Korir, Bruce Win In Pittsburgh

by Carolyn Mather

PITTSBURGH, PA, MAY 5, 2019—The Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events hosted the 2019 USATF Half Marathon Championship and the incredible field assembled did not disappoint. On a foggy and cool morning the professional field took off at 6:55am. The men’s field broke open from the gun as Stanley Kebenei (NIKE) took the lead towing Leonard Korir (U.S. Army) and Andrew Colley (ZAP) in his wake. The three stayed together on this humid morning through Mile Five when Kebenei and Korir left Colley. A 4:50 opening mile followed by 9:22 at two miles and 14:00 at mile three, and 14:32 5K separated the three from the field very quickly. Mile Four was hit in 18:48 and by Mile Five (23:36), the field was broken into Korir and Kebenei. The two ran side- by-side while Colley attempted to come back. By Mile Eight (38:04), Colley trailed by twenty seconds and the two front runners continued to pull away.

Korir tried to make a break at Mile Nine (42:44) but Kebenei was tightly tucked in behind. 15K (44:16), ten (47:26), eleven (52:10) and twelve (57:04) saw the leaders remain together until 20K (58:57) when multi-time national champion and Olympian Korir put the hammer down and pulled away to break the tape in 1:01:52. Kebenei set a personal best 1:01:56 for a solid comeback second. For the second year Colley held onto third (1:03:10) running solo for over half of the race.

 Korir was pleased with his race today as he had a disappointing finish last year. He let Kebenei take the lead but used his incredible kick to reach the finish first. His patience pays off nearly every time as he bides his time before the final stretch.

The women’s race was truly a barn burner as pre-race favorites Stephanie Bruce, Sara Hall, and Emma Bates moved to the front and went back and forth for the first nine miles when Bruce broke from the field on a downhill, leaving Bates and Hall to battle for second. In her second national championship title run, Bruce did not feel well the entire race but went for it and was full of huge smiles after her second national title (the first was the Peachtree 10K last July 4th) in a personal best 1:10:43. When asked to describe her feelings over the win in one word she thought and said, “ecstatic.” Bruce is becoming an expert at all distances and a full profile on her recent successes will be on RG’s website later this week. The mother of two boys was incredibly joyful as she turned to congratulate second place finisher (and mother of four) Sara Hall (1:11:05) and third place finisher Emma Bates (1:11:12).

After reviving the Pittsburgh Marathon, after a five-year drought, race director Patrice Matamoros’s last weekend of overseeing the eleven-year extravaganza of events culminated in a huge success with the second national half championship. The half was a huge success for all seventy-seven elite athletes who started the race.

Top Men

  1. 1:01:53 Leonard Korir CO
  2. 1:01:57 Stanley Kebenei CO
  3. 1:03:11 Andrew Colley NC
  4. 1:03:39 Brogan Austin IA
  5. 1:03:55 Futsum Zienasellassie AZ
  6. 1:04:00 Louis Serafini MA
  7. 1:04:23 Reed Fischer CO
  8. 1:04:38 James Wilson KS
  9. 1:04:42 Michael Iacofano ID
  10. 1:04:52 Aaron Nelson NC
  11. 1:04:55 Tim Young VA
  12. 1:05:10 Joe Stilin NC
  13. 1:05:22 Jarrett LeBlanc LA
  14. 1:05:34 Lucas Stalnaker SC
  15. 1:05:41 Tyler Jermann MN

Top Women

  1. 1:10:44 Stephanie Bruce AZ
  2. 1:11:04 Sara Hall AZ
  3. 1:11:13 Emma Bates ID
  4. 1:11:58 Shannon Malone VA
  5. 1:12:11 Katy Jermann MN
  6. 1:12:28 Bethany Sachtleben VA
  7. 1:12:56 Samantha Palmer AL
  8. 1:14:17 Nell Rojas CO
  9. 1:14:39 Taylor Ward UT
  10. 1:15:14 Eden Meyer GA
  11. 1:17:13 Meghan Peyton MN
  12. 1:17:19 Emma Spencer MA
  13. 1:17:29 Chelsea Benson NY
  14. 1:18:15 Addi Zerrenner CA
  15. 1:18:18 Katja Goldring AZ
Stephanie Bruce and Sara Hall are 1st and 2nd in the USATF Half Marathon Championships in Pittsburgh. (Photo courtesy of Larry Rosenblatt)

Categories: Race Coverage

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