Sisson sets new American Record in Chicago

by Clay Shaw
Photos by Clay Shaw and Karen Mitchell

Emily Sisson of Providence, RI set a new American marathon record of 2:18:29. She was locked in, running with pacers Brian Harvey and Jonny Mellor, clocking 1:09:26 for the first half and even faster in the second half with a 1:09:03. It was a chilly 44° at the start, and the Windy City not being such, made the day perfect for fast running. Sisson is now the USA record holder for both the marathon and half marathon distances, having set a new USA half marathon record of 1:07:11 in Indianapolis in May 2022. 

Speaking at the post-race press conference about her race in general: “I was given instructions to go off my pacers and not think about time at all, so I had no clue what pace I was running until I think a mile to go. A few people told me to pick it up, so I thought, ‘Oh, I must be close to either breaking 2:20 or the American record,’ but I didn’t know which one.”

When did she break away from the chase pack? “I think it was around—it was after Mile 20, I think. I never saw a vehicle or a camera, so I was like, ‘I must not be on American record pace,’ because I figured they’d show it if I was, so I thought I was getting close to breaking 2:20 because of that.”

Was her intent to go after the record? “My intent was to break to 2:20 and to walk away with a positive experience from the marathon and be excited for my next one. I feel like I haven’t experienced that in three and a half years, so I really wanted to walk away from today feeling really good. 2:20 was my main goal, and I thought if I felt good, I’d go for the record. To break the record and break 2:19 and finish second, I’m so excited about that.”

Sisson was second overall as Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya stormed out at far under world record pace, ahead of many elite men. Ruth had a 1:05:44 time at the half marathon split and only slowed in the final 5K. Her winning time of 2:14:18 was by far a new PB, and she was just off the WR of 2:14:04, set by Brigid Kosgei in 2019 at Chicago. Vivian Kiplagat of Kenya was third in 2:20:52. Ruti Aga of Ethiopia was fourth in 2:21:41.

Benson Kipruto of Kenya won the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2:04:24. Kipruto was running with defending champ Seifu Tura of Ethiopia and John Korir of Kenya. Tura, who battled with Kipruto much of the way, was second in 2:04:49. John Korir was third in 2:05:01. Bernard Koech of Kenya, who was with the leaders past 35K, finished fourth in 2:07:15. 

Wesley Korir (2012 Boston Marathon champion and older brother of John Korir) was asked whether he is involved in John’s training: “Yeah, I’m very involved. He lives with me. I make sure he eats well, trains well, wakes up on time to go training. Me and Hawi, we help manage his races, so it’s an exciting experience for me as a former marathon runner and as his big brother to see him follow in my footsteps. It’s time to pass on the baton to him now.”

Conner Mantz of Provo, UT had a solid marathon debut, finishing seventh in 2:08:16 and first America. Zachery Panning of Lake Orion, MI was second American and eleventh overall with a 2:09:28. Matt McDonald of Cambridge, MA was twelfth of 2:09:49. Nicolas Montanez of Mammoth Lakes, CA was thirteenth in 2:09:55.  All three of these American athletes were sub-2:10, and did negative splits after running the first half together in 1:05:06. 

At the post-race press conference, Conner was asked what some of his pre-race unknowns had been: “I think a couple of the unknowns were how beat up your body feels around 24, 25 and 26 miles. I hit a big wall where it said, “One mile to go,” so 25.2, which is funny because the longest I’ve run up to this point is 25.2 on the dot, so I was kind of surprised that I hit a wall right there.”

What was your expectation? What were you going after? “I think I may have gone a little too quick in the 10K to 15K timeframe. I think that kind of put me through a little bit of a wringer . . .”

American women had a good day as well, as Susanna Sullivan of Reston, VA ran a PB of 2:25:14 to place sixth overall and second American behind Sisson. Sara Vaughn of Boulder, CO was third American and seventh overall in a PB of 2:26:23. Maggie Montoya, also of Boulder was eighth in 2:28:07, and also had a personal best.

Marcel Hug of Switzerland won the wheelchair competition in 1:25:20. Setting a new course record. Susannah Scaroni of Champaign, IL won her first Abbott Major Marathon in 145:48.

