Fiona O’Keeffe Wins 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials In Her First-Ever Marathon

Race favorite Emily Sisson still punches ticket to Paris but settles for second. Dakota Lindwurm took the third, and securing the final Olympic team spot on a historically fast day

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Fiona O'Keeffe Wins 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials In Her First-Ever Marathon 1
Photo: Derek Call

Snapshot:

  • O’Keeffe set a U.S. Olympic Trials record in her debut
  • Emily Sisson and Dakota Lindwurm both also qualified for Paris
  • Eight of the top 10 ran under the previous Trials record

On Saturday morning, Orlando, Florida became the epicenter of marathon running, hosting the 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

The women’s race began ten minutes after the men’s race at 10:20 a.m. ET, in the humid Florida heat, with temperatures rising through the 70s throughout the day.

The women’s race was predicted to be a much more tactical affair compared to the men’s race, as 14 women had run under the Olympic A standard, meaning Team USA had its maximum of three runners guaranteed on the start line in Paris.

Coming into the race, Emily Sisson was the far-and-away favorite. She has the fastest qualification time by a significant margin of over 45 seconds to the second-fastest qualifier, Kiera D’Amato, who was considered another strong contender for an Olympic spot.

We were expecting to see a potentially slower time from the women’s race, considering the hot weather in Florida and that the women had already secured three spots at the Olympics.

However, this was not the case. Coming through the half-marathon mark in 1:11:43 was a select group of 12 runners, including race favorites Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato, alongside Dakotah Lindwurm, Fiona O’Keeffe, and Sara Hall.

In a shocking turn of events, the pack saw one of the race favorites, Keira D’Amato, fade when she was dropped at mile 16, coming in about six seconds behind the leaders.

It was mile 19 where the women’s race really took off. 

Fiona O'Keeffe Wins 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials In Her First-Ever Marathon 2
Photo: Derek Call

In her first-ever marathon, Fiona O’Keeffe created a gap of about five seconds between her and her competitors. She had a chase pack of three behind her, which included Sara Hall, Betsy Saina, and race favorite Emily Sisson.

O’Keeffe continued to extend her lead, doubling it to ten seconds over mile 19. Betsy Saina and Sara Hall would not be able to maintain pace and fell back to 23 seconds behind O’Keeffe, leaving Sisson alone in second.

With just over two miles to go, O’Keeffe had a healthy lead of nearly 40 seconds ahead of race favorite Emily Sisson, who sat comfortably in second place.

At this point in the race, it was a battle for that final Olympic spot between Dakotah Lindwurm and Caroline Rotich, who were 1:51 behind O’Keeffe at the 24-mile mark.

Fiona O'Keeffe Wins 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials In Her First-Ever Marathon 3

In an incredible upset, Fiona O’Keeffe took a shocking victory at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, her very first marathon, running a time of 2:22:10.

Coming in behind her in a time of 2:22:42 was Emily Sisson, who had a comfortable gap between Lindwurm and Rotich, who were battling for third place.

Dakota Lindwurm pushed the pace through mile 25, and Rotich was unable to match her surge. Lindwurm would claim the final spot on Team USA, placing third with a time of 2:25:31


Women’s Top 10 Results:

1. Fiona O’Keeffe (2:22:10)

2. Emily Sisson (2:22:42)

3. Dakotah Lindwurm (2:25:31)

4. Jessica McClain (2:25:46)

5. Sara Hall (2:26:06)

6. Caroline Rotich (2:26:10)

7. Makenna Myler (2:26:14)

8. Lindsay Flanagan (2:26:25)

9. Emily Durgin (2:27:56)

10. Annie Frisbie (2:27:56)

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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