Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Ryan makes his 2nd Olympic Team in the marathon with a 2nd place finish in Houston!

Ryan is thrilled to have punched his ticket to London on Januray 14th on a cool morning in downtown Houston, TX.  After setting a quick pace, Ryan secured himself in the top group of contenders early on and continued to lead most of the race.  He is excitedly planning his training for the Olympics while enjoying a much-deserved break from running!  His first stop will be celebrating at the Hall Steps Foundation Charity Dinner in Santa Rosa, CA on Saturday, January 21.

Congrats Ryan! We at STEPS are so proud of you!


Ryan and Sara answer your health quesitons!

We at Steps want to make sure everyone has a healthy and happy New Year so for 2012 we are answering your questions every Friday. We’ll send out a reminder early in the week and then Ryan and Sara will choose a few questions to answer and we’ll post them on the website.


1) I would like some tips on pushing past “the wall”. I listen to the wrong side of the brain at about mile 19 or 20. I must get pass this barrier! Any suggestions? You know how to push the limits!


Ryan: My recommendation is to be fully present in the mile that you are on at the time- don’t think what’s ahead.  I’ve been hurting in some marathons at mile 13, and if I were to listen to “that side of the brain” I would never have run some of my fastest marathons.  You have to just be in the moment and know that if you get through this one, you will have what it takes for the next one

Sara: A mantra that I often use to run through the pain is “relax and roll”.  I relax my breathing, relax my form, try to run as relaxed as possible while maintaining the pace.  Though I’ve never run a marathon, I would do the same thing at mile 20!


2) How can you tell the difference between a pain you can push through and a potential injury you should stop for?


Our rule of thumb is usually if it hurts after you stop running, when you are walking around, etc. then it is not just a pain from the running itself but something that is inflamed.  Depending on the injury, there are different ones that you can more successfully run through.  Plantar Fascitis, for example, can kind of come and go, and taking time off doesn’t necessarily help the issue always.  So sometimes it can be ok to run through whereas a stress fracture will only get worse.  It’s important to find a good massage/physical therapist who knows athletics injuries and can help you discern.


3) How and when do you begin your taper?


I usually do my last really hard long effort 2 1/2 weeks before the goal race.  After that, I will still do hard workouts, but the distance will decrease.  I keep the intensity the same so that I am not flat on race day.  My mileage doesn’t drastically decrease, but my last week before the marathon I will cut out most of my 2nd runs and just run once a day 45-60 minutes.  Tapering is individual though, so experiment with it!


Cooking for nutritious meal suggestions that are runner specific:


We don’t use any cookbooks or websites personally, we see cooking as an art more than a science and like to create healthy meals from what we have in the fridge.  Our meals are basically heavy on leafy green vegetables, whole grains carbohydrates like rice and sweet potatoes, and lean meats (usually beef, fish, or pork).  We buy a variety of things in these categories and just create from there, adding in some healthy fat like avocados or olive oil and always finishing with dark chocolate.  We are thinking of writing a cookbook though, so be on the lookout for that in the future!



Is it ok to run 6 days a week : I run on a treadmill 8k in 33 mins.


I (Ryan) only run 6 days a week now.  For a long time I ran every day and rarely took a day off, but I got very rundown and overtrained.  So now, I like to follow the commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy”.  I don’t believe this is something that everyone needs to follow now, but it works for me and I feel like God was emphasizing the need to rest.  I like to have a day that I don’t do any running-related things- no stretching, running interviews, etc. It helps me create balance in my life since my job is kind of all-consuming.

Steps Funds Food Security in Kenya

Steps is excited to have written checks for 100% of the money raised by our runners at Chicago Marathon to go to funding short term and long term food security in Northern Kenya, which is experiencing a severe food crisis. Ryan and Sara committed this year’s funds from the Bank of America Chicago Marathon to honor the late Sammy Wanjiru, who died suddenly this year after winning the Chicago Marathon in 2010.  In his honor, $65,000 in emergency aid from World Vision will be provided to people throughout Northern Kenya where drought has caused failed crops, resulting in famine (Steps donated $13,000 and it was multiplied 5x by matching gifts).


Also, $13,000 was donated to KickStart, which will result in the following:

205        People out of Poverty in Kenya
41        New rural entrepreneurial farming businesses started
70        Children in school for the first time – or attending better schools
23        New job positions will be created

(Pictures of work KickStart is doing will be up shortly!)


Steps is committed to supporting organizations and initiatives that believe in fighting poverty through health. To learn more about these grants and organizations please view our fall grant announcement.



Chicago Supporters

Steps runners and supporters had a blast in Chicago and a few of them even had enough energy after the race to pose for a celebration picture! If you’re interested in joining Steps for a future team please email Lorelle for the Houston Marathon ( or Sara ( for the Los Angeles or Woodlands marathon. Hope to see you soon!


© Little Bay Photography

World Vision

World Vision is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.