Carey Pinkowski (Executive Race Director) speaking at the post-race press conference: “Good morning. Great performances, Emily and Conner. I want to thank them. I know with Emily, probably late in the winter we started our discussions about you coming to Chicago, so I’m really impressed with her plan and also with Conner, their commitment to come to Chicago and running as well as they did. The city of Chicago is great. I don’t know what your impressions were of the course and fans and all that, but so proud of the way they both performed. We had Deena and Keira and Joan here, so it was kind of neat to have the legacy of the American record; it goes back to Joan in 1985. That tradition continues in Chicago. Just had a great day. Ruth, fearless. Benson, coming back and winning. The tradition continues in Chicago with great racing and historic performances. Second fastest woman, all-time first fastest here in Chicago Brigid Kosgei.”

The Bank of America Marathon had 39,382 total finishers.  18443 women, 20898 men, and 41 non-binary. The 2021 running had 26, 106 finishers.

Top Women

  1. 2:14:18 Ruth Chepngetich, 28, Kenya
  2. 2:18:29 Emily Sisson, 30, Providence, RI
  3. 2:20:52 Vivian Kiplagat, 30, Kenya
  4. 2:21:41 Ruti Aga, 28, Ethiopia
  5. 2:23:41 Waganesh Mekasha, 30, Ethiopia
  6. 2:25:14 Susanna Sullivan, 32, Reston, VA
  7. 2:26:23 Sara Vaughn, 36, Boulder, CO
  8. 2:28:07 Maggie Montoya, 27, Boulder, CO
  9. 2:29:37 Sarah Inglis, 31, Great Britain
  10. 2:30:28 Makena Morley, 25, Bozeman, MT
  11. 2:31:34 Laura Thweatt, 33, Superior, CO
  12. 2:32:36 Emeline Delanis, 25, France
  13. 2:33:20 Tori Parkinson, 27, Draper, UT
  14. 2:33:34 Jessie Cardin, 26, Rochester Hills, MI
  15. 2:33:49 Marie-Ange Brumelot, 29, France
  16. 2:33:50 Carrie Verdon, 28, Boulder, CO
  17. 2:33:59 Brittney Feivor, Scottsdale, AZ
  18. 2:34:19 Nina Zarina, 35, Russia
  19. 2:34:22 Olivia Pratt, 28, Rochester Hills, MI
  20. 2:35:29 Liza Howard, Canada
  21. 2:35:34 Argentina Valdepenas Cerna 41, Mexico
  22. 2:36:04 Rachel Hannah, 36, Canada
  23. 2:36:40 Theresa Hailey, 33, Portland, OR
  24. 2:36:51 English Tomlinson, Grottoes, VA
  25. 2:38:39 Meriah Earle, 44, Escondido, CA

Top Men

  1. 2:04:24 Benson Kipruto, 31, Kenya
  2. 2:04:49 Seifu Tura, 25, Ethiopia
  3. 2:05:01 John Korir, 25, Kenya
  4. 2:07:15 Bernard Koech, 34, Kenya
  5. 2:07:53 Shifera Tamru, 24, Ethiopia
  6. 2:08:05 Kyohei Hosoya 27, Japan
  7. 2:08:16 Conner Mantz, 25, Provo, UT
  8. 2:08:22 Hamza Sahli, 29, Morocco
  9. 2:08:26 Eric Kiptanui, 32, Kenya
  10. 2:08:53 Dong Guojian, 35, China
  11. 2:09:28 Zachery Panning, 27, Lake Orion, MI
  12. 2:09:49 Matt McDonald, 29, Cambridge, MA
  13. 2:09:55 Nico Montanez, 29, Mammoth Lakes, CA
  14. 2:09:59 Riki Nakanishi, 26, Japan
  15. 2:10:55 Abayneh Degu, 23, Ethiopia
  16. 2:11:02 Pat Tiernan, 28, Australia
  17. 2:11:38 Amanuel Mesel, 31, Eritrea
  18. 2:11:51 Clayton Young, 29, Provo, UT
  19. 2:11:59 Turner Wiley, Issaquah, WA
  20. 2:13:04 Hiroto Fujimagari, 25, Japan
  21. 2:13:16 Stephen Kissa, 33, Uganda
  22. 2:13:42 Wilkerson Given, 31, Lake Orion, MI
  23. 2:13:42 Kiyoshi Koga, 26, Japan
  24. 2:14:06 Reid Buchanan, 29, San Diego, CA
  25. 2:14:55 Paul Hogan 26, Burlington, MA

