Sara Hall, a five-time Olympic trials qualifier with eight national titles to her name, hopes to rewrite history by breaking the American marathon record, 2:19:36, set in 2006 by Deena Kastor.
Name: Sara Hall
Country of Origin: USA
Bank of America Chicago Marathon
In 2020, Hall picked herself up from a disappointing DNF at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, refocused, and commenced her campaign to make history. She finished as the runner-up in 2:22:01 at the London Marathon last October (one of the only elite events in 2020), becoming the first American to finish in the top three in 14 years.
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Hall stands out as one of the most versatile athletes in the elite field. She launched her professional career as a middle-distance specialist and steeplechaser while slowly migrating to the roads and, in 2015, to the marathon. She finished 10th in Chicago in 2015, ninth in New York in 2016, seventh in Tokyo in 2017, first in the California International Marathon in 2017 (her first U.S. title in the marathon), and first in Ottawa in 2018. But those achievements pale in comparison to what came next.
Eleven weeks after her 2020 London Marathon finish—unconventional timing for a marathon runner—she competed in the Marathon Project, winning in a personal best, 2:20:32, while also inching closer to Kastor’s American record. Hall enters this year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon with a goal written on her bathroom mirror: “American Marathon record-holder.”
“I am excited to run the Chicago Marathon again,” said Hall. “It has been too long since I’ve been back, and when I thought about where I wanted to chase the American Record, I thought it would be more exciting to do it at home, in the U.S., and Chicago is such an epic race. I’m really excited to have my best marathon yet on U.S. soil."