Who Is Emily Sisson? Meet The Second-Fastest Half Marathoner who is Racing Towards the Olympics
Remember how good it felt to finish your first half marathon? We then compete in our second one now knowing what to expect, eyes at a faster time. But imagine running your third half marathon and nearly breaking the record to be the fast female in the distance —by just five seconds. Meet Emily Sisson, the new second-fastest female half marathoner.
At the 2019 Houston Half Marathon Sisson finished with the time of 1:07:30, placing fifth overall. Her time was just seconds short of American record for the half set by Molly Huddle in Houston last year.
Just don’t expect there to be any bad blood between the runners. Sisson and Huddle by train under the guidance of coach Ray Treacy. Huddle has become a mentor to the 27-year-old runner, telling Competitor Running that the rising athlete was in “good shape” and “would not be surprised if she broke the American record.”
This is just the beginning for the professional athlete. The running community can expect to see lots of Sisson moving forward as she continues to make herself a name among the other elites.
College Athlete To Pro
In order to anticipate where she is going, fans need to know where she’s been.
Sisson ran high school cross country for Parkway Central High School in Missouri. She earned some wins during this time such as a 2-mile win in an impressive 9:53, as well as placing third with a time of 17:19 at the 2009 Foot Locker Cross Country Championships.
The runner continued her running career at Providence College where she set the NCAA Division 1 outdoor track record for the 5,000 meters with the time of 15:34:10. Sisson then placed first again for the 5,000m at the Big East Championships with the time of 15:12:22 in New York for the indoor championships.
Her achievements include three NCAA titles during her time in college, with 2015 being a year with many big wins.
Sisson is impressively fast but has been living almost in shadows of other elite female runners like Deena Kastor, Kara Goucher, and Molly Huddle. But that might just be because people did not know her name—until now.
Sisson was actually not on the U.S. senior team for track or cross country. And even know she made to the pros, she is always finishing right behind her sometimes training partner, Huddle. This includes finishing 1.81 seconds after Huddle during the NYC Half Marathon in 2017. The two did run neck-in-neck until Huddle went for the kick in the final 100 meters. She did finish second with 1:08:21, making it the fast half marathon debut for an American. It seems like setting records is nothing new for Sisson.
What could be said is with Huddle, who is 34, as a mentor and the same coach, Sisson is on track to have a great career. She certainly is getting noticed in her own right now.
The pro runner who is signed with New Balance continues to success on the track, finishing in 9th place at the IAAF World Championships for the 10,000m in 2017. Sisson also plans on running the same distance during the Olympics Trials held next year.
The Big Stages: London Marathon And The Olympics
Before that, Sisson is gearing up for another big race. The pro is set to make her debut performance in the marathon, this spring at the 2019 London Marathon. And everyone is buzzing about this race for the young athlete because based on her Houston Half Marathon finish time she could very well be looking at running a sub 2:23. This would give her a fast marathon time among Americans for a first timer.
An impressive win could put Sisson on the fast track to the Olympics.
While it wouldn’t guarantee her a spot on the Olympic team, it could be her as a crowd favorite when the U.S. Olympic Trials take place February 2020.
It’s likely that the runner will compete in the Trials, but if it doesn’t go as planned at least she has time on her side. She is still young and—health willing—has plenty of seasons left to run.
Before the Olympics comes to London, so that were the main focus should be. And while the world anticipates the race, Sisson revealed that she has no specific time goal to finish. It’s refreshing to hear this from an elite runner since most everyday first timers aim just to finish a marathon with no set goal.
What we do know is Sisson will be running alongside elite female runners include Mary Keitany from Kenya (PR of 2:17:01 London 2017), Brigid Kosgei from Kenya (who placed second at last year’s London Marathon), and the leader of the pack, Vivian Cheruiyot from Kenya who won first place last year in 2:18:31 with her personal best.
Other elites from the U.S. include Huddle, Allie Kiefer, and Brittany Charboneau.
For the second-faster half marathoner, we hope this is only the start of her rise to the top.
- Emily Sisson Becomes Second-Fastest American Woman to Run the Half Marathon, Running Website, Jan 20, 2019 ,
- Emily Sisson, Informational Website, ,
- Emily Sisson Ready To Tackle 26.2 With Spring Marathon, Running Website, Jan 08, 2019 ,
- Emily Sisson broke the collegiate record in the 5,000 with 15:12.22 at the 2015 Big East Championships, Track Website, ,
- Emily Sisson Is Probably America's Next Great Road Runner, Track Website, Mar 21, 2017 ,
- Huddle Wins 3rd Straight NYC Half in Thriller, Running Website, Mar 19, 2017 ,