Sisson breaks American record* at USATF Half Marathon Championships
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana — It was a record-breaking Saturday morning in Indianapolis, as the Olympian Emilie Sisson broke the U.S. Half Marathon Record (*pending verification by USATF Records Committee) at the USATF Half Marathon Championships presented by Toyota. Sisson crossed the line in 1:07:11, four seconds ahead of Sara Hall’s American record set in January of this year at the Houston Half Marathon.
On-demand race highlights and coverage of the USATF Half Marathon Championships Presented by Toyota, the fourth stop on the 2022 USATF Race Circuit are available and can be viewed with a +PLUS subscription on USATF.TV.
Sisson (Flagstaff, Arizona/USATF New England) got off to a blistering start, covering the first 5 kilometers in 15:54, moving at a record pace, while striding away from the field with ease. Over 10 km, Sisson crossed the mark in 31:57, covering a 5 km in 16:03 seconds.
The Arizona-based professional covered the next 5km in 15:57, giving her a 15km distance in 47:54, at this stage of the race, almost five minutes ahead of her closest competitor. close. Sisson never wavered, covering the next 5km in 15:58, covering 20km in 1:03:52.
With the record in sight, Sisson charged over the final mile of the race, arms flailing, stride forward. It wasn’t until she reached the finish line in 1:07:11 that she smiled, relieved to break Hall’s record and earn her place in the history books.
Behind Sisson, Andrea Pomaranski (Wolverine Lake, Michigan/USATF Michigan) and Allie Kiefer (West Islip, New York/USATF New York), as well as Taylor Tuttle (Boulder, Colorado/USATF Colorado), ran a little together for much of the race. Already trailing nearly three minutes in the 10k, Kieffer and Tuttle raced through the interval in 34:46, with Pomaranski running 15 seconds behind them.
Over the next 5km, the three women would pack together, with Kieffer and Pomaranski eventually pulling away from Tuttle. During the final half mile of the race, Pomaranski took the lead, claiming an impressive second effort in 1:13:12. Kieffer hung on to easily take third in 1:13:16, while Tuttle was fourth in 1:14:13. Jane Bareikis (Crestwood, Illinois/USATF Illinois) took fifth place in 1:15:05.
After Bareikis, Joanna Stephens (Smyrna, Georgia/USATF Georgia) crossed the finish line in sixth place in 1:16:04. Stephens was followed by Sakikio Minagawa (Westerville, Ohio/USATF Ohio) seventh in 1:16:49, while Sally Crowther (Kirkland, Wash./USATF Pacific Northwest) also broke the 77-minute barrier with an eighth-place finish in 1:16:57. madison offstein (Chicago, Illinois/USATF Illinois) finished ninth in 1:17:28 and Emma Kertesz (Boulder, Colorado/USATF Colorado) completed the top ten with a time of 1:19:43.
Sisson’s winning effort added an additional 22.5 points to her points total on the USATF race circuit, moving her to the top of the overall standings with 37.5 points, 17.5 points ahead of second place. Emilie Infeld (Portland, Oregon/USATF Oregon), who has 20 points under his belt. Emilie Durgin (Flagstaff, Arizona/USATF Arizona) ranks third after four races with 19 points.
On the men’s side, a squad of seven men, led by the Olympian Leonard Korir (Colorado Springs, Colorado/USATF Colorado)Futsum Zienasellassie (Flagstaff, Arizona/USATF Arizona)Jacob Thompson (Flagstaff, Arizona/USATF Arizona)Reid Buchanan (San Diego, CA/USATF Southern California)Reed Fischer (Boulder, Colorado/USATF Colorado)Noah Drody (Boulder, Colorado/USATF Colorado)and Sid Vaughn (Longmont, Colorado/USATF Colorado), reached the first 5km in 14:49 and kept his peloton tight over 10km in 30:09.
The pace picked up dramatically over the next 5k, with Korir, Zienasellassie, Thomson, Buchanan and Fischer putting a gap on Droddy and Vaughn, increasing the pace to 14:48 and covering 15k in 44:57.
The pace continued to drop over the next 5km, with Korir, Zienasellassie and Buchanan running 14:40 and reaching 20km in 59:37, while on the final half mile Buchanan couldn’t hold on , falling slightly, making it a two-man race from Korir and Zienasellassie to the finish.
Down the home stretch came Korir and Zienasellassie, stride for stride, but with one final push Korir took the lead in the final meters, beating Zienasellassie for the win in 1:02:35, one second ahead of the final time of Zienasellassie at 1:02:36. Korir’s victory gives the US Army runner three USATF Half Marathon Championship titles.
Thomson finished well, catching Buchanan in the final half mile, to place third overall in 1:02:46, while Buchanan finished just behind Thomson in fourth in 1:02:57. Fischer faded out during the final 5 kilometers of the race, claiming fifth place in 1:03:30.
The chasing pack started arriving soon after, with Droddy claiming sixth place in 1:03:51. Vaughn was seventh in 1:04:16, while Lawi Lalang was eighth in 1:04:47. Caleb Kerr (Zionsville, Indiana/USATF Indiana)Jackson Neff (Niwot, Colorado/USATF Colorado), and Oscar Medina (Chicago, Illinois/USATF Illinois) rounded out the top ten, with Kerr placing ninth in 1:05:43 and Neff and Medina tied for tenth in 1:07:07.
Korir’s win extends his overall USATF Race Circuit ranking to 41.5 points, 16.5 points ahead of Zienasellassie, who sits in second place with 25 points. Thomson climbs to third place overall with 16 points, just ahead of Shadrack Kipchirchir (Colorado Springs, Colorado/USATF Colorado)Nico Montanez (Mammoth Lakes, CA/USATF Southern California), and Vincent Ciattei (Eugene, Oregon/USATF Oregon), who are all tied for fourth with 15 points.
The USATF Race Circuit resumes Saturday, May 14, as the USATF 25k Championships rolls into Grand Rapids, Mich., with the Amway River Bank Run hosting the circuit’s fifth stop. Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #USATF.
About the USATF Racetrack
The USATF Race Circuit is a USATF road series with USATF championships from one mile through the marathon and consistently attracts America’s top distance runners with over $500,000 to be awarded to the total prices. A total of $40,000 in prize money will be awarded to the USATF Half Marathon Championships.
The top ten U.S. runners earn points in each race on the USATF Race Circuit. For the USATF Half Marathon Championships, the score is set at 22.5 for first, 18 for second, 15 for third, 10.5, 9, 7.5, 6, 4.5, 3 and 1.5, those who earn the most points receive a cash prize at the end of the series.
The USATF Race Circuit’s mission is to showcase, support, and promote America’s racers. Since its inception in 1995, the USATF Running Circuit and its races have provided more than $7 million to American distance runners.
Contributed by Scott Bush