Mogaka, Ndereba:
A Double Repeat at PDR


PHILADELPHIA, PA--When Khalid Khannouchi shows up to run in a race and finishes in fourth place, you know you have witnessed some serious competition. That happened on September 15, when the silver anniversary edition of the Jefferson Hospital Philadelphia Distance Run was held. There was a $50,000 incentive this year for a world record. There would, however, not be any world records this year and not too many PRs with a temperature in the high 70s and near 100% humidity. The medical tents were busy after the race attending to many of the 7,303 half-marathon finishers.

Surely, the PDR must be one of the most picturesque of the race courses offered to runners anywhere. Starting in Center City, near City Hall, the 13.1 mile course takes runners out to the Parkway, down the Avenue of Flags, past the Art Museum, around the Schuylkill River, and back to the finish near the museum area. Not only does the PDR produce quantity (fourth largest in the nation), but quality as well. Nineteen of the top twenty times ever run in any American half-marathon have been in the PDR.


Khannouchi's PDR resume is impressive. He is the three-time winner and holds the course record of 1:00:27, which he set in 1997. His three PDR wins provided an impetus for Chicago Marathon wins, including his world's marathon record of 2:05:42, which still stands. Those credentials did not help him in this race, however. He remained with the main pack of runners for the first half of the race, but was never really a factor. After a tense two-man duel, which lasted until near the end, Ronald Mogaka, age 24, of Kenya, won in 1:02:22, with Abner Chipu, age 30, of South Africa, twenty-three seconds behind. Finishing in third and fourth place, respectively, were Stephen Kiogoro, age 27, of Kenya (1:03:15), and Khannouchi, age 31, a U.S. citizen (1:03:18). Mogaka, who trains locally at Valley Forge, repeated his 2001 PDR win, when his time was 1:01:25. In addition to Khannouchi, two other Americans ran well, finishing among the top ten. Terrence Mahon, a former Villanova runner, finished in eighth place in 1:06:25. Edward Callinan's time of 1:08:26 was good for a tenth place finish.

The women also offered a marathon world record holder in the person of Catherine Ndereba, age 30, from Kenya. That record (2:18:47) was set at the Chicago Marathon in 2001. Ndereba, who has become a Philly favorite and who also trains at Valley Forge, won easily this year, with a relatively slow time of 1:09:20. She holds the course record set in 2001. Ndereba now has won the women's division of the race for the fifth straight year and six times in the last seven years. An American woman, Marla Runyan, age 33, finished second with her time of 1:11:19. Runyan, who is legally blind and represented the U.S.A. in the 2000 Olympic Games, was running her first half-marathon. On June 1, she won the U.S.A. 5K Championship for Women, at the Freihofer's Run in Albany, NY, with a time of 15:27.


In the 5K race, Rachid Tbahi, age 37, of Briarcliff Manor, NY, led 555 runners to the finish with his time of 15:54. He was followed by Enrique Henriquez, age 24, of Camden, NJ (16:15). Rosa Apaza, age 22, of Allentown, PA, ran a 17:09 time to take the top female honors. Suzanne Dorrell, age 24, of Pitman, NJ (19:00), was the second woman.

With Jefferson Hospital as the title sponsor again, the PDR weekend included a two-day expo, the 10th Annual Children's Run, a three-mile walk, and appearances by Frank Shorter and Alberto Salazar. A select group of 42 runners were honored because they competed in all of the races for 25 years. They were honored at a dinner, and, in addition, they were given special racing bibs so that they could be easily identified by the spectators and the race announcer.


Watching the Clock


The first version of my sidebar was lost after my "reliable" computer crashed. In some ways, it's a metaphor for my Sunday in Philly. There was loss for me beyond what happened during the 5K. Sometimes, when you let go of something, you get stronger, wiser, and do better. Could be this is a stronger, wiser, better version of my article. Could be there's a, stronger, wiser, better version of the future, both with my running and in my life. On to the adventure…

Some races are memorable for challenging courses, for the PR we set, for finally beating an age-group rival, for sumptuous spreads or postace parties. Some races are memorable for other reasons. And those reasons aren't usually apparent when we toe the starting line. On September 15, as I waited to run my first-ever race in my hometown, the Philadelphia Classic 5K, I had no idea of the adventure awaiting me. An adventure that continued for over five weeks.

The prelude to my adventure began with a wild ride on the press truck for the Jefferson Hospital Philadelphia Distance Run Half-Marathon. Press trucks aren't deluxe. They are about getting from the start to the finish, while staying ahead of the leaders, but not too far ahead. There's an art to it. The press has to see the race unfold, and if they get jostled and jarred along the way, it's all part of the excitement of being out there, in the midst of racing history.

I feel in love with my city all over again as we toured the course, watching the race unfold. The driver maneuvered the truck with skill. I held onto the side of the truck with one hand, tried to take pictures with the other, and tried not to lose my balance as the truck twisted and turned its way along the course. The humidity was oppressive. I wanted to yell to the aid-station volunteers to hoist a few H2Os my way. My body was beginning to tell me that maybe running the 5K after a 13.1-mile ride on the press truck wasn't such a good idea. But I would have time between races to get hydrated, get refreshed, and get ready to burn the 5K…okay, maybe burn was wishful thinking. Smolder might be more apropos. The spark wasn't staying hot.

