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Keira D’Amato Outruns Emily Sisson at U.S. 20K Championships and More Running News

In a week marked by European track highlights and the start of the college cross country, D’Amato tuned up for the Berlin Marathon with a record-setting win in New Haven.

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Keira D’Amato keeps getting faster. On Monday morning, the U.S. marathon record-holder tuned up for the September 25 Berlin Marathon by outdueling Emily Sisson to win the U.S. 20K Championships in record-setting fashion at the Faxon Law New Haven Road Race in Connecticut.

D’Amato and Sisson broke away from the lead pack early in the race and ran stride for stride for most of the rest of the race until D’Amato, 37, of Midlothian, Virginia. surged over the final miles to win the 12.42-mile race in a course-record 1:04:29. The race was run in warm temperatures that peaked in the high-70s and high humidity. Although D’Amato, a Nike-sponsored pro, struggled getting water cups from aid stations on a couple of occasions, she was still able to outrun Flagstaff, Arizona-based Sisson, the U.S. half-marathon record-holder and 2020 Olympian at 10,000m who runs for New Balance.

Sisson, who is running the Chicago Marathon on October 9, finished second 6 seconds back, followed by Nell Rojas in third (1:07:02) and Annie Frisbie in fourth (1:07:17). Hoka athlete Aliphine Tuliamuk, the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials champion, was supposed to be in the race as well, but dropped out last week due to injury.

The 30-year-old Sisson did more of the leading in the first half than D’Amato, and the pace was fast. Unofficially, they split 3 miles (4.8 km) in 15:31 putting them well under course record pace. As the duo approached the 8-mile (13 km) mark Sisson began to tire. D’Amato noticed her rival looking down at her watch and sensed there was an opportunity to take the lead.

“I think I started hurting from about mile eight and she took over,” Sisson told Race Results Weekly. “And I was like, just hang on to her and try to out-kick her at the end. I couldn’t quite catch her.”

They were still close until just after the 11-mile mark, when D’Amato surged and took the lead for good. In the end, she had a 6-second margin on Sisson when she broke the tape. Her time bettered Colleen De Reuck’s event record by 42 seconds, but it was well outside of Molly Huddle’s American record of 1:03:48. Nonetheless, D’Amato was delighted with her win—which came about two weeks after winning the 7-mile Falmouth Road Race—and running against Sisson was very motivating for her.

“I am, like, so impressed with Emily Sisson,” D’Amato said. “She is, like, the toughest runner.  I’ve seen her crush races in heat and humidity.  So true to form, she took it out like the weather wasn’t even an issue.  I was like, well, if I want to win I’ve got to run that pace.”  She continued: “I can’t believe I pulled that one off today, to be honest.”

Elly Henes 1500m
Elly Henes continued her huge progression this year with a second-place finish in the 5,000m in Berlin

Elly Henes keeps getting faster

At the ISTAF meet on Saturday in Berlin, American Elly Henes continued her huge progression this year with a second-place finish in the 5,000m. Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet ran away with the race with a strong 14:44.25 effort for the win, but Henes lowered her PR to 14:52.87, marking a 26-second improvement over her personal best from a year ago. That’s the fourth-fastest time by an American this year and No. 14 on the all-time U.S. list.

The 23-year-old Henes was an NCAA 5,000m at N.C. State in 2021—repeating the feat her mother and coach Laurie Henes accomplished for the Wolfpack in 1991—then turned pro and signed with Adidas after placing sixth in the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2021. Henes, who has been training with 1,500m runner Nikki Hiltz this year in Flagstaff, has gotten markedly faster and also set new PRs in the 1,500m, mile, 3,000m and 2-mile in 2022.

Kim Dawson
Kim Dawson set her sights on the 10,064-foot summit of Mt. San Antonio—aka Mt. Baldy—in Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains and won the day. (Photo: Peter Maksimow/ATRA)

Kim Dobson shatters course record at Mt. Baldy trail race

Kim Dobson has proven to be one of the top mountain runners in the U.S. for years, with seven wins apiece at the Mt. Washington Road Race and Pikes Peak Ascent. On Monday, she set her sights on the 10,064-foot summit of Mt. San Antonio—aka Mt. Baldy—in Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains. Starting at about 6,000 vertical feet, the 7.1-mile race sends runners up a grueling 4,000-foot climb to the third-highest mountain peak in Southern California.

Dobson utilized her uphill running prowess and took down the 34-year-old women’s course record with a dominating win in the 57th annual race 1:10:53. The 38-year-old Eagle, Colorado, resident won the women’s race by more than 5 minutes over very fast runner-up Janelle Lincks (1:15:43) and broke the old course record Carrie Garritson set in 1988 by roughly the same margin.

Courtney Dauwalter sets new FKT on Colorado’s Collegiate Loop

Although she didn’t return to Chamonix, France, to try to win a third consecutive Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in late August, Courtney Daulwalter logged some big miles in the mountains of central Colorado last week. Fresh off a mid-July win at the Hardrock 100, the 37-year-old Salomon-sponsored trail ace from Leadville, Colorado, took down Annie Hughes two-year-old Fastest Known Time on the 166-mile Collegiate Loop by more than 21 hours. Dauwalter covered the loop, which has a robust 33,400 feet of vertical gain, in 40 hours, 14 minutes on August 31.

