SISSON RETURNS TO ARAMCO HOUSTON HALF-MARATHON AS DOUBLE AMERICAN RECORD HOLDER
By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2022 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved – Used with permission.
(04-Jan) — Nearly four years ago in near-freezing conditions, Emily Sisson ran the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon and achieved what was then a surprising result. Behind Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei, who would run what was the fastest-ever half-marathon on American soil (1:05:50), Sisson clipped through the 10-kilometer mark in a snappy 31:49, and went on to finish in 1:07:30, good for fifth place. Her time was just five seconds short of Molly Huddle’s then USATF record of 1:07:25.
Immediately after the race Sisson felt an odd mix of satisfaction and disappointment. She came into the race in great shape, but said that she had made an important tactical error: she decided not to wear her GPS watch and, instead, go off of the split times on the course.
“That’s one of the mistakes I made,” Sisson told reporters after the race. “I talked to my coach, Ray (Treacy) about wearing a GPS watch or not. We thought it would be better to go off the splits on the course (which she had trouble seeing). I think we went out a little too slow and it cost me some time.”
On that cold day in Houston, Sisson had no way of knowing that a pandemic would sweep the world a year later and it would take her nearly two more years to run another fast half-marathon. In Valencia, Spain, in December, 2020, Sisson clocked 1:07:26, just one second short of Huddle’s record.
“Definitely bittersweet,” Sisson told Race Results Weekly via text message just after exiting drug testing in Valencia that morning. “Was disappointed to fall short of my goal but trying to keep things in perspective.”
She wouldn’t take another swing at Huddle’s record until May 7, 2022, when –despite windy conditions– she ran away with the USATF half-marathon title in Indianapolis, clocking 1:07:11 and finally breaking Huddle’s record.
“Mission accomplished,” a smiling Sisson told sideline reporter Chris Nickinson in her post-race broadcast interview on USATF.tv.
Sisson, 31, who represents New Balance, plans to return to Houston to run the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon on Sunday, January 15. When she lines up for the start just before dawn in Downtown Houston, she’ll not only be the USATF half-marathon record holder, but also the marathon record holder. Last October in Chicago she clocked 2:18:29 to topple Keira D’Amato’s record of…