5,000m – 15:17.76 (2019)
10,000m – 31:24.47 (2020)
Half Marathon – 1:09:55 (2021)
Marathon – 2:27:47 (2019)
Stephanie Bruce (nee Rothstein) is one of America’s most popular female distance runners. Steph’s open approach to social media, writing and speaking has made her a role model and inspiration to runners everywhere. She coaches athletes of all ability levels online and hosts, along with her husband Ben, a running camp in Flagstaff each summer. She is also well known as one of the co-founders of Picky Bars. In addition to her business endeavors, she’s really fast! Her 1:09/2:27 half marathon and marathon PRs, and three U.S. titles, make her one of the nation’s very best.
Before having her two children, Stephanie’s career included her 2:29:35 then-personal-best set at the Chevron Houston Marathon in 2011 where she finished third, as well as a 15th place at the 2013 Boston Marathon and third place at the 2012 Honolulu Marathon. She was runner-up at the U.S. 20k Championships and 10k Championships (2013) and her 1:10:53 at the 2013 New York City Half Marathon earned her top American honors at that event. She started her family in 2014, having two children before returning to racing in 2016 with a runner-up finish at the USATF 15k Championships and a 32:14 10k PR at the Stanford Invitational. She then ended the year on a huge note by finishing second at the California International Marathon in 2:32:36, her first marathon since 2013. She kicked off 2017 with a 7th place finish at the USATF Cross Country Championships, a win at the Gasparilla Distance Classic Half Marathon, a 22nd place finish at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and a new 10,000 meter PR of 31:59.88 at the Stanford Invitational. In the fall she ran her first TCS New York City Marathon and finished 10th in 2:31:44. Early 2018 included a third place finish at the USATF Cross Country Championships and a runner-up performance at the Gasparilla Half Marathon. She then notched her second straight top ten at a World Marathon Major with her 10th place finish at the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon. After London, she came back with a arguably her best season ever–a campaign that included a third-place finish at the USATF Outdoor Championships 10,000 and her first National title with a win at the US 10k Championships at the Peachtree Road Race. In the fall, she placed 11th at the TCS New York City Marathon in 2:30:59, the second-fastest marathon performance of her career. She then turned around, four weeks later, and finished second at the California International Marathon in new PR of 2:29:21.
In 2019, Steph PRd at 5,000 meters indoors (15:44) at the New Balance Boston Indoor Games, then qualified for her second straight World Cross Country team by finishing eighth at the USATF Championships. At the World Championships she finished 33rd place (top American). Just over a month later she won her second National Title, this time at the USATF Half Marathon Championships in a new personal best of 1:10:44. Two weeks after that, she set another 5,000 meter best with her 15:17.76 at the USATF Distance Classic. She finished her season with a fourth place finish at USATF Outdoors in the 10,000 meters. In the fall, she ran a big personal best of 2:27:47 to finish sixth at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
She opened her 2020 campaign by finishing in a tie for first place with teammate Kellyn Taylor at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon. Then, at the Olympic Trials Marathon, she finished sixth in the deepest Trials field in U.S. history, missing out on third place by just 19 seconds. She returned to racing with a runner-up finish at the St. George Showdown over 5,000 meters, a 15:19 for 5,000 at the Sunset Tour, and a big personal best of 31:34.87 at the HOKA Distance Carnival. In December, she lowered that mark to 31:24.47 at the Track Meet, and secured the Olympic Standard. At the 2021 Olympic Track and Field Trials, she finished 13th in the 10,000 meters. She came back in the fall to finish 10th at the TCS NYC Marathon, her fourth World Marathon Major Top 10.
Diagnosed with a congenital heart defect in the fall of 2021, Steph announced that 2022 would be her final year as a pro athlete. In the first race of her “Grit Finale” campaign she was fifth at the USATF Cross Country Championships. She ran the third-fastest 10,000m of her career (31:39.39) in March at The Ten, and then finished 10th at the United Airlines NYC Half two weeks later. In April, she was 12th at the Boston Marathon in 2:28:02–the second-fastest marathon of her career. She turned around six weeks later to finish seventh at the USATF 10,000 meter Championships in Eugene, Oregon. In her final Mini 10k in New York City she was 12th in a road 10k best of 31:49. She took a swing at getting a new marathon personal best at the flat, fast Gold Coast Marathon on July 3, but after such a condensed season could only manage a fourth-place finish in 2:32:22.
Steph’s final training segment began with a bang in August when she won the NACAC 10,000 meter title in the Bahamas. The following month she won the third national title of her career by taking the victory at the USATF 10k Championships hosted by the Great Cow Harbor 10k. It all led to her last marathon as a pro–the TCS NYC Marathon–where she finished 13th place in 2:30:34.
A graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara, Stephanie was a two-time All American, a multiple-time conference Champion in cross country and track and was the Big West Athlete of the year in 2006. She still holds the school record for 10,000 meters at 33:23.33.