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Runner's Gazette
Serving the Mid-Atlantic Region

America's First Running Newspaper - Established September, 1976

APRIL, 2018

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SARAH KIPTOO, TOP WOMAN IN THE MARATHON.
CLAY SHAW PHOTO

Strong Winds Help, Hamper Elite
Runners at Philadelphia Marathon

BY CLAY SHAW

PHILADELPHIA, PA--Two hours before the 2017 Philadelphia Marathon began (November 19) the rain sounded like a torrential downpour. The winds were also blowing hard enough for the race director, Jam Marino, to order that all race clocks on the course be removed.

By the time the race started 7 a.m., the rain stopped, but the winds were too hard for anyone to even consider putting the clocks back on the course.

Not seeing mile splits had no effect on the overall winner, Boniface Kongin who posted 2:16:24.87. "I just used my watch," said Kongin.

While some runners complained about the winds, Kongin welcomed them, particularly at 20 miles when he took the lead.

"The tailwind (at 20 miles) was hitting my butt," said Kongin. That helped him pull ahead of Nelson Oyugi, who finished second, 2:18:07.80.

For the first 20 miles, Oyugi and Kongin ran together.

"By 21 miles, I knew I wasn't going to win, so I focused on second place," said Oyugi.

Kongin collected $10,000.00, while Oyugi earned $5,000.00. Kongin and Oyugi train together in New Mexico. Their goal was to run together and push the pace.

The first woman finisher, Sarah Kiptoo, clocked 2:38:13.45 to collect the lion's share, $10,000, while runner-up Hellen Jemutai, 2:40:10.53, received $5,000.

"I didn't expect to win," said Kiptoo, who had never before been to Philadelphia. "The challenge was the wind. It bothered me from the start."

She then told herself that everyone had the same problem so she decided to just focus on winning the race. With just a few hundred yards from the 13-mile mark, she pulled ahead.

"I saw they were tired," said Kiptoo. At that point, she was confident about winning.

(Continued...)

 

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