By David Monti, @ d9monti
(c) 2021 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
(02-Dec) – Sunday’s USATF Half Marathon Championships, hosted by the Mortgage Network Half Marathon in Hardeeville, SC, features very deep fields. Spurred on by a purse of $ 40,000 ($ 7,000 for winners), 49 women and 62 men registered for the championships division of the race. The competition is the final event of the 2021 USATF Running Circuit.
The women’s peloton is led by a 2:22 marathoner Keira D’Amato from Midlothian, Va. D’Amato, 37, has a best half marathon of 1:08:57 set a year ago at Michigan Pro Ekiden, and she just put in a great performance at the Manchester Road Race in Manchester, Connecticut, last Thursday , where she broke the course record but finished second. Manchester, where the distance is just under five miles, was D’Amato’s first race after placing fourth at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 10.
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“Coming back from Chicago and being able to move my legs so quickly is a plus,” D’Amato told Race Results Weekly. “I broke the course record but unfortunately someone broke it before me.”
Also in the women’s field, the 2016 Olympic triathlon gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen from Boulder, Colorado (1:10:58 PB); reigning US 20-K champion Erika kemp from Brookline, Mass. (1:10:25); reigning US 25-K champion Makena morley de Bozeman, Mont. (1:10:23); and 2020 USATF Cross Country Champion Natosha Rogers of Denver, Colorado (1:10:45).
On the men’s side, the leading competitor is in fact one of the least experienced half-marathoners in the field. Two-time NCAA Cross Country Champion Conner Mantz from Brigham Young University entered the race. Last July, after finishing second at the NCAA 10,000m Championships and fifth at the US Olympic 10,000m Trials, Mantz ran the Deseret News Half Marathon at high altitude – but severely downhill – in Salt Lake City. , with a time of 1:02:59. He recently told LetsRun.com on their podcast that he would like to try a quick time on Sunday. It might even target Ryan hall ‘s 2007 national record of 59:43.
“Great shoes weren’t a thing when Ryan Hall was running,” said Mantz. “I think the half marathon could be, the way my training is and stuff, it could be my best distance, like right now. And so I thought about it and I was like a man… why not go for it? I think it might be the easiest US record to break right now with the awesome shoes being one thing. “
Other top participants include the 2018 USATF Marathon Champion Brogan Austin from Boulder, Colorado (1:01:52); Olympian 2016 Leonard Korir from Colorado Springs, Colorado (59:52); 2020 USATF 15-K Champion Frank lara from Boulder, Colorado (1:01:00); Olympic triathlete Morgan pearson (1:02:15); and 2019 USATF 10-Mile Champion Futsum Zienasellassie (1:01:44).
The course records for this event are 1:03:19 for men (Ben flanagan, CAN, 2020) and 1:12:21 for women (Emilie Kearney, GB, 2020). Championship records are 59:43 (Ryan Hall, Houston, 2007) and 1:09:41 (Shalane Flanagan, Houston, 2010).
Race director Larry kimball not only had the total distance of 21.0975 kilometers certified, but also key intermediate points.
“The course has been certified for 5-K, 10-K, 15-K, 20-K and finish and will have live race results at these points,” Kimball told Race Results Weekly . “Due to the potential record attempt, the USATF asked us to also certify for 10 miles. It will be done on Saturday morning.
Complete fields are listed here: https://bit.ly/3lwknpg