If there’s one thing I can do just as well as running, it’s complain. I’m a highly critical individual and I think it’s one of my more positive traits. Granted, I try to direct my critical nature into more positive considerations of myself and the world around me, but hey, sometimes you’ve just gotta turn up the bitch knobs to 11. Plus, I’m tired of obsessing over my leg, so permit me the following rant.
Ryan Hall, I hate you.
Look, I can forgive your white savior -vanguardist-“here, have some clean water”-even if i’m only doing this to show you that you really don’t understand god sort of mentality. I can forgive you for being best buds with Josh Cox. I can forgive you for that annoying as hell, talking out of the side of your mouth, stoned out surfer drawl. I can forgive you for that hair. I can forgive you for those ridiculous Nissan blogging ads. I can forgive you for all this and so much more. But listen up, I can not, in any way, shape or form, ever ever EVER let slide what you did in Boston this past Monday.
Ok, you pulled the field in the beginning like you did last year, despite last year’s outcome. That was your race, I get it. Then the field surged and you let them go, knowing there was a good chance they would come right back to you if you continued on with your own race, and that is exactly what happened. Good for you. Then it happened again and you continued running your race. I’m proud of you. You continued on and persevered, running a blisteringly fast and consistent pace. This is to be commended.
But then….then you just lost it. Running with what you’ve told us were the words “joy and freedom” cycling in your head, you admitted in the post-race press conference that you realized the final surge at the end of the race was not going to come back to you, so you reverted back to running your own race this time…..essentially throwing in the towel and just “having fun”, “running with joy”, “celebrating whatever the lord gave you that day”.
Now, I’m not a believer or anything, but damn, in your perspective, THE LORD TRIED TO GIVE YOU THIRD PLACE!!! And you blew it. But it’s not just that you blew it, it’s HOW you blew it.
So it SEEMED like the leaders were out of reach and they mostly were, but this is a race. You don’t EVER give in during a race. You run like you’ll always catch first place, even if first place already finished. But you didn’t, you made the decision then and there to “just have fun”, and that’s not ok. You passed Meb and gave him a “swirly” on his head. If I were Meb, I would have decked you (not really, but you get my point). Then you turned onto Boylston Street and started waving to the crowd. How nice of you.
But this is the thing….you were GAINING on third place! This is why they call it a RACE! And a marathon none the less, where ANYTHING can happen, where even the most steeled of runners can collapse 5 feet before the finish line, and you started jacking around. Ok, so you waved to the crowd, big deal…but…but then…well, this is just the insult of all insults.
You started “airplaining” and zig-zagging on the course down the final stretch, playing it up for the crowd and acting like a damn two year old!!! And here’s the thing….you missed 3rd place by two seconds.
TWO FRICKIN SECONDS!!!!
And I know, “placing isn’t everything”, true. But those are the sorts of things you say when you are Meb in 5th or Vega or anyone else behind 3rd with no possibility of making it to the podium. THOSE people are permitted to run their own race and congratulate themselves upon finish, knowing they ran their best.
But you….you DID NOT run your best. You may have run your happiest, but you did NOT run your best. You fucked around on the final stretch and lost a podium finish because of it!
And that’s an insult. It’s an insult to yourself and it’s an insult to every other competitive runner that suffers day in, day out and would KILL to be in your shoes. It’s an insult to put in the work you did, to sign the sponsorship contract, to gather fans behind you, to have someone pay for your entry fee into the race, and to have that sort of inherent talent in your body….and then to give up under the guise that you were simply “running with joy and freedom” or “running your own race” or “just having a good time”.
Damnit, they call it a RACE for a reason. They call it that because you are expected to RACE from the moment your foot leaves the start line to the moment it hits the finish. Again, it might have been something if you were in no position to race (but not really), but there you were in sight of the podium and you blew it. It wreaks of american arrogance. Those Africans are running for their livelihood, for their communities and you spit in their face when you just screw around and run as if your just joking around, like you snuck in to Boston as a fraternity prank. That’s bullshit my friend.
Look, I know you don’t want to burn out. I know you want to runwith joy, and I respect that, but damnit, there is a time and place. If you want to just enjoy the run and have a great time, go take your Josh Cox and your running congregation on a spiritual run up some mammoth lake mountain. Seriously, go have a blast….but don’t do it in Boston when you have 3rd place 2 seconds ahead of you. That was a smack in the face, whether you wanted it to be or not.
Man, I only wish you used a different excuse. Maybe there is still time to change your story. Say you were severely dehydrated and were out of your mind. Say you had no idea what happened. Say you don’t remember the last 4 miles of the race. But don’t tell us you were just having a good time. That’s just not cool.
So Mr. Hall. I leave you with the words of a wiser man, who took his life and his running with the seriousness that it deserved.
“To give any less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” – Prefontaine.
He would have your head if he were still alive today.
P.S. – See you in Chicago.