Abby Dean Makes Great Comeback
BY DAVID BLOCK
PHILADELPHIA, PA--The City of Philadelphia put on the 17th Annual Philadelphia Marathon, Half-Marathon, and Rothman Institute 8K this past November 20 and 21.
Prior to this year, all three races took place on Sunday, yet this was the first year that the Rothman Institute 8K was moved to Saturday.
We had to make the change, said Philadelphias Mayor, Michael Nutter, in an interview with this Runners Gazette writer. We now have more than 23,000 people running in these three races. We wanted to give some highlight to the different races, stretch them out, and make it a whole marathon weekend. The Philadelphia Marathon continues to raise Philadelphias profile, nationally and internationally as one of the great marathons anywhere in the world.
For some of the top Philadelphia Marathon finishers, this years race was not just about winning and losing, and securing new personal best times. It was about being grateful to have the ability to run at all, and ninth-place woman marathon finisher Abby Dean, 39, can attest to that. Dean, who clocked 2:52:33 to collect one thousand dollars for being the first Philadelphia woman to finish, was glad just to participate.
Last November I had hamstring surgery, and I wasnt sure Id ever run again, said Dean. That upset me.
Fortunately, she regained her strength through physical therapy and her aerobic conditioning through swimming and cycling.
By the summer, she began training for the Philadelphia Marathon.
Dean said that her injury taught her not to take anything for granted. Before her surgery, she would sometimes get frustrated if she had a bad run or finished slowly in a race.
Now that doesnt bother me, said Dean, because Im just glad that I can run again.
Twenty-five-year-old Daniel Vassallo, of Wilmington, Massachusetts, winner of the 2010 Philadelphia Marathon with a 2:21:28 finish also underwent surgery this year. After his abdominal operation this past summer, Vassallo planned to compete in the Philadelphia Half-Marathon.
I decided to run the marathon instead, because I started feeling really good, said Vassallo. I cant understand what happened. I felt really strong and ready to move up to the marathon.
At the 14-mile mark of the Philadelphia Marathon, Vassallo and David Bedoya, 33, of Somerville, Massachusetts were neck and neck for the lead.
I decided to push the pace, said Vassallo. He moved ahead, but Bedoya did not respond.
I wanted to run at the same pace, said Bedoya, who thought that Vassallo would eventually slow down. He soon realized that wasnt going to happen. I didnt have it in me to catch him, said Bedoya, who finished second in 2:23:37.
As Vassallo ran the second half of the Philadelphia Marathon by himself, he slowly became confident that he could win. His 18-mile split read 1:35:45. He hit the 22-mile mark in 1:57:23 and 24 miles in 2:08:29.
He expected his splits to be slower.
At 24 miles I was thinking, Holy crap, Im going to win this. At 26 miles, they were playing the music, calling out my name; that was emotional.
He was ecstatic to collect the Lions purse of $3,500.00 and to run a new marathon personal best.
Finishing second was Ramilia Buranglova, 49, Russia, 2:40:32.
At mile mark number one, I was confident I was going to win, said Kramer. She had the lead, and found herself alone and unchallenged. I thought, Im in it to win it. Confidence is part of leading you to victory.
The winner of the mens half-marathon was Kiprotich Kirui, 25, of Kenya who covered the 13.1-mile course in 1:04:02. Hirut Mandefro, 25, from Ethiopia won the womens event in 1:17:52.
In the Rothman Institute 8K, Mourad Marofit, 28, of Morocco was the top male finisher, 23:09, and Clara Grandt, 23, of Morgantown, West Virginia was the top female finisher, 26:23.