Emma Bates Won the California International Marathon in her debut
On a near-perfect day for marathon running with sunny skies and comfortably cold temperatures, Brogan Austin of West Des Moines, Iowa, and Emma Bates of Boise, Idaho, won the USATF Marathon titles at the California International Marathon on Sunday Dec 2. Austin, 27, who entered today’s race with only a 2:24:39 personal best, was a surprise winner, while Bates, 26, was one of the favorites, despite making her marathon debut. Austin clocked 2:12:38 while Bates was timed in 2:28:18. Both athletes earned $20,000 in prize money plus a $1500 bonus for achieving USA Olympic Trials Marathon qualifying times. Emma Bates said in her pre-race interview on Friday that she had one simple goal for today: to win. When the gun went off, she paid no attention to the other 98 elite women and pounded aggressively through the opening stages of the race. She split 10-K in 34:41, a 2:26 pace. She slowed only slightly through halfway (1:13:24), but later admitted that she had started too fast. “I just felt so good,” Bates said with a laugh. “You get wrapped up in it, and there’s so many people running around you, all the guys, everybody cheering. The adrenaline is really is really hard to keep at bay. I went out a little too aggressive, I think. I definitely wanted to run the second half a little bit faster.” Like Llano, Bates had a big lead through the halfway point. The number-one seeded woman in the field, Stephanie Bruce, was a full 83 seconds back. Was Bates worried about getting caught? “I wasn’t,” she said. “I didn’t know where the other women were behind me, but I knew I was keeping a decent pace, a solid pace. So, I wasn’t worried at any point. I just wanted to run a fast time. At the end of the day, I just wanted to do my best.” Bates was never challenged. She cruised through the final miles and looked remarkably fresh at the finish line. Her time of 2:28:18 made hers the eighth-fastest USA marathon debut for a woman. It was also her first national title at any distance. “I said that I wanted to win, but first, actually, to be a reality is something that I’m really proud of,” she told.
posted Monday December 3rd