Sara Hall ran the second-fastest marathon ever by an American woman, clocking 2:20:32 at The Marathon Project in Chandler, Ariz., on Sunday morning.
Hall, 37, chased Deena Kastor‘s 14-year-old American record of 2:19:36, running with Kellyn Taylor and four male pacers for most of the 26.2 miles on a 4.3-mile loop. Kenyan Brigid Kosgei holds the world record of 2:14:04, set in 2019.
“I was hoping to run a little faster than that,” Hall said on USATF.TV. “But it’s a big PR, and No. 2 all time in the U.S., I should be happy with that. But the competitor in me is a little bit like, uh, I want to run faster, but maybe next time.”
Anesthesiology student Martin Hehir won the men’s race in 2:08:59.
Full results are here. NBCSN airs coverage of The Marathon Project on Sunday night from 8-9:30 ET.
The Marathon Project was a specially created event amid cancellations or postponements of every major marathon this fall and next spring. None of the three men or three women who made the U.S. Olympic marathon team at the Feb. 29 trials were entered.
Hall was the headliner, prescribing a pre-race pace that put Kastor’s record in jeopardy.
Though Hall dropped out in the 23rd mile of the Olympic Trials, she ran a then-personal-best 2:22:01 to place second at the London Marathon on Oct. 4. London was postponed from April.
Hall’s husband and coach, the retired Ryan Hall, owns the fastest marathon in history by a U.S. man — a 2:04:58 at the 2011 Boston Marathon, albeit not on a record-eligible course.
Sara Hall can still make her first Olympic team next year — in the 10,000m on the track at trials in Eugene, Ore., in June.
Fastest marathons by U.S. women
1. Deena Kastor — 2:19:36 (2006 London)
2. Sara Hall — 2:20:32 (2020 The Marathon Project)
3. Jordan Hasay — 2:20:57 (2017 Chicago)
4. Shalane Flanagan — 2:21:14 (2014 Berlin)
5. Deena Kastor — 2:21:16 (2003 London)
6. Joan Benoit Samuelson — 2:21:21 (1985 Chicago)
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