna Pierce, Jen Rhines, and Morgan Uceny.
Under Mahon, Hall had set the American record at the half-marathon with a time of 59:43, took first at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in 2:09:56, and placed 10th at the 2008 Olympic Marathon.
However in 2010, Hall had some issues. He placed fourth at the Boston Marathon, fourteenth at the Philadelphia Distance Run, and he withdrew from the Chicago marathon due to fatigue.
He then left Mahon and continued to train without a coach. Even though he initially had success at the distance, it was soon followed by letdowns.
Those successes include a 2:04:58 fourth place finish at the 2011 Boston Marathon (not an official time due to the tailwind), 2:08:04 to finish
third fifth at the 2011 Chicago Marathon, and a second place finish at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials marathon.
Ever since, he hasn’t had a good race. He dropped out of the 2012 Olympic Marathon due to injury and then withdrew from the 2012 New York City Marathon.
In September, Flotrack contributor Kevin Liao discussed how a new coach would revive Hall's career. He couldn't have been any closer to the truth.
Working with Canova may allow Hall to once again rise to the status of America’s hero in the marathon.
Canova’s coaching resume is almost unparalleled. Most recently, he’s coached Abel Kirui, two-time world champion and silver medalist at the 2012 Olympic Marathon and Moses Mosop, the second fastest marathoner of all-time with his 2:03:06 debut at the 2011 Boston Marathon.
Letsrun.com had reported the possibility of a coaching announcement from Hall Thursday afternoon, but blogger Alberto Stretti has confirmed the announcement this morning.
Read Hall’s interview with Innovation for Endurance about his coaching change here.
Last updated: 12/7, 9:30am.
Updated on May 20, 2013, 10:34pm