Philadelphia Marathon Shows
Love to NYC Marathon Entrants


PHILADELPHIA, PA--Hurricane Sandy’s assault on the Big Apple forced NYC Marathon organizers to cancel the 2012 NYC Marathon. However, the Philadelphia Marathon organizers opened up 3000 slots for NYC Marathoners to take part in their race. The Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon (both held this past November 18) were already sold out, but the race organizers made an exception. There were 3000 openings and 1500 NYC Marathon entrants filled them. The City of Philadelphia also put on the Rothman Institute 8K, held on November 17, yet unlike the marathon and half-marathon, that race was not sold out.

“I’m glad that the Philadelphia Marathon coordinators were able to accommodate these runners,” said Philadelphia Mayor, Michael A. Nutter. “I didn’t worry about whether the Philadelphia Marathon would happen or not, given that Hurricane Sandy was about two weeks ago. I had no doubt that we’d be in good shape and ready to go.”

One of the 1500 NYC Marathon entrants who competed in the Philadelphia Marathon was 35-year-old Amy McDonaugh of Irmo, SC, who clocked 2:53:05 to be the 18th overall woman finisher. She has partial vision in her left eye and none in her right, due to arteriovenous malformation (an abnormal tangle of blood vessels), which she developed at age 10.

When the New York Marathon was cancelled, I cried,” said McDonaugh. “I did all that training and I didn’t want it to go to waste.” She was glad to compete in Philadelphia, but disappointed with her finishing time. “I wanted to run under 2:49. I think my time was slow because I was peaking for New York then tapering, and keeping the tapering up for two weeks (until the Philadelphia Marathon).”

She had a hard time seeing when the race began because it was 7 a.m., and the sun had not fully risen. Then when the sun came up, she had a hard time seeing because of the glare. “I had to link arms with my guide runner. I should have used a tether.”

This was her first time racing in Philadelphia, and it was also the first time for some of the winners.

Two days before the Rothman Institute 8K, 22-year-old Isaac Korir Kedikou arrived from Kenya to the U.S. for the first time. The 8K was his first race on U.S. soil. The young Kenyan easily won with a 22:29 posting to set a new course record. Marcus O’Sullivan had set the previous course record, 23:03, back in 1997.

Kedikou’s manager, Hicham EL Mohtadi, chose for him to race in Philadelphia because he liked the coordinator for elite runners, Ross Martinson. For setting a new course record, Kedikou won $1,500.00; $1000.00 for finishing first and $500.00 for setting a new course record. However, the next day he won the Philadelphia Half Marathon, 1:02:53, to collect the Lion’s share of $2,500.00.

“Isaac never ran a half-marathon before,” said Mohtadi. “The furthest he raced was 10 kilometers in Kenya.

When he hit the four-mile mark on Front Street below South Street, he took the lead and never lost it. His four-mile split was 19:08.

When he reached seven miles at 31st and Chestnut, his time was 33:02.

“From four miles on, I tried to push the pace,” said Kedikou, but no one could stay with him.

After being in the U.S for only four days, he earned a total of $4,000.00.

“I am happy,” said Kedikou in broken English.

Finishing second in both the Rothman Institute 8K (22:46) and the Half Marathon (1:03:43) was Samuel Ndereba, 35, of Kenya who trains part of the year in Norristown, PA, under the management of Lisa Buster. Ndereba won a total of $1,500.00; $1000.00 for finishing second in the half-marathon and $500.00 for finishing second in the 8K. Last year he won both races, 23:44 and 1:04:04. This year his finishing times were considerably faster, but he was runner-up in both races.

After the 8K, Ndereba said: “he (Kedikou) had a lot of speed. I tried to keep with him, but he was faster than me.”

In the 8K, Ndereba beat third place finisher, Scott Smith, by one second. The 26-year-old Smith who hails from Flagstaff, AZ, posted 22:47. “I was ahead of him for most of the race, but he out-kicked me at the end,” said Smith. “I thought we both could catch the winner, but he was too fast.” Smith collected $250.00.

The first female 8K finisher was 24-year-old Misiker Mekonnin Demessie, 25:46, who collected $1000.00. Demessie, who trains in Washington, DC, was a 2012 NYC Marathon entrant. Because of the cancellation of the marathon, she decided to run the Honolulu Marathon in December. “The 8K was a tune-up,” said Demessie.


