Race Recaps: Pittsburgh Marathon & USATF Half Marathon Championships 2021
On Sunday morning, 40,000 runners took to the streets of Pittsburgh for the Pittsburgh Marathon and Half Marathon. For the first time ever, this year’s Pittsburgh Half Marathon served as the course for the USATF Half Marathon Championships. Hundreds of elite runners flocked to the race for a chance to earn a part of the record $85,000 prize purse (plus more for time bonuses). The total prize purse for the marathon race was $57,000.
At the start, the temperature was a cool 53 degrees F and only went up to 58 degrees during the marathon. However, there was mist in the morning that turned to rain between 11 am and 2 pm that kept the humidity level high. This is what lead to an unusually high number of people requiring medical treatment. 139 people were treated at the medical tent and 22 runners were sent to local hospitals for temperature related issues like over-heating, high heart-rate, and dehydration.
For the men’s side, Fikadu Girma Teferi was the first to cross the finish line with a time of 2:13:47, three minutes faster than he ran last year. The 24-year-old Teferi is from Ethiopia but trains with the West Side Runners in New York. He won $8,000 for placing first. Kipkoech Ruto finished close behind at 2:13:52 in second place and fellow Kenyan Kimutai Cheruiyot finished third at 2:14:57.
Sydney Devore from Lakeland, Florida took home the $8,000 for winning the women’s race. Devore, 26, ran a 2:32:38 while her family was cheering her on for her first ever marathon race. Not only did she have the fastest time in a field of about 2,000 female runners, she also qualified for the 2020 Marathon Olympic Trials. (Not bad for a first-timer.) Devore said she trusted her training and felt really good during the race, except for hurting the last two miles. Susan Jerotich from Kenya finished almost two minutes behind Devore with a time of 2:34:19 and 22-year-old Sinke Biyadgilign of Ethiopia finished third.
Pittsburgh Marathon Results:
- Fikadu Girma Teferi – 24, Ethiopia – 2:13:47
- Kipkoech Ruto -29, Kenya – 2:13:52
- Kimutai Cheruiyot – 32, Kenya – 2:14:57
- Sydney Devore – 26, USA – 2:32:38
- Susan Jerotich – 31, Kenya – 2:34:19
- Sinke Biyadgilign – 22, Ethiopia – 2:35:46
Pittsburgh Half Marathon & USATF Half Marathon Champions
Over 250,000 spectators lined the course, kept the energy high for the runners including Aliphine Tuliamuk, who stated that she loved seeing the spectators along the course. Tuliamuk became the women’s USATF Half Marathon National Champion when she crossed the finish line first with a time of 1:10:04. Tuliamuk, 29, is originally from Kenya but became a US citizen two years ago. Her first place prize was $15,000 plus a $1000 bonus for running sub 1:11.
Sara Hall finished only 3 seconds behind Tuliamuk at 1:10:07. Hall, 35, is the 2017 USA Marathon Champion and an accomplished distance runner who trains in Flagstaff, Arizona with her husband Ryan Hall, an Olympic marathoner. Rochelle Kanuho came in third soon after with a time of 1:10:49. 2016 Olympic Triathlon Champion Gwen Jorgenson placed fourth in her debut half marathon as a professional runner. All four athletes ran sub 1:11, each earning a bonus $1000 on top of their prize money.
Chris Derrick was the first male to finish becoming the 2018 USATF Half Marathon Champion. Derrick ran track for Stanford and has three US Cross Country Championship titles. Derrick, who trains in Portland, Oregon, was running behind Parker Stinson, a former University of Oregon athlete, for most of the race, only gaining the lead the last mile of the race. He maintained the lead even with Stinson right on his heels. It was a sprint finish, with Derrick coming in at 1:02:37 and Stinson only 1 second later at 1:02:38. Andrew Colley was a part of that sprint finish, coming in two seconds behind Stinson at 1:02:40. This was Colley’s debut half marathon in elite racing. All three won an additional $750 for finishing under 1:03.
Last year’s USATF Half Marathon Champion Leonard Korir placed 5th this year. The top 15 male and female runners all earned prize money. In addition to prize money, the runners receive points towards the USATF Running Circuit, a series of races in which the male and female runners that score the most points, will win.
USATF Half Marathon Championship Results:
- Chris Derrick – 27, Portland, OR 1:02:37
- Parker Stinson – 26, Boulder, CO 1:02:38
- Andrew Colley – 27, Blowing Rock, NC 1:02:40
- Aliphine Tuliamuk – 29, Santa Fe, NM 1:10:04
- Sara Hall – 35, Flagstaff, AZ 1:10:07
- Rochelle Kanuho – 28, Flagstaff, AZ 1:10:49
Feature Image: ittsburgh Skyline, By Robpinion [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons