Emma Coburn

Birthday: 10/19/90 Mile PR: 4:20.5 (road) - 2018
Metric Mile (1500m) PR: 4:03.82 - 2020
High School: Crested Butte HS '08
Hometown: Crested Butte, CO
College: University of Colorado '13
Current Residence: Boulder, CO

Personal website: emmacoburn.com

Emma Coburn, at the 2024 Shanghai Diamond League meet, broke her right ankle in the water pit, later had surgery and will miss the Olympic Trials in late June.

In 2022, again won the USA 3000m steeplechase crown, her record 10th, clocking a swift 9:10.63 on a hot day in Eugene, OR.

In 2021, she won the U.S. Olympic Trials 3000m steeplechase, breaking her meet record with a 9:09.41 to qualify for her third Olympics, and earlier in the year, at the New Balance Grand Prix indoors, finished second in the 2 Mile, setting a PR in 9:15.71, also under Jenny Simpson's American record 9:16.78 from 2018.

In a rare 2020 race, Coburn won the Team Boss Colorado Mile in Grand Junction, breaking the beam in 4:32.72 to set a state record. In  July, she finished third at the Team Boss Indiana Mile in a track PR of 4:23.65.

At the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, Emma captured the 3000m steeplechase silver medal (her third global championship medal), running a PR of 9:02.35.

In 2017, Coburn won the 3000m steeplechase gold medal at the World Championships in London, setting a championship and U.S record of 9:02.58 (since broken), and in the event, she also earned the first global championship gold for an American since 1952 and the first gold for an American woman ever!

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Emma earned the bronze medal in the 3000m SC, clocking a then U.S. record of 9:07.63 (breaking her own mark). Coburn's medal was the first for a U.S. woman in the event.

At the Prefontaine Classic 2016, Coburn broke her U.S. steeplechase record, clocking a 9:10.76, and at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, she won her 5th USA and 2nd Trials 3000m steeplechase crown, shattering the meet record in 9:17.48.

Emma, a multi-All-American at Coloroado, won the 2013 NCAA Indoor Mile title in 4:29.91 (third fastest performance all-time at the NCAA Indoors). The 2011 NCAA 3000m steeplechase champion captured the 2012 Olympic Trials steeplechase crown as well as the 2011, 2014-19 and 2021-22 USA steeplechase titles (10 overall).

FUN FACT: Coburn was one of the athletes featured in the 2016 ESPN Magazine Body Issue, and in 2021, she was named one of the 25 fittest female athletes in the world by Sports Illustrated.



The Best Mile Moments of 2020

December 22, 2020

Longstanding women’s U.S. indoor Mile record shattered; 11th U.S. high schooler sub-4; two outdoor Masters age group world records; COVID-19 causes cancelled events, limited racing year

By Ryan Lamppa, Bring Back the Mile

The main storyline of 2020 was obviously the COVID-19 pandemic and its...

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Emma Coburn Shatters Colorado State Mile Record

June 27, 2020

Special event also raises more than $27,000 for the non-profit Sachs Foundation college scholarship fund

By Taylor Dutch, Runner's World

The professional runners of Team Boss used their first racing opportunity in five months to not just break records, but also give back to the Black Lives...

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World Championship Medalists Highlight Field at New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

August 24, 2017

Eric Jenkins, Jenny Simpson return to defend event titles; iconic road Mile race to air live on NBC and to feature 23 heats throughout the day, including specialty heats for youth, seniors, NYPD / FDNY and the first-ever Borough Battle

By New York Road Runners

NEW YORK — The 2017 New Balance...

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Five Olympic Medalists Headline Star-Studded New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

August 30, 2016

Olympic gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz leads men’s field, while Team New Balance stars and Olympic bronze medalists Jenny Simpson & Emma Coburn highlight women’s field; world’s largest & most iconic road Mile race to be streamed live on USATF.tv and to include specialty heats for youth, seniors...

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7 Surprising Things That Happen After Winning an Olympic Medal

December 08, 2016

"The treasured, powerful symbol of athletic success was like hiding in my suitcase in a bundle of socks.”

By Erin Strout, Runner's World

Team USA’s track & field athletes are always expected to do well at the Olympics—and usually they tally a significant number of medals across the sprints...

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Life After Olympic Medals: Emma Coburn and Jenny Simpson Celebrate Together

October 04, 2016

Since the competitive season ended, the Boulder-based teammates have enjoyed parties, appearances and a trip to the White House

By Erin Strout, Runner's World

Jenny Simpson and Emma Coburn each came out of the Rio Olympics with historic performances for the United States. Coburn won the...

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CU to Honor Historic Rio Olympic Medalists Coburn & Simpson

September 27, 2016

Former NCAA champions for the Colorado track & field and cross country teams to be recognized at several events on Saturday, October 1

By Linda Sprouse, CU Boulder

BOULDER — University of Colorado will honor its two Olympic Bronze Medalists, Emma Coburn and Jenny Simpson, on Saturday, October...

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Winning the Wetmore Way

August 23, 2016

"They are waiting for the battle of St. Crispan's Day, and are outnumbered five to one. Sometimes this year, with wave after wave of scandal in our sport, it has felt as if we were up against impossible odds. But, 'She who has no stomach for this fight, let her depart ... .' "

By Mike Sandrock,...

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Buffs Alums Simpson, Coburn Gear for Olympics

July 25, 2016

"Along the way there are different benchmarks that you dream of and hope for and work for, and the gold medal at the Olympic Games is the superlative."

by Neill Woelk, CU Buffs News

If there's one thing to be learned from an athlete's first Olympic experience, it is how to deal with the...

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Here are the chances Colorado’s track & field athletes have of winning medals in Rio

July 12, 2016

Jenny Simpson (1500 meters), Emma Coburn (3000m steeplechase) best hopes for Olympic podium

By Daniel Petty, Denver Post

EUGENE, Ore. — Nine athletes with Colorado connections will represent the United States on the Olympic track & field team in Rio next month, with serious contenders to...

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5 Minutes with Emma Coburn

May 21, 2013

The Colorado senior, who made the final of the Olympic steeplechase last summer, talks about her sub-4:30 Mile, spring racing and her post-graduation plans

By John A. Kissane, Running Times

Who is the most dominant female collegiate distance runner today? That’s impossible to answer. But Emma...

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Coburn Wins CU’s First NCAA Indoor Mile Crown

March 09, 2013

"This was something I really wanted and the Mile is not my specialty. I wanted to really conquer this distance and I think I made a step in the right direction."

By Linda Sprouse, Colorado Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Senior Emma Coburn claimed the University of Colorado's first NCAA indoor...

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