2018 Race Coverage

D &W Half Marathon Kicks Off Philly Marathon Weekend

By Clay Shaw

PHILADELPHIA, PA—The  Dietz & Watson Half Marathon, the first event in the Philadelphia Marathon weekend started at dawn on November 17, at 22nd & Parkway.

James Ndangu of Kenya, who lives in Van Wert, Ohio won in 1 02:43.  Defending champ Panuel Mkungo, also from Kenya and living in nearby Elkton, Maryland, was second in 1:03:11.  Silas Kipruto of Kenya was third in 1:04:07.  Daniel Lennon of Morrrisonville, NY was fourth in 1:04:15.  Brock Butler of Chester Springs PA was top Masters in 1:11:39, placing 19th among the men.

Vicoty Chepngeno of Kenya won in 1:10:18.  Birtukan Alemu of Ethiopia was second in 1:11:11.  Pamela Cherotich of Kenya was third in 1:16:30.  Greta Feldman of DC was fourth in 1:16:45.  Katie Kellner of Brighton, MA was fifth in 1:17:11.  Megan Foster of New York City was top Masters in 1:18:44, and sixth overall.  Sixty-two women broke the 1:30:00 mark on a nearly ideal morning for racing.

 Top 20 Men

  1. 1:02:43 James Ngandu  KENYA
  2. 1:03:11 Panuel Mkungo KENYA
  3. 1:04:08 Silas Kipruto KENYA
  4. 1:04:15 Daniel Lennon NY
  5. 1:04:20 Simon Chirchir KENYA
  6. 1:05:36 Kenneth Kosgei  KENYA
  7. 1:05:59 Fikadu Girma Teferi  ETHIOPIA
  8. 1:06:19 Duriel Hardy PHILADELPHIA
  9. 1:07:20 Joseph Whelan TX
  10. 1:08:28 Benjamin Toome  NJ
  11. 1:08:41 Tesfaye Girma  ETHIOPIA
  12. 1:10:05 Brian Quilty  NJ
  13. 1:10:27 Darryl Brown PA
  14. 1:10:48 Garret Lee  CO
  15. 1:10:50 Gregory Clark  NY
  16. 1:11:11 Lukasz Olenginski  DC
  17. 1:11:18 Zachary Simmons LANCASTER PA
  18. 1:11:31 Kenny Goodfellow  PA
  19. 1:11:39 Brock Butler (41) PA
  20. 1:11:47 Chris Muldoon NY

Top 20 Women

  1. 1:10:18 Vicoty Chepngeno  KENYA
  2. 1:11:11 Birtukan Alemu  ETHIOPIA
  3. 1:16:30 Pamela Cherotich  KENYA
  4. 1:16:45 Greta Feldman  DC
  5. 1:17:11 Katie Kellner  MA
  6. 1:18:44 Megan Foster (40) NYC
  7. 1:18:48 Siobhan O’Connor PHILADELPHIA
  8. 1:18:53 Joanna Line OH
  9. 1:19:54 Nicolette St.Lawrence  NY
  10. 1:20:57 Maggie Drazba  WV
  11. 1:21:08 Josie Picard-Arsenault QUE
  12. 1:21:20 Jen Maranzano  (46)  DC
  13. 1:21:29 Elizabeth Wasserman  NY
  14. 1:22:31 Kristen Prendergast  NJ
  15. 1:22:45 Alexandra Russo  NY
  16. 1:22:59 Bogdana Mimic  PHILADELPHIA
  17. 1:23:52 Caitlin Kennedy  MA
  18. 1:24:00 Baylee Robey  BIGLERVILLE
  19. 1:24:15 Erin Lohrenz  MA
  20. 1:24:16 Ashley Weiner PHILADELPHIA

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Internationals Take Top Honors at Rothman 8K

By Clay Shaw

PHILADELPHIA, PA—The second event of the Philadelphia Marathon weekend was the Rothman 8K, held November 17.  It’s more of a regional All-Star game of road racing than the other two events.  However, Internationals took the top two spots of each gender. 

Charles Kamau an 18-year-old Kenyan living in Boulder, CO won it in 23:14.  Kamau was in a three-man race with Diriba Yigezu of Ethiopia (23:16), and John Ranieri of New Fairfield, CT (23:20).  Yigezu, who lives in New York City, would place third overall in the marathon the next day.  Julius Kiptoo (Kenya) of Grand Prairie, TX was the top Masters in 25:33, and 18th overall.  Mike DiGennaro of Delaware was just nine seconds back in 25:42.

Brenda Flores of Mexico City had a pretty easy victory with a 26:36.  Elgay Nalyanya of Kenya was second in 26:50.  Alyssa Rudawsky of Garnet Valley, PA was third in 27:52.  Christy Peterson of North Wales, PA was top Masters and tenth overall in 29:29.  Brenda Hodge of York, PA was second Masters in 30:50. 

With a large amount of time to allow the half-marathon participants to clear the course and finish, we took the opportunity to have breakfast.  Note all the photos are across from Boathouse Row along the Schuylkill River.  A scenic spot indeed, especially for the marathon (without the out-and-back traffic).   That said, we missed the start (LOL). 