From October 2009 through September 2010, World Vision responded to nearly 80 major disasters and humanitarian emergencies, assisting 15 million people.  In addition to addressing immediate and short-term needs, World Vision seeks to work with national governments, where appropriate, and families on long-term recovery plans.  World Vision believes that finding comprehensive and sustainable solutions will help to minimize the impact of future crises.

The current drought in the Horn of Africa is being reported as the worst in that region in more than 60 years.  An estimated 10 million people are affected in the easternmost area of Africa, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.  Without rain, crops have failed, and the prices of food and fuel are rising beyond the reach of families already struggling to survive.  We fear that we have not yet seen the worst.

As millions of people in the Horn of Africa suffer from the impact, World Vision and The Hall STEPS Foundation are committed to helping them and showing them that they are not forgotten.  Thanks, in part, to a donation from STEPS, World Vision is able to more effectively respond to the dire needs of people in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia.

What is more, World Vision has a 5X multiplier on all charitable gifts toward the crisis in East Africa.  This means that the STEPS donation will be multiplied by five!

Follow World Vision on Twitter: @WorldVision

“Like” World Vision on Facebook




KickStart International

Founded by Martin Fisher and Nick Moon in 1991, KickStart is an award-winning social enterprise with a revolutionary solution to poverty in Africa and the developing world.  Our friends at KickStart are on a mission to get millions of people out of poverty quickly, cost effectively, and sustainably.

To do this, KickStart develops and promotes simple money-making tools and systems that unlock business opportunities for thousands of poor entrepreneurs.  With only four percent of Sub-Saharan farm land currently being irrigated, irrigation using KickStart’s line of human-powered ‘MoneyMaker’ pumps allows rural farmers to grow crops year-round, to grow higher value crops, and to produce crops in the dry seasons when water supplies are short and vegetable prices are high.

Thanks to the use of KickStart tools and systems, nearly 600,000 people are no longer living in poverty.  What’s more, farmers who purchase and use a MoneyMaker pump increase their family’s income substantially, usually within a year of purchase.  This increased income enables them to acquire the things they need to make a better life for themselves, their families, and their communities: plentiful food, clean water, medical care, and education for their children.  They are now able to plan for the future.

By combining the transformative power of technology, the entrepreneurial spirit of the world’s poorest people, and the permanence of the private sector marketplace, KickStart is changing the way the world fights poverty.

KickStart is currently active in Kenya, Tanzania, Mali, and Burkina Faso, and their pumps are distributed by other NGOs in more than 20 countries.  KickStart is also working on innovative new initiatives, including several financing and social networking pilot programs for rural farmers that are in the process of being tested in Kenya and Tanzania.

Follow KickStart on Twitter: @KickStart_Intl

“Like” KickStart on Facebook

STEPS Announces Grant Recipients for Fall 2011

The Hall STEPS Foundation is thrilled to announce that KickStart and World Vision are its two grant recipients for fall 2011!

Our mission this season is two-fold: to contribute to innovative efforts in Kenya that focus on social enterprise and long-term sustainability; and to provide immediate support to emergency relief work in the Horn of Africa, a region which is enduring its worst drought in 60 years. KickStart and World Vision are two wonderful, inspiring organizations committed to helping people in need, and STEPS is grateful for the opportunity to support their ongoing work.

KickStart develops and promotes simple money-making tools that unlock business opportunities for thousands of poor farmers. Thanks to the use of these tools, nearly 600,000 people are no longer living in poverty. By combining the transformative power of technology, the entrepreneurial spirit of the world’s poorest people, and the permanence of the private sector marketplace, KickStart is changing the way the world fights poverty. KickStart is active in Kenya, Tanzania, Mali, and Burkina Faso, and their pumps are distributed by other NGOs in more than 20 countries. Learn more at




World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Today, our friends at World Vision are responding to dire needs in the Horn of Africa by supporting interventions involving food aid, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, and livelihood protection. Ryan & Sara Hall have proudly supported the organization’s efforts ever since the couple traveled with World Vision in 2008 to Zambia, a country in Southern Africa. World Vision has a 5X multiplier on all charitable gifts toward the crisis in East Africa, which means that our STEPS grant will be multiplied by five!  Learn more about World Vision at

Also, as part of our “26.2 Challenge,” STEPS committed thousands of dollars earlier this year to help complete construction of a new hospital in Kenya’s Rift Valley in the home village of Wesley Korir, an elite runner and dear friend of STEPS.


We are also happy to announce progress is being made on the Rift Valley Hospital, a grant that was designated in 2010.  Those on the ground in Kenya sent us an email on 11/17/2011 with the following progress update and pictures:

1.      Public toilet is almost complete
2.      Blustering of the main block in and outside is complete
3.      Water tank has been bought and its stand completed.
4.      Wall electrification channel completed
5.      Water piping system is going on, materials bought.
6.      Ceiling frames complete
7.      Those doing mason work have been paid depending on what level they
have done the required work.



To see other past grants click here!