Emily Sisson took part in the 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon with the aim of challenging the American record – and that’s exactly what she did.
Sisson not only broke the American record, but finished within minutes of winner Ruth Chepngetich, who ran just seconds under a world record.
Sisson’s official time of 2:18:29 marked second place in this year’s race and broke Keira D’Amato’s record in Houston this year, which was 2:19:12. D’Amato then broke a record that had stood for 16 years.
She was joined at the finish line by the women who set the record before her: D’Amato, Deena Kastor and Joan Benoit Samuelson.
“It’s amazing,” Sisson said. “I mean the women standing here today, they’ve all accomplished so much, so to be among them is an incredible honor.”
D’Amato, who was watching Sisson’s run as an analyst for NBC Chicago during the event, said she was “really proud” of Sisson.
“Being part of the legacy to continue pushing that bar for American women — I’m so very proud to be among those four,” she said.
Kastor, who held the record before D’Amato, called Sisson’s run “incredible”.
“Just when I thought I couldn’t handle any more excitement in the Abbott World Marathon Majors season, here comes a new American record. So what an amazing weekend here in Chicago to be able to see so many great performances and celebrate a new American record. And we’re all here to celebrate with Emily,” she said.
And for Samuelson, “today belongs to Emily.”
“I’m going to cheer her on for a while, and I’m going to tell you, these are the women who keep me in the game. It’s a two-way street here, and I’m inspired by them every day,” she said.
More than 40,000 runners take part in the 44th annual Bank of America Marathon in Chicago
Sisson, who is also the American record holder for the half marathon, entered the race as the eighth fastest American over the marathon distance.
The 44th Bank of America Chicago Marathon marked Sisson’s return to the 26.2-mile distance after competing in the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials, favored to win, but dropped out after mile 22.
“The Olympic Marathon Trials – it broke my heart,” Sisson said later. “Usually I’m good at having bad races, but I really struggled with this one.”
But the six-time national champion didn’t let that hold her back. Sisson made her Olympic debut in the 10,000 meters at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and managed to finish in 10th place.