As Ronald Mogaka sped to the finish, the press truck sped ahead so we could jump out and get there ahead of him. I stood at the finish cheering in all the people I knew, taking pictures, and trying to psych myself up for the 5K: I'm ready. It's only a 5K. It's flat. I'll just run through it and enjoy the sights of the Old Hometown. After all, this is my debut race in Philadelphia USA. I had danced on "Bandstand" as a "yon teenager." Now it was time to put on my running shoes instead of my dancing shoes. I thought of all the Philly music, all the dances and the hangouts, all the PhillySpeak and PhillyPhood.

But, as it got closer to race time, I began to have second thoughts. My back was shouting to me; my legs were achy from trying to keep my balance on the press truck. I couldn't drink enough water. My instincts were telling me to turn in my chip. I considered it, but then my Racing Twin spoke inside my head and told me to ignore the shouts of my back, the aches of my legs, and the edges of dehydration. My Racing Twin won the argument. I pinned on my number, laced up my flats, and off I went to the start.

It's going to be fun, I thought, standing in the crowd waiting for the start. It's a running tour of Philly; just relax and enjoy yourself. Go out easy and see how you feel. No pressure. It's just a 3.1 mile group run. And that's the way I started; easy and relaxed, keying on the energy of those running friends who just happened to be running with me on this humid Sunday in September in Philly. I was feeling energized, picking up the pace and passing people. When I got to the turnaround, I heard, "Way to go, Freddi! You're looking good." I smiled and picked up the pace even more. I was enjoying myself. My Racing Twin was right on. Instincts, shminstincts; what does my gut know about running?

It wasn't long before I found out.

I could see the finish in the distance. I was almost home. I was jazzed as I flew down the Parkway, passing the number streets--23rd, 22nd, 21st…seeing the clock, listening to the cheers of the crowd. I felt the hint of a twinge in my left calf. Not unusual. Aches and pains meant I was pushing. I saw my "cheering section" and began to smile. The smile faded as the twinge became excruciating pain. My "cheering section" yelled, "Shut it down. Walk it in." He didn't know if I was sick or injured. He did know I was in pain. Why was my cheering section at the exact spot where my injury grabbed me and wouldn't let go? The Running Gods? The ways of the Cosmos? Intuition? Whatever the answer, I was glad he was there.

I could see the finish clock ticking off the seconds and minutes. I watched as if I was mesmerized. It hit me that any chance of running a good time was over. Hell, I didn't know if I'd be able to walk, let alone run. Once the shock of what happened wore off, I managed to walk. That's when I knew that I would finish the race, even if I had to hobble my way across the finish mat. And that's just what did--I hobbled--as I watched the clock tick off the minutes with each uncertain step. This wasn't the race I expected it to be, but I finished. Guts and determination got me there.

Ice, massage, and the hospitality of the Bryn Mawr Running Club at their traditional postrace tailgate party, eased the pain. So did the post-party-party at a brewpub in Manayunk. I did my best to ignore the questions lurking at the edges of my mind: How bad was the injury? Did I tear the muscle? When would I be able to walk without pain? When would I be able to run?

By the next day, I sported the calf of many colors; a nice shade of red; an eye-catching mix of black and blue. Running--not an option. I had a partially torn soleus muscle. The official word on running: not for five long weeks and if I so much as tried to run before that, I'd set myself back a couple of more weeks. These were not words I wanted to hear. But I listened. I rode the recumbent bike, upped my workouts with weights, and, when the pain subsided, I walked. And I stretched and iced and had massage. My calf began to look normal and the morning stiffness disappeared. And, finally, 5 ½ weeks after my injury, I went on my first run. It had to be slow, short, and level, or, I was warned, I could mess up the muscle again.

That first run was tough. I felt sluggish and out of shape. And I was anxiously waiting for the pain to begin. Thankfully, it never did. The day was beautiful--clear and cool--and I took in every sight and sound. When I finished my run, I cried tears of joy and I gave thanks. We take running for granted until we can't run. Moving my body, sweating, inhaling the air, feeling free--that's what makes running something I feel deep into my soul.

I hesitated to check the 5K results on the JHPDR Web site. it took me two weeks to work up the courage to go there. And when I did, I was very surprised. I had taken second in my age group…even hobbling to the finish. And, right away, I thought, If I hadn't gotten injured, first place would have been mine! Then I yelled, "I can't believe it; second in my age group, even as a member of the Walking Wounded."

My debut race in my hometown didn't go as I expected. Next year, though, I plan to go back and run that 5K stronger and better and--no question--wiser. And when I cross the mat , I'll pay homage to Philadelphia USA and my roots. I'll break into the Discophonic Walk and then the Mummers Strut, with a side of Mashed Potatoes, and a huge helping of Philly pride.