Full Results

Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya rocked a world record pace for much of the Chicago Marathon. Her time was 2:14:18 just off the WR of Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04, Chicago 2019).
Emily Sisson of Providence, RI on her way to a new American record of 2:18:29. Pacers: Brian Harvey and Jonny Mellor.
Emily Sisson of Providence, RI at 35K running with pacers on her way to a new American record of 2:18:29. Sisson placed second overall.
Nearing 35K in Chinatown, Benson Kipruto of Kenya, leader of a pack of four, won in 2:04:24. Bernard Koech of Kenya was fourth in 2:07:15. John Korir of Kenya was third in 2:05:01. Seifu Tura of Ethiopia, the 2021 champ, was second in 2:04:49.
Conner Mantz of Provo, UT had a solid debut, finishing seventh. Mantz was top American with a 2:08:16.
Susannah Scaroni of Champaign, IL won the wheelchair race in 1:45:48. It was Scaroni’s first victory at a world marathon major.
Marcel Hug of Switzerland “The Silver Bullet” won the wheelchair race in 1:25:20.
Susanna Sullivan of Reston, VA and Sarah Inglis of Great Britain run up LaSalle St early in the race. Sullivan was second USA and sixth overall in 2:25:14. Inglis was ninth in 2:29:37.
Susanna Sullivan of Reston, VA had a PB of 2:2514. Sullivan was second American and sixth overall
Boulder runners Sara Vaughn and Maggie Montoya follow pacer Ben Bruce. Vaughn was seventh in 2:26:23; Montoya was eighth in 2:28:07.
Sara Vaughn of Boulder was third American and seventh overall in 2:26:23, a personal best.
Makena Morley of Bozeman, MT debuted in 2:30:28 and finished tenth.
Zachery Panning of Lake Orion, MI was eleventh and second American with a 2:09:28.
Jessie Cardin and Olivia Pratt, both of Rochester Hills, MI run with Marie-Ange Brumelot of France as they get ready to cross the Chicago River on LaSalle.
Brittney Feivor of Scottsdale, AZ was 17th in 2:33:59.
Olivia Pratt of Rochester Hills, MI had an OQ of 2:34:22, placing 19th.
Matt McDonald of Cambridge, MA was twelfth in 2:09:49.
Clayton Young of Provo, UT was 18th with a PB of 2:11:51.
Jessie Cardin of Rochester Hills, MI was 14th in 2:33:34. Emeline Delanis of France was 12th with a PB of 2:32:36.
Nico Montanez of Mammoth Lakes, CA earned a PB of 2:09:55 and placed 13th.
Chinatown Proud at the Chicago Marathon.
Carrie Verdon of Boulder was 16th in 2:33:50, earning an OQ.
Wilkerson Given of Lake Orion, MI was 22nd in 2:13:42.
Theresa Hailey of Portland, OR was 23rd with a PB and an OQ.
Krista Duchene of Canada ran 2:43:03 placing third master.
One of the many great neighborhoods in Chicago. Chinatown supports the marathon where the runners need it most, between miles 21 and 22.
Emily Sisson is a happy new American Record holder with a 2:18:29.
Jay McMillan of Columbia, PA ran 2:55:36. Jay was the only Central PA runner we were able to photograph. Sorry folks, there were 39,382 total finishers.
Running through Chinatown, RSA runners Vincenzo Opeka and Nick Bester are on their way to solid times of 2:12 and 2:41:32.
Anna Gavrilova of Russia celebrates running the Chicago Marathon. She finished in 3:18:31.

Categories: Race Coverage

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