Ryan Hall, the American record holder for the half-marathon with a 59:43 personal best, will compete at the inaugural Gatorade Half Marathon in the capital city of San Jose on May 26, it was announced this week.
Prior to racing in Costa Rica, Hall will open up his 2013 racing season at the Bay to Breakers 12K this weekend in San Francisco.
The news of Hall's presence has already created quite a buzz in the small country's growing running community. "This is the best news in Costa Rica's racing history," stated Roberto Verdesia, President of the Costa Rican Athletics Federation (FECOA). "We have never had an athlete like Ryan race in our country."
Lucía Gutierrez, brand manager for Gatorade, shared a similar sentiment. "We are proud to have Ryan Hall participating in our half marathon, and giving the Costa Rican athletic community the opportunity to run with and watch one of the best runners in the world."
Hall, who hasn't raced since dropping out of last summer's Olympic Marathon, will line up next to Costa Rican Olympian César Lizano, who finished 65th in last summer's Olympic Marathon. "I have had the honor to compete with Ryan in the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon in 2012," said Lizano, who finished third to Hall’s second last June. "It is always a pleasure to be next to him on the start line."
Hall, who honeymooned in Costa Rica with his wife Sara, will arrive in the country on May 24.
"I'm really excited to run my first half marathon of the 2013 season in Costa Rica," Hall said in a video announcement. "I've always described Costa Rica as my happy place. It's where my wife and I took our honeymoon and I just fell in love with the country, with the people, with the food and the coffee that’s so good. I can’t wait to get back down there and join you guys in Costa Rica for an amazing half marathon."