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Shay takes 9th at NYC Marathon

Steve Coyer | Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Ryan Shay left Notre Dame in 2002 as one of the top distance runners in Irish history. At the end of this year’s New York City Marathon, he left as one of the best in the world.

With a remarkable time of two hours, 14 minutes over the 26-mile course, Shay finished ninth in a race of 37,257 marathoners and also placed second among all American competitors.

While Shay set a personal record with his time of 2:14:08, he had even higher expectations heading into the race.

“I expected to do better, around 2:12,” Shay said. “Overall, I’m happy with my performance.”

Shay was the second American to cross the finish line behind Meb Keflezighi of California who took second overall. This marked the first time since 1993 that two Americans have placed in the top 10 at the New York Marathon.

“My goals were to finish among the top 10 and be among the top three Americans”, Shay said.

Since his graduation in 2002, Shay has dominated distance competitions at the national level. He won his first individual title at the U.S.A. marathon in 2003 followed by wins at the U.S.A. Half Marathon and the U.S.A 20k championships.

With his victory at the U.S.A. marathon, Shay became the youngest U.S. men’s marathon winner in 30 years. Moving from a 10,000 meter distance (6.2 miles) to the 26.2-mile marathon required some adjustment for Shay.

“The thing with the marathon is it’s so unpredictable,” Shay said. “Guys can come out of nowhere, you never know.”

At Notre Dame, Shay accumulated a host of honors and individual records. In 2001 Shay was the national 10,000-meter champion and also captured All American honors in three events that year.

“While at Notre Dame, I learned how hard one must work to reach an elite level of running,” Shay said. “I’ve learned the sacrifices that must be made to become a national champion.”

As a runner for both the cross-country and track and field teams from 1998-2002, Shay received All American honors in each season he competed. In addition, Shay holds the school record in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

Besides his personal success, Shay comes from a very athletic family. His sister holds the 25,000-meter record for 14-year olds and his brother recently ran to victory at the Michigan state championship.