A few months back I spoke to Ryan Hall, and one of the questions I asked him was what he had to say to runners at the New York City marathon. If it seems a little earnest, it's because it came near the end of a long interview about his charity work for the Hall Steps Foundation, the non-profit he and his wife Sara have started to use running as a tool to help alleviate poverty in Africa. Here's an excerpt from the interview:
Outside: On the topic of inspiration, what’s the one thing that you would say to the readers of Outside and the Running Man blog who are training for New York or are going to be running a marathon?
Hall: ...You’ve got this huge, long road, and you’ve got take this one small step, and the first step is often the hardest step. You get going, you get your momentum going, and it’s just step after step, and before you know it, you look back and it’s just miles and miles...I was running through Yosemite last week and I was running by El Capitan—are you familiar with that climb? I was just running and thinking to myself, ‘I cannot believe that people climb this thing.’ It’s just insane, you know? What would it be like to take that first step off the ground, knowing what you’re about to get yourself into? It’s the same thing with marathoning. It’s a long, hard road and it’s going to have its bumps; there are going to be times when you fall and times when you don’t feel like going on anymore, times when you’re just crazy tired but it takes focusing on that one step you’re taking. That’s what I’m trying to do with marathon; I don’t think about the miles that are coming down the road, I don’t think about the mile I’m on right now, I don’t think about the miles I’ve already covered. I think about what I’m doing right now, just being lost in the moment, I think is real important whether you’re taking on adventures as big as El Capitan or running the New York City marathon
Photo courtesy: The Hall Steps Foundation