November 3, 2007 - Ryan Shay goes the distance

Ryan Shay was one of the most successful student-athletes at Notre Dame and on the track and field team. Shay would become the first seven-time All-American at Notre Dame and would increase that total to nine by the time he graduated. In 2001, he would be the NCAA 10,000m champion winning the race by more than 20 seconds. To put this feat into perspective, the last track champion Notre Dame had was Tom McMahon in 1972 for the indoor 55m high hurdles. The last outdoor champion was in 1956 by Aubrey Lewis for the 400m hurdles. Shay would set three Notre Dame records as a student: the outdoor 5k, 10,000m, and indoor 5k. Only the indoor 5k record still stands at 13:46.80.

Following graduation, Ryan Shay began to run in longer distance races and competed at the national level. He continued to compete in 10k, 15k, and 20k races while also competing in half and full marathons at the same time. Shay almost made the 2004 Olympic Marathon team but a hamstring strain kept him out of placing. In 2007 while competing in the Olympic trials for the 2008 Olympics, Shay collapsed 9km into the race from a heart attack. It was later determined that he had a pre-existing enlarged heart condition.

Ryan Shay collected a list of awards and honors throughout his career. A partial list includes:

  • Nine time All-American (4X Outdoor 10k, 2X Indoor 5k, 2X Cross Country, 1X Outdoor 5k)
  • Academic All-American
  • Notre Dame Indoor 5k Record Holder
  • Multiple Big East Conference Champion in 5k and 10k
  • 2001 NCAA 10k Champion
  • 2003 U.S. Marathon winner
  • 2003 U.S. Half-Marathon winner
  • 2004 U.S. Half-Marathon winner
  • 2004 U.S. 20k winner
  • 2005 U.S. 15k winner

To read more about Ryan Shay's life and accomplishments, check out the tribute on

Ryan Shay 1979-2007
Ryan Shay 1979-2007

Keywords: track, ryan shay, all american, academic all american, record, tom mcmahon, aubrey lewis, olympics

Posted On: 2011-11-03 03:15:00 by IrishTrpt07


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   Posted By: Christine at 2012-04-23 20:25:24[#1]
We need more insghits like this in this thread.
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