Ryan Hall‘s elite marathon career ended after a series of withdrawals and DNFs, which made his accomplishment this past week all the more impressive.
Hall, the fastest American ever over 26.2 miles, completed a marathon in Antarctica on Monday (with a wind chill falling to minus-22 degrees Farenheit, according to organizers).
The next day, he ran a marathon in Chile. The next day, he ran a marathon in Miami. Then in Madrid. Then Morocco. Then Dubai. Finally, on the seventh day, in Sydney.
Hall was one of 22 men and nine women to complete the World Marathon Challenge — an annual event starting in 2015 composed of seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.
Michael Wardian had the fastest average time — 2:45:56 per marathon. Hall, a two-time Olympian, averaged 3:39:36 for fifth place. Hall’s average time took a big hit in Sydney, where he clocked 5:15:34 on Sunday.
Hall said Sydney marked his final marathon. He said he started that race at about 1:30 a.m. local time and slowed to a walk in the final miles.
“Just my hips on fire,” Hall said on Instagram, filming as he covered the course. “My legs are just gone completely. So I’m just going to enjoy this last 42km I’ll ever do. I was thinking, it’s very fitting, actually, to have a rough day, just because that’s how my career went. High highs and low lows. That’s what happens when you dream big, train hard and give it everything.”Follow @nzaccardi
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Thankful for these guys getting me through a 180 mile week last week. I always wanted to end my marathoning career by leaving my shoes on the finish line of my last race. Got to do that today. I'm thankful to have run as many marathons as I have but a new season is here. @asics