CLAY SHAW POSES WITH EAGLES MASCOT SWOOP.
PHOTOS BY CLAY SHAW AND KAREN MITCHELL

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 wasn’t going to break the course record.” The course record, 45:14, which Patrick Cheruiyot set back in 2007 was not in Rutto’s 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.

 

HENRY RUTTO, JACKSON HEIGHTS, NY,
WINS THE 10-MILE BROAD STREET RUN IN
47:05, WELL AHEAD OF THE RUNNER-UP.
PHOTOS BY CLAY SHAW AND
KAREN MITCHELL
He still tried to push the pace. “It’s hard when you’re running alone,” Rutto said.

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 Rutto’s 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 women’s 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.

 

ESTHER ERB, BLOWING ROCK, NC, WINS
THE RACE IN 55:26, 25 SECONDS AHEAD
OF THE SECOND PLACE FEMALE.
PHOTOS BY CLAY SHAW AND
KAREN MITCHELL
“Winning Broad Street was a big surprise,” said Erb of North Carolina. “This is the longest race I’ve ever won.”

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 you’re done, you think you’re done, then you’re done.’ This year it was, ‘you know you’re 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.

 

SAYARD TANIS, LEMOYNE, PA, EARNS
8TH PLACE WITH 58:58.
PHOTOS BY CLAY SHAW AND
KAREN MITCHELL