Emma Bates and Brogan Austin, 2018 USA Marathon Champions, Headline Fields at 2019 USATF Half Marathon Championships
March 21, 2019
PITTSBURGH (March 21, 2019) – Some of the nation’s best runners will descend on the City of Champions on Sunday, May 5 for the 2019 USATF Half Marathon Championships. Headlining this year’s field are Emma Bates and Brogan Austin, the 2018 USA Marathon Champions. For the second year in a row, the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, part of the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events organized by P3R, will host a national road championship race.
Austin, who has a half-marathon personal best of 1 hour, 2 minutes and 39 seconds, won the 2018 USATF Marathon Championships with a time of 2:12:38. He is ready to race again in Pittsburgh after placing 14th in last year’s championship. Parker Stinson and Andrew Colley also will return this year after securing podium spots in 2018. Stinson, who has a half-marathon personal best of 1:02:11, took silver last year with a time of 1:02:38. Colley, who represented Team USA at the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, took bronze last year with a time of 1:02:40.
“I am very excited to be heading back to Pittsburgh in May for the 2019 USATF Half Marathon Championships,” Austin said. “This will be my third time visiting the Steel City and each time I’ve grown more of an affinity for the challenging course and the amazing crowd support. Training has been going really well in my buildup, which makes me eager to contend for another national title.”
In her marathon debut, Bates won the 2018 USATF Marathon Championship with a time of 2:28:18. She is eyeing her next national title and hopes to improve upon her half-marathon personal best of 1:11:45. Joining Bates in the women’s field is Stephanie Bruce, the 2018 USA 10K Champion and runner up at the 2018 USATF Marathon Championship. Bruce holds a half-marathon personal best of 1:10:53.
“This is a race I have wanted to do for a long time, so I can’t wait to line up on May 5 and put my best foot forward! I am very much looking forward to competing with the country’s best distance runners,” said Bates. “Female American distance running is at an all-time high right now, so to win this race would be a testament to my fitness and also something I would be very proud of.”
This year’s USATF Half Marathon Championships offers a prize purse of $85,000, one of the largest half-marathon prize purses in the country. The top 15 finishers in the male and female open divisions will earn guaranteed prize money, including $15,000 each for the national champions. There will also be additional money available through performance time and record bonuses. More than 75 runners are expected to compete in this year’s Championships.
P3R’s American Development Program has made Pittsburgh a destination for top U.S. runners, including Olympians, U.S. record holders and Team USA members. Since 2009, P3R has attracted more than 100 American athletes who went on to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials! The success of the program made P3R such an attractive partner that USATF selected Pittsburgh to host the Half Marathon Championships in both 2018 and 2019.
“USATF is excited to return to the City of Champions for the second year in a row to crown our national half marathon winners,” said USATF CEO Max Siegel. “Last year’s race yielded great performances and we’re looking forward to more of the same this year.”
The 2019 USATF Half Marathon Championships is part of the USATF Running Circuit. P3R shares a common goal with the USATF Running Circuit: to showcase, support and promote American athletes in the running industry. With support from SportsPITTSBURGH, P3R looks forward to increasing exposure and racing opportunities for emerging U.S. runners in the City of Pittsburgh when hosting the 2019 USATF Half Marathon Championships for men and women as part of its American Development Program.
The full list of entrants will be released in late April. For more information about the USATF Half Marathon Championships, visit http://pittsburghmarathon.com/USATFHalfChampionships
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About Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. (P3R)
P3R is a nonprofit organization that is passionate about promoting a love of running and enhancing community access to health & fitness education and activities. Best known for organizing the acclaimed annual DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, we also run a variety of other high-quality races, events, and health and fitness programs throughout the Pittsburgh region. While many of our races attract some of the nation’s highest-profile professional athletes, we offer activities for all ages and ability levels. The only criterion for participation is a desire to be happy, healthy and active! Read more at P3R.org.
About the USATF Running Circuit
The USATF Running Circuit is a USATF road series featuring USATF Championships from one mile through the marathon and consistently attracts the best American distance runners with more than $500,000 to be awarded in total prize money. The mission of the USATF Running Circuit is to showcase, support and promote U.S. runners. Since its inception in 1995, the USATF Running Circuit and its races have provided more than $9 million to U.S. distance runners.