Emily Sisson, a US marathon runner with ambitions of competing at this year's Olympics in Tokyo, has said that she owes her success to her time spent training in Ireland.
Emily Sisson is one of the favorites for three spots in the Team USA marathon team that will head to Japan this summer.
The 28-year-old, who only began running professionally at the end of her college life, traveled to Ireland at the behest of her Irish boyfriend (now husband) Shane Quinn.
Like Sisson, Quinn ran while studying at Providence University and suggested vacationing in Ireland before the start of her senior year.
Sisson had no aspirations of becoming a professional runner prior to traveling to Ireland, where she altered her training.
She had previously run at 10,000 meters but ditched tempo runs for local road races while she was on the Emerald Isle.
Despite never running on roads before, Sisson took to it like a fish to water and won several local races in Ireland.
She liked the Irish experience too.
“That was a new, fun thing that kept the sport kind of fresh for me,” she said. “You finish, and you go into a local pub and have sandwiches.”
Sisson returned to America in the summer of 2015 with a newfound passion for marathon running and began to work towards that goal.
She won the NCAA 2015 indoor and outdoor 5,000-meter championships before building resistance at longer distances.
Injury setbacks in 2016 meant that she only placed 10th in the 10,000-meter Olympic trials, but she persevered and looked to Tokyo,
In January 2019, she ran the third-fastest half marathon in US history, before entering the London Marathon last April.
She crossed the finish line in the English capital with the second-fastest marathon time recorded by a US woman in 2019.
With Olympic trials fast approaching, Sisson's training could hardly be going any better.
“I’m definitely putting a bit of pressure on myself with this one,” Sisson said. “But at the same time, I don’t get caught up in so much what other people say. I don’t really read the articles about who’s the favorite or what chance you have of making the team.”