This was initially posted on Missouri Runner on 5 February 2024

by Larry Eder

I recall a conversation with Harry Marra, the coach of decathlon great Ashton Eaton. Harry once told me that the decathlon presents ten ways to fail or get injured.

I consider that when I view a championship marathon. Some people can race championships marathons, and some can run big city marathons, which can become glorified time trials.

Dakota Lindwurm embracing Emily Sisson, U.S. Olympic Team Marathon Trials
Orlando, Florida
February 3, 2024, photo by Kevin Morris

Championship marathons must develop organically. Are you going to take the bait and follow a break? Are you going to bide your time? Are you going to charge away?

Emily Sisson was presented with that set of circumstances in Orlando when Fiona O’Keeffe broke away at mile 17 in 5:16.

Emily followed suit and found herself by herself as Fiona pulled a Mark Conover (1988 Oly Trials champ over Ed Eyestone ), shuffling away, mile after mile.

Emily’s job on Saturday was to make the team, period, with the most minor damage to her body.

Emily Sisson insured her ticket to Paris with a healthy run of 2:22.42 for second.

The Marathon Trials team is tough to make. With the tremendous number of women who made the Paris Olympic standard of 2:26.50 and the minimum standard of 2:29.30 to take an Olympic team position, one did not know how the team would pan out.

Keira D’Amato surprised many with her DNF. Betsy Saina dropped out at 21 miles due to the heat. Weeks before the Trials, Emma Bates withdrew due to the slow injury recovery.

Emily Sisson, U.S. Olympic Team Marathon Trials
Orlando, Florida
February 3, 2024, photo by Kevin Morris

And on the Thursday prior, Molly Seidel withdrew due to a knee injury.

Making the team was tough. Emily Sisson kept her calm and made her first marathon team.

The first team that Emily made was at the 10,000 meters in 2021.

Emily Sisson is the American record holder in the marathon at 2:18.29, and until a few weeks ago, held the AR at the half marathon.

We wish her a speedy recovery from Orlando and look forward to seeing her race this spring.

Let’s see if Emily Sisson tries for the 10,000m in July!

Emily Sisson makes her second Olympic team, photo by Kevin Morris.