Allie Wilson continues her success in the 800

Allie Wilson had another breakthrough performance while winning the 800m at the Meeting Città di Padova in Padua, Italy, on Sunday night. The 26-year-old Adidas-sponsored Atlanta Track Club Elite runner won the race in 1:58.37, edging out the UK’s Jemma Reekie (1:58.71). American Nia Akins was third in 1:59.56.

Although Wilson finished fourth at the U.S. championships in June and missed the opportunity to run in the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in July, she’s been on a tear since late August. She took silver in the 800m (1:58.48) at the NACAC Championships in the Bahamas on August 20, then she set her new personal best of 1:58.09 with a runner-up finish at the Diamond League meet on August 26 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Then won an 800 race in 1:58.53 at the Palio Città della Quercia meet in Rovereto, Italy, on August 30.

Eilish McColgan shatters Big Half course record

Scottish star Eilish McColgan continued her stellar 2022 season by winning the Big Half in London on Sunday, dominating the women’s race in a course-record 67.34 minutes. Although the ASICS-sponsored pro recently announced she would not be making her debut in the marathon as planned at the London Marathon on October 2 due to a medical issue, she was in prime form winning the half marathon.

McColgan had a reaction to taking on fuel during long runs in training in recent weeks, an issue since identified as rebound hypoglycemia—a common occurrence among endurance athletes which leads to reduced blood sugar levels and means there is not enough glucose in the blood to meet the body’s demands.

McColgan, 31, drank only water in the Big Half enroute to bettering Charlotte Purdue’s 2021 record time of 69.51 minutes to show she could be a force to be reckoned with if she can compete as planned in the 2023 London Marathon on April 23.

She admits she is disappointed to delay her marathon debut until next April, when the London Marathon returns to its usual springtime date. Aside from winning the Commonwealth Games 10,000m in August, she ran new personal bests in the 10,000m (30:19.02) this summer, as well as setting new national records for 5K on the roads (15:19) and the half marathon (1:06.26).

“To run a two-minute course record, I can’t ask any more,” McColgan told The Independent. “It was cool to come here and race on the streets of London at half the distance, so hopefully in April we can go the full way.”

Sha’Carri Richardson returns to her winning ways

In her first race since the U.S. outdoor track championships in June, Sha’Carri Richardson outran Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica to win the 100 meters at the Spitzen Leichtathletik meeting on August 30 in Lucerne, Switzerland. Running in cool, wet conditions and into a slight headwind, Richardson ran 11.29 to beat Thompson-Herah by .01 of a second. It was Richardson’s first victory over Thompson-Herah in three attempts after defeats at the Prefontaine Classic in 2021 and 2022. Richardson hadn’t raced since June 26, when she shockingly failed to make the final in either the 100 or 200 at the U.S. championships in Eugene, Oregon.

But last Friday at the Diamond League meet in Brussels, it was Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson, the 2022 world champion at 200 meters, who dominated the 100 in 10.73 to edge reigning world champion and countrywoman Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.74). Richardson, running in her first Diamond League since May, was fifth in 10.93, one place and .02 behind American Aleia Hobbs, who won the 100m at the Diamond League meet in Lausanne on Aug. 26.

Taylor Ewert
Collegiate cross country season is getting underway 

Coming Up This Week

The 2022 track season concludes with the 2022 Diamond League Finals on September 7-8 in Zurich, Switzerland. The women’s 5,000m should be among the hottest events with rising American star Alicia Monson competing in the stacked field that also includes Ethiopia’s Eijayehu Taye, the world-leader (14:12.98) in the event as well as world championships silver medalist Gouda Tsegay of Ethiopia, and Ethiopian-born Dutch runner Sifan Hassan, a two-time world champion and two-time Olympic champion who is hoping to make up for her disappointing results at the World Athletics Championships in July.

Monson’s 14:31.11 effort in Oslo in June ranks her No. 3 on the all-time U.S. list. Other women’s races to watch in Zurich will be the 3,000m steeplechase, where American Emma Coburn will battle with seven other runners who have run sub-9:10 or faster this year, and the 1,500m, in which world champion and world record-holder Faith Kipyegon of Kenyan is the leader in a field that includes UK standout Laura Muir and Americans Cory McGee, Allie Wilson and Heather Maclean.

After getting underway last weekend, the collegiate cross country season heats up this weekend with a few key meets, including the Badger Classic on Sept. 8 in Madison, Wisconsin, and Lobo Invitational on Sept. 10 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Defending national champion N.C, State is the top-ranked team in the preseason iteration of the National Coaches’ Poll after receiving nine first-place votes. The Wolfpack return four athletes from their 2021 lineup, including three All-Americans: Kelsey Chmiel (6th), Katelyn Tuohy (15th) and Samantha Bush (32nd) and welcome the addition of Tennessee transfer Sydney Seymour to their roster. New Mexico is ranked No. 2 in the poll, followed by Colorado, Oklahoma State and Stanford.

Next Sunday, a dozen of the world’s top middle-distance runners will converge on New York City for the annual 5th Avenue Mile. It’s the 41st year of the popular 20-block race along “Museum Mile” that’s home to numerous museums and cultural institutions. American Jenny Simpson has won the race a record eight times, most recently in a course-record 4:16.1 in 2019. After the race was canceled because of COVID-19 in 2020, UK runner Jemma Reekie won last year in 4:21.6.