That $10,000 bonus that runner Sara Hall missed out on at the USATF 10-mile national championship last Sunday? Turns out it’s hers after all.
Hall, a 2001 Montgomery grad and Stanford alum who is one of the most accomplished runners ever to come from Sonoma County, was awarded the $10,000 bonus after race officials determined that the male competitors were launched too early, thereby negating the “equalizer” bonus.
Officials from the Twin Cities Marathon reached Hall by email Wednesday night, acknowledging the error. The men, who were supposed to start six minutes and 18 seconds after the women, were in fact launched six minutes and 10 seconds after the women departed.
Hall, with a finish time of 53:43, crossed the line barely more than a second behind the top male finisher, Shadrack Kipchirchir, who will also keep a $10,000 bonus prize.
“I think it’s very generous of them and very classy,” Hall said of the double-award.
Hall was using the 10-mile race as a tune up for the Frankfurt Marathon on Oct. 29. She is training for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Hall will donate the prize to the Hall Steps Foundation, a non-profit fundraising program established by Hall and her husband, retired runner Ryan Hall.
Sara Hall is the director of the volunteer-run program which focuses on programs to alleviate poverty in Ethiopia and east Africa, including a micro-lending program.
“They want to be able to provide for their own families and work but they don’t have the seed money to start a business,” she said.
In the program, loaned money is paid back and loaned again, she said.
Sara Hall spent the summer training and working Ethiopia. In 2015, the Halls adopted four girls from Ethiopia who are now 7, 9, 13 and 17.