INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (USATF)  — It was a record-breaking morning Saturday in Indianapolis, as Olympian Emily Sisson broke the American half marathon record (*pending verification by the 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 this year at the Houston Half Marathon.

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Sisson (Flagstaff, Arizona/USATF New England) got off to a blazing start, passing through the first 5 km in 15:54, pacing herself at a record clip, while pulling away from the field with ease. Through 10 km, Sisson passed through the mark in 31:57, running a 16:03 second 5 km.
The Arizona-based pro cruised through the next 5 km in 15:57, giving her a 15 km split of 47:54, at this point in the race nearly five minutes up on her closest competitor. Sisson never wavered, running the next 5 km split in 15:58, coming through 20 km in 1:03:52.
With the record in sight, Sisson charged over the final mile of the race, arms churning, stride powering forward. It wasn’t until she hit the finish tape in 1:07:11 did she give a smile, 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 Kieffer (West Islip, New York/USATF New York), along with Tayler Tuttle (Boulder, Colorado/USATF Colorado), ran somewhat together for much of the race. Already down nearly three minutes at 10 km, Kieffer and Tuttle passed through the split in 34:46, with Pomaranski running 15 seconds behind them.
Over the next 5 km, the three women would pack together, with Kieffer and Pomaranski eventually pulling away from Tuttle. Over the final half mile of the race, Pomaranski charged ahead, claiming an impressive runner-up effort in 1:13:12. Kieffer hung on to easily claim third in 1:13:16, while Tuttle placed fourth in 1:14:13. Jane Bareikis (Crestwood, Illinois/USATF Illinois) took home fifth in 1:15:05.
After Bareikis, Joanna Stephens (Smyrna, Georgia/USATF Georgia) crossed the line in sixth in 1:16:04. Stephens was followed by Sakikio Minagawa (Westerville, Ohio/USATF Ohio) in seventh in 1:16:49, while Sally Crowther (Kirkland, Washington/USATF Pacific Northwest) also broke the 77-minute barrier with an eighth-place finish of 1:16:57. Madison Offstein (Chicago, Illinois/USATF Illinois) placed ninth in 1:17:28 and Emma Kertesz (Boulder, Colorado/USATF Colorado) rounded out the top ten with a 1:19:43 clocking.
Sisson’s victorious effort added another 22.5 points to her USATF Running Circuit point total, moving her into the overall standings lead with 37.5 points, 17.5 points ahead of second place Emily Infeld (Portland, Oregon/USATF Oregon), who has 20 points to her name. Emily Durgin (Flagstaff, Arizona/USATF Arizona) is positioned at third through four races with 19 points.
In the men’s race, a pack of seven men, led by Olympian Leonard Korir (Colorado Springs, Colorado/USATF Colorado), Futsum Zienasellassie (Flagstaff, Arizona/USATF Arizona), Jacob Thomson (Flagstaff, Arizona/USATF Arizona), Reid Buchanan (San Diego, California/USATF Southern California), Reed Fischer (Boulder, Colorado/USATF Colorado), Noah Droddy (Boulder, Colorado/USATF Colorado), and Sid Vaughn (Longmont, Colorado/USATF Colorado), hit the first 5 km in 14:49 and maintained their tight pack through 10 km in 30:09.
The pace quickened dramatically over the next 5 km, with Korir, Zienasellassie, Thomson, Buchanan, and Fischer putting a gap on Droddy and Vaughn, increasing the pace to a 14:48 pace and passing through 15 km in 44:57.
The pace continued to come down over the next 5 km, with Korir, Zienasellassie and Buchanan running 14:40 and hitting 20 km in 59:37, while over the final half mile, Buchanan couldn’t hang on, dropping off slightly, making it a two-man race of Korir and Zienasellassie to the finish.
Into the final straight came Korir and Zienasellassie, stride for stride, but with one final push, Korir charged ahead in the closing meters, besting Zienasellassie for the win in 1:02:35, one second ahead of Zienasellassie’s finishing time of 1:02:36. Korir’s victory gives the U.S. 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 over the final 5 km of the race, taking home fifth in 1:03:30.
The chase pack started to come in shortly after, with Droddy taking home sixth in 1:03:51. Vaughn claimed seventh in 1:04:16, while Lawi Lalang finished 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 tying for tenth in 1:07:07.
Korir’s victory extends his USATF Running Circuit overall standings lead to 41.5 points, 16.5 points ahead of Zienasellassie, who sits second with 25 points. Thomson jumps to third overall with 16 points, just ahead of Shadrack Kipchirchir (Colorado Springs, Colorado/USATF Colorado), Nico Montanez (Mammoth Lakes, California/USATF Southern California), and Vincent Ciattei (Eugene, Oregon/USATF Oregon)who all sit tied for fourth with 15 points.
Full results may be found here. The current USARC standings may be found here.
The USATF Running Circuit resumes on Saturday, May 14, as the USATF 25 km Championships take place in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with the Amway River Bank Run hosting the fifth stop on the circuit. Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #USATF.

About the USATF Running Circuit

The USATF Running Circuit is a USATF road series featuring USATF championships from one mile through the marathon and consistently attracts the best American distance runners with more than $500,000 to be awarded in total prize money. A total of $40,000 in prize money will be awarded at the USATF Half Marathon Championships.
The first ten U.S. runners earn points at each USATF Running Circuit race. For the USATF Half Marathon Championships, scoring is set as 22.5 for first, 18 for second, 15 for third, 10.5 ,9, 7.5, 6, 4.5, 3 and 1.5, with those earning the most points receiving prize money at the end of the series.
The mission of the USATF Running Circuit is to showcase, support and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USATF Running Circuit and its races have provided over $7 million to U.S. distance runners.
Contributed by Scott Bush