If you’re reading this blog, then you’re probably into running. And if you’re into running, then you probably have been following the 2022 World Athletics Outdoor Track & Field Championships which run from July 15-24 at the famed Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. There are countless stories happening, but how about a shout-out for the American women in the marathon? On July 18, Sara Hall – 5th, Emma Bates – 7th, and Keira D’Amato – 8th ran impressive races and proved that Americans are tough enough to run with the best. Bates, at 30 is the youngest of the trio and a former Boise State University star and 12-time All-American, 2014 NCAA 10,000 said of her 2:23:18 PR, “It’s a huge step in the right direction.” Bates finished second in last year’s Chicago Marathon (2:24:20). “I’m planning on running a fall marathon,” she said, “But I’m gonna let this soak in for a while, first.”
In the early years of women’s running—let’s say the 1980s—women made dramatic improvements in the marathon, while men slowly chipped away at Derek Clayton’s 2:08:33 world marathon record. The difference in progression was easily explained because women were starting at a much lower point and had much more room to improve. The gap has narrowed now, yet they are still breaking through.
The three women worked together as a team, and in fact if their overall places were scored cross-country style, you could say USA won. Needless to say, it’s the best showing by American women at a Worlds Championship marathon to date.
The trio ran 22 seconds behind the Kenyan and Ethiopian women in the lead, but Hall, a mother of four, broke away from the USA pack after the half-way mark and moved into fifth place, notching a speedy 2:22:10. The 39-year-old runner, who is married to former 2:04:58 marathoner Ryan Hall set a new American record for the half-marathon in January, posting a 1:07:15 and was super-happy with her 2:22 after having dropped out of the Boston Marathon last April. Incidentally Ryan set the American record of 59:43 for the half at the same race 15 years earlier.
“It was awesome to work with Emma during the race,” commented Hall. “It was comfortable to run with her and Keira, but I was like, ‘I’ve got to go now,’” said Hall of her move after the halfway mark. For her part, D’Amato, 37 who ran for American University and was a four-time All-American said, “I’m so proud finishing eighth place in my first World Marathon Championships.”
Ethiopia’s Gotytom Gebreslase won the race in 2:18:11, ahead of Kenya’s Jeptum Korir in 2:18:20. Lonah Chemtai Saleter, a Kenyan-born runner who competes for Israel, was third in 2:20:18.
Upcoming Races: Sunday, July 31 at 7:00 a.m., Marable Fall Triathlon, downtown Marble Falls— 1 km Swim – 23 mile Bike – 4.4 mile Run. Sprint Distance option is 500 m Swim – 12 mile Bike – 2 mile Run. Saturday, August 20, the Rattler Run 5K at 7:00 a.m., San Marcos High School.