U.S. Olympic Marathoner: God is My Coach

Religion Today

U.S. Olympic Marathoner: God is My Coach

29-year-old Ryan Hall, the fastest American distance runner competing in the London Olympics, says he owes it all to his coach who has been with him every step of the way -- God. "I'll just be straightforward, my coach is God," Hall told CNN. Last year, after finishing second in the 2011 U.S. half-marathon championship, Hall filled in "God" as the name of his coach on a routine drug test form. "I saw the line, it said 'coach,' it was blank, and I said, 'Well, you know, I have to be honest,'" he said. "So I put 'God' down and it turned into a big controversial thing. Now whenever I see that line I just leave it blank. I'll just let it slide by." Hall, a self-professed Christian who attends the non-denominational evangelical Bethel Church in Redding, Calif., runs alone instead of with a trainer and prays while he runs, calling his method of training "faith-based coaching." He says he doesn't pay much attention to the reactions of his peers, but stays focused on what he's doing. "I love the skeptic and God loves the skeptics -- it's OK for people to disagree," he said. "Medals are things I would love to achieve, but it's all icing on the cake."


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