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On a cool, damp Sunday morning in the City of Champions, Leonard Korir, 32, from Colorado Springs, CO and Stephanie Bruce, 35, from Flagstaff, AZ won the USATF Half Marathon titles, clocking 1 hour, one minute, 53 seconds and 1:10:44, respectively. Against top U.S. fields, Korir earned his 9th national title and second USATF Half Marathon title, and Bruce earned her second national title.
In the men’s 32nd national half marathon championship, Stanley Kebenei, Korir and Andrew Colley took an early lead with fast mile splits of 4:41 and 4:42 at Miles 3 and 4. At nine miles, Korir made his move and took a lead, followed slightly behind by Kebenei.
Korir kept a 4:45 minute per mile pace until the end, breaking the tape four seconds ahead of Kebenei at 1:01:53 and securing the 10th fastest half marathon championship performance of all time. Colley finished in third at 1:03:11.
“I like how Stanley pushed the pace early on and kept the race honest,” said Korir, a 2016 U.S Olympian. “I knew I had a good push at the end. We are teammates, so I was glad to help him get a personal best.”
In the women’s 23rd national half marathon championship, the leading pack of six runners included Sara Hall, Bruce, Katy Jermann, Bethany Sachtleben, Samantha Palmer and Emma Bates.
At mile 5, Bruce, Hall and Bates pushed the pace and broke from the pack. At Mile 12, Bruce made her move and with her final push was able to finish in 1:10:44, the 9th fastest female half marathon championship performance of all time. Hall finished in second with a time of 1:11:04, and Bates took third with a time of 1:11:13.
“Running with Sara and Emma today, we made it like a boxing match,” Bruce said. “Everyone took turns at the lead, and we were pushing each other.”(05/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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