Half-Marathon Wheelchair

1. King, Michael, 44 1:00:51
2. Mcgrory, Amanda, 16, F 1:00:59
3. Franks, Shannon, 25 1:02:29




1. Mogaka, Ronald, 24 1:02:22
2. Chipu, Abner, 30 1:02:45
3. Kiogora, Stephen, 27 1:03:15
4. Khannouchi, Khalid, 31 1:03:18
5. Kagwe, John, 33 1:03:31
6. Karanja, James, 23 1:04:13
7. Wangai, Simon, 23 1:04:15
8. Mahon, Terrence, 31 1:06:25
9. Damaoui, Mostafa 1:07:12
10. Callinan, Edward 1:08:26
11. Hoffman, Jeremy, 26 1:09:05
12. Tuttle, John, 43 1:09:12
13. Burke, Edmund, 33 1:09:23
14. Klevan, Fred, 41 1:09:29
15. Hearld, Jimmy, 34 1:09:57
16. Sandercock, Matthew, 33 1:09:59
17. Rolly, Philippe, 30 1:10:39
18. Wardian, Michael, 28 1:10:45
19. Van Der Veen, Maurits, 35 1:10:46
20. Hirayama, Mitsunori, 26 1:11:08
21. Dickie, Bob, 28 1:11:27
22. Rivera, Hector, 31 1:11:38
23. Kelly, John, 42 1:11:42
24. Poerner, Bryan, 26 1:11:55
25. Walker, Michael, 25 1:11:56



1. Tbahi, Rachid, 37 15:54
2. Henriquez, Enrique G, 24 16:15
3. Hathaway, Eric, 24 16:17
4. Scally, Drew, 20 16:23
5. Wolf, Bobby, 18 16:24
6. Gross, Michael, 35 16:33
7. Fickert, Michael, 25 17:00
8. Reichert, Nick, 17 17:23
9. Agunloye, Joko, 22 17:41
10. Samalonis, Jeff, 33 17:49
11. Stroman, Thomas, 39 18:15
12. Bartosh, Benjamin, 15 18:49
13. Puleo, Joe, 36 19:00
14. Cunningham, Patrick, 37 19:10
15. Thomas, Dave, 44 19:20
16. Driscoll, Adam, 24 19:24
17. Hanlon, Bob, 43 19:32
18. Weikel, Jason, 19 19:35
19. Dong, Al, 46 19:39
20. Webb, Richard, 58 19:47
21. Brown, Thomas, 16 19:50
22. Thompson, James, 39 19:55
23. Jacovini, Rich, 49 20:03
24. Lopez, Miguel, 54 20:10
25. Donoghue, Ed, 62 20:15

5K Wheelchair

1. Gaul, Cary, 16 16:48




1. Ndereba, Catherine, 30 1:09:20
2. Runyan, Marla, 33 1:11:19
3. Talpos, Luminita, 29 1:12:36
4. Howe, Carol, 36 1:15:15
5. Balciunaite, Zivile, 23 1:15:25
6. Torori, Jackline, 24 1:15:44
7. Asiba, Gladys, 25 1:16:10
8. Lave, Tamara, 32 1:16:12
9. Byrne, Colleen, 36 1:16:21
10. Obata, Kayoko, 30 1:17:11
11. Njeri, Hannah, 29 1:17:20
12. Hageman, Lori, 35 1:19:15
13. Saddic, Kimberly 1:19:35
14. Naganuma, Ichiyo, 30 1:19:52
15. Bakoulis, Gordon, 41 1:20:05
16. Pugsley, Cathy, 33 1:20:22
17. Hixson, Rachel, 22 1:20:59
18. Graytock, Carly, 23 1:21:11
19. Buckwalter, Connie, 32 1:21:13
20. Reccek, Kristie, 25 1:21:49
21. Mccoubrie, Doreen, 40 1:21:58
22. Harrity, Kim, 29 1:22:41
23. Gray, Susan, 35 1:22:45
24. Seeley, Elizabeth, 24 1:23:25
25. Reddy, Veena, 23 1:23:28



1. Apaza, Rosa, 22 17:09
2. Dorrell, Suzanne, 24 19:01
3. Khannouchi, Sandra, 40 20:21
4. Bittles, Mary Beth, 39 20:34
5. Guthrie, Karen, 15 20:54
6. Altieri, Bria, 11 21:03
7. Troy, Eileen, 48 21:11
8. Paniconi, Denise, 43 22:15
9. Kasparian, Cassandra, 25 22:16
10. Rivera, Nicole, 29 22:20
11. Gertz, Jane Ellen, 41 22:22
12. Walker, Chrisi, 32 22:42
13. Keenan, Katy, 19 22:45
14. Giordano, Maggie, 33 22:46
15. Draper, Cynthia, 48 23:05
16. Canney, Patricia, 27 23:14
17. Bujak, Carolyn, 50 23:26
18. Swamy, Priya, 28 23:32
19. Mcginley, Heather, 20 23:53
20. Gorski, Jackie, 24 23:57
21. Simpson, Myronee, 27 23:59
22. Ordway, Anne, 25 24:13
23. Kelly, Mary, 33 24:25
24. Claiborne, Loretta, 49 24:26
25. Oakey, Joy, 53 24:34