The women’s 10,000m had 41 human participants (37 finished) as well as Mother Nature. Anyone who miscalculated the role of Mother Nature in the race did so at their own risk. The race was moved from 6:44 PM to 10:00 AM to lessen the effect of the weather.
At the start, the temperature was about 73 degrees F. By the halfway, 5,000 meters, the temperature was 83 F. And by the end, the temperature was 84 F. One athlete, Alicia Monson was hospitalized due to heat issues, but we understand also experienced hypothermia when put in an ice bath.
Sean MacPherson wrote this piece, as part of the SOJC Track Bureau for RunBlogRun. Lori Shontz, the Professor of Journalism behind the SOJC developed the SOJC to give young writers real-life experience writing, dealing with deadlines and dealing with the challenges of modern media in a pandemic.
All SOJC pieces are edited by Lori Shontz and Larry Eder.
By Sean MacPherson, SOJC Track Bureau
Four hundred eighty-three days after dropping out of the U.S. marathon trials after coming in as the favorite, Emily Sisson overcame blistering heat to dominate the women’s 10,000 meters Saturday morning at the Olympic Trials.
Although it was 85 degrees on the track by the end of the race, Sisson broke the 17-year-old Trials record in a time of 31:03.82. Karissa Schweizer, fresh off of securing an Olympic berth in the 5,000, finished second in 31:16.52. Wisconsin alum Alicia Monson was third in 31:18.55.
“I kept telling myself, ‘If you’re feeling the heat, so is everyone else too,'” said Sisson, who trains in Phoenix. “I talked to my coach beforehand, and he said let’s play to your strengths. It was hard. It didn’t feel easy.”
Sisson, 29, claimed the lead at lap five and continued to push the pace enough to continuously eliminate runners from the lead pack. With eight laps left, the race narrowed to Sisson, Schweizer, Monson, and Elise Cranny. Then, with four laps left to go, Sisson widened the gap more. The Providence College alum lapped all but six athletes en route to victory.
“Emily Sisson dominated that race. She grinded away,” said Rachel Schneider, who finished fifth. “There was a good group of about 12 women that went with her … I was hurting pretty bad and I went into survival mode instead of competitive mode.”
This victory for Sisson comes after dropping out of last year’s U.S. trials in the marathon, in which she was the favorite. Sisson dropped out on mile 22 of the hilly course in Atlanta to save her legs for the track trials before knowing the meet — and the Olympics — would be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“That broke my heart, that was so hard to go through,” said Sisson. “I don’t feel like I have a chip on my shoulder or need to prove myself because of that. I always kinda look forward and work hard for whatever the next thing is.”
Schweizer, who also placed second in the 5,000, now has an opportunity to do what only six women have ever done: compete in both the 5K and 10K in the Olympic Games.
“I have looked up to all of them for so long,” said Schweizer, who has not decided if she will do both events. “Never would I have thought that making one team, let alone two teams, would be possible. The second event is always going to be difficult.”
Alicia Monson of On Athletics Club earned her first Olympic berth. Following the race, Monson was taken to the hospital after collapsing on the victory lap.