In the Men’s Marathon division, 36-year-old Michael McKeeman of Ardmore PA finished first.

Six years ago, McKeeman finished second in the Philadelphia Marathon, 2:17:50. After six years, he ran the Philadelphia Marathon for a second time. This time he finished one second slower, 2:17:51. However, this time he won.

“It felt great to win because it was in front of my family and friends,” said McKeeman.

McKeeman was uncertain how he would finish.

“Twenty-two miles into the race, I thought I’d take second again. I was resigned to being runner-up. But I soon caught up to the leaders.” At the 23-mile mark, right under the Strawberry Mansion Bridge on the Kelly Drive, McKeeman grabbed the lead for the first time that race. His split was 2:00:47. “Often when runners take the lead, they feel good, but I didn’t,” said McKeeman. “I was tired.” He reminded himself that if he stayed strong, he’d finish in about 15 minutes. “I just said to myself, '15 more minutes; 15 more minutes.’”

At the 24-mile mark, on Kelly Drive across from the Philadelphia Zoo, his split was 2:06:00. He still had the lead. “I worried that someone would catch me. I never looked back to see who was behind me, because I thought it would show a sign of weakness.” Had he looked back, he would have seen that no runners were near him. At the 25-mile mark, at the Girard Avenue Bridge on the Kelly Drive, his split was 2:11:12. Despite feeling uneasy that runners would pass him, he simultaneously believed that it could be his day to win. Family and friends helped give him energy as they cheered him, while additional spectators screamed out his name. He heard his name a lot more after he grabbed the lead. It also helped that he knew the marathon course. “I often train on Kelly Drive,” said McKeeman.

As he approached the finish line, he wondered if anyone was near him. No runners were close.

Runner-up Scott MacPherson, 25, of Austin, TX, trailed McKeeman by 42 seconds, as he clocked, 2:18:33.
McKeeman received the winner’s purse, $3,500.00, while MacPherson earned the second place cash prize of $2000.00.

“This was my second marathon," said MacPherson. He ran his first at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. “I had a bad race that day,” MacPherson remembered. “This time I just wanted to enjoy the marathon, and I did.”

The first female marathon finisher was Irina Mashkantceva, 29, of Solikamsk, Russia. She posted 2:35:37, which set a new course record. The previous course record 2:35:46 was set by Mariska Kramer in 2011.

Mashkantceva earned a total of $5,000.00, $3,500.00 for finishing first and $1,000.00 for setting a new course record.
“This is the first race that she won on U.S. soil said her manager, Stan Rogulin. According to Rogulin, Mashkantceva was still suffering from jet lag because she arrived from Russia to Philadelphia two days before the marathon. “But that did not affect her performance,” said Rogulin. “This was her best marathon time.”



1. Mike McKeeman 2:17:51
2. Scott MacPherson 2:18:33
3. Abiyot Endale 2:19:15

1. Irina Mashkantceva 2:35:37
2. Venera Sarmosova 2:35:58
3. Katie DiCamillo 2:38:50
Masters Men

Rachid Bensalem 2:28:06

Wheelchair Men

Paul Erway 2:29:38


Masters Women

Elena Orlova 2:41:29

1. Isaac Korir Kedikou 1:02:53
2. Samuel Ndereba 1:03:43
3. Mengistu Nebsi 1:04:11

Masters Men

Eric Shafer 1:12:57
Wheelchair Men

Shannon Franks 1:19:00




1. Misiker Mekonnin Demissie 1:11:57
2. Hellen Jemutai 1:12:37
3. Stephanie Pezzullo 1:13:13

Masters Women

Doreen McCoubrie 1:23:22



1. Isaac Korir Kedikou 22:29
2. Samuel Ndereba 22:46
3. Scott Smith 22:47

Masters Men

Michael Griffin 25:25


Wheelchair Male 8K Results

Shannon Franks 25:36   



1. Misiker Mekonnin Demessie 25:46
2. Amy Van Alstine 25:59
3. Frances Koons. 26:29


Masters Women

Cecily Tynan 29:38