After a terribly boring Opening Ceremony, the 2012 Olympics are in full swing. (There was a moment of silence at the Opening Ceremony, but not for the 11 Israeli victims of the Munich Olympics.) One of the many events that Americans are expected to do well in is the men’s marathon: Ryan Hall is a stud and the fastest American marathoner ever.
He also thinks he has an extra edge on the competition: God is his coach.
So he’s moved away from Mammoth Lakes, Calif., where the rest of the Olympic team trains. Lately, he’s been attending classes at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, where students learn “how to cast out demons, witness, heal the sick, prophesy, preach, pray, practice His presence and much more,” according to the school’s website. Among the miracles that members of the Bethel Church say they experience during spiritually intense moments are clouds of gold dust floating down from above.
His races since the Boston triumph have been solid but uneven, but Hall has stuck to his path. He doesn’t keep track of how many miles he runs; he works out and rests when God tells him to. The resting, in particular, tends to worry some people who pay attention to running: Hall, 29, said he is running fewer miles than he has since high school, when he burst onto the scene as California state cross-country champion.
“He highlighted the need for me to take one day a week as a day of rest,” Hall wrote in an email to Deadspin, “in the same way that God took a day of rest after creating the universe.”
It seems to have worked for God. But for an endurance athlete trying to compete with a troupe of very fast, very motivated East Africans? Is this any way to train for the Olympics?