The Highs and Lows of the 18th Philadelphia Marathon
BY DAVID BLOCK
PHILADELPHIA, PA--The 18th running of the Philadelphia Marathon,
the Philadelphia Half-Marathon, and the Rothman Institute 8K
had incredible highs and tragic lows. Two runners died. Twenty-one-year-old
University of Pennsylvania senior Jeffrey Lee died after he completed
the half marathon, and a White 40-year-old male collapsed while
running the marathon and then died a short while later. When
this Runners Gazette writer completed this article the
day after the marathon, the race organizers still did not release
the name of the 40-year-old dead runner.*
Mariska Kramer of the Netherlands, 37, won the 2011 Philadelphia Marathon 2:35:46, and she won the previous year with a 2:38:55 clocking.
In discussing her 2011 win, Kramer said: I was hoping to win again. I was confident about my own preparation.
No one challenged Kremer, as runner-up, Tezeta Dengersa, 31, of Ethiopia, trailed by over eight minutes, 2:44:05. Asked how it felt to be unchallenged, Kremer answered: I dont care. I work out all the time on my own. Its nice to have competition, it gives focus, but I dont need it.
The marathon course and the wind were more challenging than the opposition.
Coming from a flat country, the course and hills were difficult, said Kremer. The wind made it especially tough. I ran the last 10K against the wind.
The mens field was more competitive as Folisho Tuko,
25 of Ethiopia finished first, 2:19:16, and runner-up Kevin Pool
of Folsom, CA, trailed by six seconds, 2:19:22.
I was at the halfway point, and he was a lot further back than I thought he would be, said Barnow. I was worried because he usually likes to race in the front. There were three or four guys ahead of him.
Pools goal was to run under 2:19. It was his third try this year, and he had not yet done it.
At about 18 miles, I was in 5th place, said Pool. I was a minute out of the lead. By 20 miles, I moved up a spot. I got passed, then I passed some people in the last mile. I ended up second. I tried to catch the leader, but I didnt have enough.
The mens field of the half-marathon and 8K had identical first and second place finishers. On Saturday, November 19, 2011, Samuel Ndereba, 34, of Kenya won the 8K, 23:44, and fellow countryman John Itati, 27, trailed by one second, 23:45. The next day, Ndereba won the half-marathon, 1:04:04 and Itati finished second, 1:04:23. They both train together in Royersford, PA under the management of Lisa Buster.
When asked how it felt to lose to Ndereba two days in a row, Itati laughed and said in broken English: It doesnt matter. Hes my training partner. Im glad I beat everyone else. He was quick to add that he had beaten Ndereba in other races. After winning two races, two days in a row, Ndereba said in broken English: I did not know if I could win. The competition was good.
In the womens 8K field Bekelech Bedada, 19, of Ethiopia, won with a 26:08 clocking, and the next day she finished second in the half-marathon, 1:13:23. The first female half-marathon finisher was thirty-year-old Ethiopian Yihunlish Delelecha, 1:12:42.
*Editor's note: The 40-year-old runner who died has been identified as G. Chris Gleason of Clifton Park, NY. We send our deepest sympathies to the families and friend of both runners who died.
PHILADELPHIA MARATHON (top five male finishers):
1. Folisho Tuko, 25, Ethiopia, resides: High Falls,
PHILADELPHIA MARATHON (top five female finishers):
1. Mariska Kramer (first repeat winner in the full
PHILADELPHIA HALF-MARATHON (top five male finishers):
1. Samuel Ndereba, 34, Kenya, resides: Royersford,
PHILADELPHIA HALF-MARATHON (top five female finishers):
1. Yihunlish Delelecha, 30, Ethiopia, resides: Washington,
Rothman Institute 8K
Mens Race Results:
Rothman Institute 8K
1. Bekelech Bedada,
19, Ethiopia, resides: New York, N.Y.