Wangai Breaks Broad Street Record
BY JERRY NOLAN
Philadelphia, PA--For the second consecutive year. the Broad Street 10 Miler record was broken. In 2001, Ronald Mogaka broke the existing record of 47:13 with his race time of 46:18. That record was broken by 1:02 when the 23rd Broad St. Run was held on May 5th. The new record holder is Simon Wangai, age 23, of Royersford, PA, who led 8,684 (a record) runners to the finish line. His time of 45:16 was the fastest 10 miler ever run in the U.S. and the third fastest ever. Kenya's Paul Koech holds the world record of 44:45, which he set in 1997. Wangai's course-record time, however, cannot qualify as a U.S. record because of the downhill nature of the course. His address is listed as Royersford, but he only arrived in the U.S. for the first time a few days before the race. In second and third place, respectively, were Benson Barus, age 21, of High Falls, NY (45:44) and Patrick Nthiwa, age 18, of West Chester, PA (45:57). Both the second and third place times bettered the existing course record. It is important to note that all of the runners mentioned above are Kenyans.
Taking top honors in the women's division, was a former Villanova University hurdler and runner, Cassy Byrne. She finished ahead of 3,458 women, with her time of 55:25. Byrne, age 36, of Pottstown, PA, finished third in the "never to be forgotten" heat race of 2000. Following Byrne in second and third among the women were Naoko Ishibe, age 33, of Silver Spring, MD (56:00) and Hannah Njeri, age 28, of West Chester, PA (56:12). Catherine Ndereba set the women's course record of 53:07 in 1999.
Masters winners were Audrey Kuhnetson, age 44, of Rockville, MD (50:13) and Doreen McCoubrie, age 40, of Haddonfield, NJ (59:35). The wheelchair winners were Kamel Ayari, age 34, of New Rochelle, NY (35:11) and Amanda McGrory, age 15, of Kennett Square, PA (44:38).
This race, which is the second largest 10 miler in the U.S., is a point-to-point run down Broad Street, finishing in the Old Navy Yard. On the way to the finish, participants run by the mothballed Navy ships on the right and the old Marine Barracks and parade grounds on the left. Other weekend activities included an expo, pasta party, kids' run, and Senior Walk. The race was the fourth in the twelve event 2002 Mid-Atlantic of USATF Grand Prix Series.