Sara Hall is an elite American middle distance runner. Born and raised in Santa Rosa, California, Hall didn’t have to travel far to hone her track and field skills at Stanford University. As a 7-time All-American, Hall finished 3rd at the NCAA Women’s Cross Country Championships, leading Stanford to the team title. As a member of the Cardinal team, Hall was also a three-time NCAA Track and Field runner up in the 5000 meters and indoor 3000 meters.
After her senior year at Stanford in 2005, Hall turned pro and has racked up quite the resume since then. The mile has been a favorable distance for her, accruing multiple wins at the Drake Relays Grand Blue Mile, most recently in 2012. She owns 1500-meter titles including one at the Millrose Games in 2011. In that same year, one of her most impressive wins came in the 3000-meter steeplechase at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Hall is married to top American marathoner Ryan Hall. The couple currently reside Redding, California with their two miniature Siberian Huskies.
Q & A
When did you first start training in life? Where and why?
I first started training the summer before my 7th grade year to prepare for cross country season in the fall. I started exploring the trails in the large State Park across the street from my house and fell in love with running and exploring in my beautiful surroundings. I am naturally very competitive so would challenge myself to go faster on the same loop that I did the day before. I won my first race, and was hooked!
When did you turn pro?
After my senior year at Stanford in 2005.
What are the events, wins, memories that stand out most throughout your career so far?
There have been so many fun moments in my career, looking back as far as high school when I won my 4th straight CA XC title and went on to win the Footlocker Nationals. Most recently, winning the Pan American Games gold medal and standing on the top of the podium and hearing the Star Spangled Banner. I have met so many incredible people along the journey, gotten to explore the world with the love of my life, and competed on some incredible platforms! Other memories that stand out- having a breakthrough race at the 2003 NCAA XC Nationals and leading my team to a National Championship, winning the 5th Avenue Mile and Melrose Games mile in New York City, and winning my first USA XC National title in a photo finish,
If there’s one thing that people in the industry would recognize you by, what would that be?
Probably my commitment to my charitable endeavors and connecting my running with a greater cause. I've always been passionate about social justice and alleviating extreme poverty since I was a young girl and now my life's mission would be to bring health and hope to those in need. And I've always strived to do that no matter what I am doing for a career.
Track= Olympic Trials
Fun= Stand up Paddleboarding
Vision= Hall Steps Foundation
Friend= My dogs- ever faithful companions!
Foe= My unceasingly tight hip flexors
What has driven you to work super hard and rise up beyond mediocrity?
Ever since I was young I have wanted to be someone that changed history. It is how God made me. It is in my nature to want to be incredible and accomplish incredible things for His glory and for the benefit of others. I thrive on challenges and working hard towards a goal, and I have an innate need to improve and take new territory in all areas of my life.
Are you a rebel? Why or why not?
I have a slight rebellious streak :) But mostly just directed toward antiquated rules or social norms. I like to find the best way to do whatever I'm doing, and I like running with my dogs off-leash even where they are not allowed to be.
If you weren’t killing it on a track or course, what would you be doing for a living?
I would likely be working in a developing country building sustainable communities to meet people's basic needs.
Your favorite track or course/runway:
Madison Square Garden (indoor track), Stadio Olympico (Rome, Italy)
The venue that you purely dread…and why:
I don't have one- I've convinced myself to like anywhere I have to compete!
Talent…other than your sport:
Cooking intuitively (no recipes!), writing, making the most of bad situations, rollerblading
Your favorite food:
Authentic thin crust wood fired Italian pizza... so hard to find in the US! Dark Dark chocolate with cocoa nibs or bacon, kale salad, beef (in all forms), cappuccinos, Pinkberry.
The standard by which all other eyeware are measured, in performance, style, and brand.
Best song to practice to:
"Fill me Up" Jesus Culture
Dream vacation spot:
If you had to share a hotel room/apartment with one Oakley athlete, who would it NOT be and why?
Shaun White- I hear he can party, and I need my beauty sleep!
People would be super surprised if they knew that you…
What particular skills are you working on?
Hurdling! and running fearlessly into the water jump... It's coming along... (for the steeplechase)
You’ve been mistaken for…