Ryan Vail turned pro two years ago after a standout career at Oklahoma State, where he earned All-American accolades on the track and helped the Cowboys win the 2009 NCAA cross country title. He made his marathon debut at the U.S. Olympic trials marathon on Jan. 14 in Houston with an 11th-place, 2:12:43 effort. Vail, 25, resides in Portland, OR.
Ryan wore these shoes in the 2012 Olympic trials. He finished 11th place with the time of 2:12:43. Ryan is currently on "the road to Rio" with the Olympic Trials coming up in Los Angeles on February 13.
This singlet is from my freshman year at OSU and represents the year I truly fell in love with cross country. The jump from high school to the NCAA is a tough one as most are coming from dominating their high school region to showing up scrapping to simply make the team at the college level. It can be easy to get discouraged during this transition, but being part of a team with a goal greater than the individual helped me fight on, knowing that I was making a difference, even if that meant simply making my teammates better.
This pair of cross country spikes were worn at the 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland where I helped Team USA earn the Silver Medal (the first since 1984). This is one of the few events I have left as a pro to live out my love for XC and put myself back into a pure team mentality.
This pair of spikes represent the future of my XC career. There won't be another World XC Championship until 2017, but these will be the spikes that I'll wear in Bend, OR at the USA Champs looking to qualify for another world team and earn another opportunity to represent Team USA.