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Emily Sisson to attempt U.S. half-marathon record this weekend in Valencia

Everything you need to know about Sunday's Valencia Marathon

Emily Sisson is one of the best distance runners in the U.S., but she only holds one senior national record (the women-only marathon record). The 29-year-old, who’s based out of Phoenix, Ariz., is looking to put her name on the big board for the second time this weekend. She’s targeting Molly Huddle’s half-marathon record, which stands at 1:07:23. Sisson owns a career best of 1:07:30. 

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RELATED: Emily Sisson runs second-fastest American marathon debut at London

Sisson has been knocking on the door of an American record for a long time, in fact, her 2019 marathon debut in London (she ran 2:23) was the second-fastest debut of any American woman. Only Jordan Hasay has gone faster in a first attempt. Beyond her strong marathon performance, she’s also clocked a 30:49 10,000m (at the time this was the third-fastest by an American woman) and a 15:10 5,000m. Her last race was the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in February, which she didn’t finish, but hopefully Sunday is a different story. 

She’s got the range, she’s extremely consistent and she’s got a strong women’s field to pull her along – Sunday might just work out for Sisson. Her pace would need to be 3:12 per kilometre to set the record. 

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RELATED: Valencia Marathon boasts deepest field ever

Evan Esselink will not race

There was originally one Canadian entered in the event: 1:02 half-marathoner Evan Esselink. However, he posted on Instagram this week that due to flight changes and the possibility of being turned around once he got to Spain, he decided to stay home. “I am confident this is the right decision. I’m exploring a few other options, and I will be racing a marathon prior to the new year.”

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How to watch

The race will be live-streamed on the event’s website. The half-marathon starts at 8 a.m. local (2 a.m. ET) and the marathon at 8:30 a.m. ET (2:30 a.m. ET). It’ll be an early morning for those on the East Coast (or a late night for those on the West Coast), but it just might be worth it, as it has been coined one of the deepest fields in history. 

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