Rutto and Erb Win Broad Street
BY DAVID BLOCK
PHILADELPHIA, PA--As soon as the 33rd running of the Blue Cross Broad Street Run (10 miles), held Sunday, May 6, began, Henry Rutto, 29, of Kenya grabbed the lead.
The lead pack held back as Rutto surged ahead. Reporters and race officials riding the pace vehicle mistakenly assumed that someone would eventually challenge him. At the mile mark, Rutto was still out in front and alone as he clocked 4:31. It was pretty much the same story at Mile Two, 9:06.
At the five-mile mark, Rutto saw his split, 23:01. I was disappointed (with my split), said Rutto after he won the race, 47:06. I knew I wasnt going to break the course record. The course record, 45:14, which Patrick Cheruiyot set back in 2007 was not in Ruttos grasp and by five miles he knew it. However, it was not a total loss. He still had a commanding lead and maintained it for the rest of the race.
At Mile Seven he posted 32:35 and at Mile Eight, 37:18.
After eight miles, everyone on the pace vehicle accurately predicted that Rutto would easily win. Finishing second was Birhanu Feyissa Alemu, 48:43.
This was Ruttos first race on American soil. Until this year, he never trained in the U.S. either. He now trains in the Bronx.
Finishing third was John Itati, 49:00. Fourth was Demese Tefera, 49:12, and the fifth spot belonged Alejandro Jimenez, 49:25. Jimenez was also the first Masters, 44. His finishing time was a new course record for male Masters. Finishing sixth was Michael McKeeman of Ardmore, PA, 49:40. He was the first U.S. born runner to cross the finish line.
I was pleased to be the first American, said McKeeman. That was my goal. This was the best I ever finished American wise.
The womens field was more competitive. Esther Erb won, 55:28, followed by Askale Merachi, 55:53. Third was Sarah Cummings, 56:56. Fourth was Gladys Asiba, 57:42, and fifth was Carol Jefferson 58:04.
It helped that she competed at Broad Street last year. She placed fourth, 56:34. Knowing when the finish was helped, said Erb. Last year it was like, you think youre done, you think youre done, then youre done. This year it was, you know youre done.
Erb likes being an elite female athlete, especially at Broad Street. She enjoyed hearing women spectators yell out to her, "Go Girl!"
Doreen McCoubrie, 50, of Malvern, PA was the first female Masters to finish the Broad Street Run, 1:00:37. McCoubrie was the 13th overall woman finisher.
I wanted to run under an hour, said McCoubrie. She was on track the first half as she clocked 29:51 at the five-mile mark. She ended up slowing down the second half of the race.
I was happy to be the first Masters, McCoubrie said. That was one of my goals. She has been the first Masters a few times at the Broad Street Run. As I keep getting older, it gets harder to win.
McCoubrie stays in shape by taking spin classes and running 60 miles a week.
Over 40,000 runners registered for the Blue Cross Broad Street Run.