Born in Colorado, Emma Coburn achieved his first major achievement in 2008, arriving second in the 2000 steeplechase at the Nike Outdoor Nationals Track and Field Championships in 2008. She continued to race at university with the colors of the University of Colorado obtaining second place in 3000 meters steeplechase at NCAA championships. In 2011 she attended the Daegu athletics world championships, where she won the 13th place in the finals.
In 2012, she qualified for the London 2012 Olympics by winning US trials with her personal record of 9’25 “28. She was then ranked 9th in the Olympic final, further lowering her personal record to 9’23” 54. In 2013 she did not attend the Moscow World Championship because of a back injury. At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, she won the bronze medal, marking the new North American and Caribbean record with 9’07 “63.
In London World 2017 she graduated as a surprise champion with the new continental record of 9’02 “58. Incredibly, in an event traditionally dominated by East Africans, she was followed home by U.S. teammate Courtney Frerichs, a 24-year-old from Missouri who ran a huge personal best of 9:03.77. It was a long run to the finish, though, with both Frerichs and Kenya’s Hyvin Jepkemoi trying to chase her down.