Top 20 Men

  1. 23:14 Charles Kamau  KENYA
  2. 23:16 Diriba Yigezu ETHIOPIA
  3. 23:20 John Raneri CT
  4. 23:51 Chris Hatler
  5. 24:04 Nicholas Filippazzo NY
  6. 24:11 Charlie Marquardt
  7. 24:22 Girma Gebre ETHIOPIA
  8. 24:46 Zachary Barker
  9. 24:47 JR Creekmore DE
  10. 24:49 Jeffrey Seelaus MA
  11. 25:05 Kieran Sutton
  12. 25:11 Fitch Henry NJ
  13. 25:14 Christopher Naimoli
  14. 25:22 Donny Glavin NJ
  15. 25:24 Matthew Lutcza
  16. 25:33 Sean Stetler CO
  17. 25:33 Julius Kiptoo (41) KENYA
  18. 25:34 Douglas Maisey
  19. 25:42 Mike DiGennaro (40) DE
  20. 25:44 Sean Clark

Top 20 Women

  1. 26:36 Brenda Flores  MEXICO
  2. 26:50 Eglay Nalyamya KENYA
  3. 27:52 Alyssa Rudawsky
  4. 27:56 Bose Asefa  ETHIOPIA
  5. 28:18 Sarah MacKay CANADA
  6. 28:25 Nuhamin Bogale  ETHIOPIA
  7. 29:07 Samantha Snukis
  8. 29:20 Katarina Smiljanec DE
  9. 29:21 Stephanie Herrick NY
  10. 29:29 Christy Peterson (44)
  11. 29:57 Lauren Opachinski MA
  12. 30:21 Kimberly Cary
  13. 30:27 Katie O’Regan
  14. 30:42 Jessica Fragola
  15. 30:50 Brenda Hodge (47)
  16. 30:51 Tracey Sawyer
  17. 31:09 Sharon Warner DC
  18. 31:16 Jeanelle Ackerman MA
  19. 31:19 Cheryl Keller-Capone
  20. 31:42 Michelle Brangan NJ
brenda flores mex wins rothman 8k-5064
Brenda Flores of Mexico wins Rothman 8k
christy peterson 10thf 1st fm-5132
Christy Peterson is 10th Female in the Rothman 8K
diriba yigezu 2 charles kamau 1 and john raneri 3 in rothman 8k-4955
Diriba Yyigezu 2 Charles Kamau 1 and John Raneri 3 in Rothman 8k

Korch Scorches Fall Trail Run by Three Minutes

By Tom Walski

France Slocum State Park, Kingston Township, PA—The Wyoming Valley Striders 31st Annual 5.5 Mile Fall Trail Run, held October 28, uses an age-graded start to give older runners a chance against their younger rivals. But Nanticoke’s 58-year-old Tony Korch didn’t need the head start to easily win the race by exactly three minutes over 18-year-old Dominick Angradi of Duryea. Another veteran runner, 67-year-old Bill Fiore, used his handicap head start to grab third place overall.

The first woman across the line was 47-year-old Jenn Heck in fifth place overall. The age-graded starts made for some interesting races between runners who ordinarily wouldn’t be competing against each other.

While race-day weather was better than usual, the heavy rains this fall made the already challenging course, more challenging than ever. The mud kept down the number for the race which was not billed as a mud run.

See full results here:  FallTrail2018

Tony Korch takes top honors a the Wyoming Valley Striders Fall Trail Run. (Linda Wojnar photo).
Jenn Heck claims WVS Fall Trail Run’s top women’s honors. (Linda Wojnar photo)


Ethiopians Set New Course Records at Philly Marathon

By David Block

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Boniface Kongin thought he was going to win the Philadelphia Marathon, held November 18, for a second year in a row, and it seemed as if it were going to happen. At the 10K mark, Kongin broke away from the pack and no elite runners challenged him—at least not until after he hit 25 miles when he began to stop and start repeatedly.

Prior to Mile 25, not one runner caught up to him.

At Mile 13, his split was 1:03:57.  At the 18-mile mark at the East Falls Bridge, his split was 1:27:50. At 30K, his split was 1:31:05. His nearest competitor Tadesse Yae Dabi hit 30K at 1:34:31. But after he posted 1:54:12 on Kelly Drive, Kongin did the unimaginable. He often stopped. He would look behind to see if anyone was near him and then he would resume running, but at a slower pace.

After 25 miles, he stopped and started one time too many because Dabi passed him along with the lead pack.

Kongin finished 8th, 2:20:26.

Dabi won with a 2:14:47 clocking to set a new course record. He collected $10,000 for winning and an additional course record bonus of $1,500.00 giving him a total of $11,500.00.

“I did not expect to win,” said Dabi. “I saw that he (Kongin) was tired so I passed him. I was feeling good.”

Finishing second was Birhanu Dare Kemel (2:14:54) to collect $5,000.00.

No one challenged Kemel for his second-place spot. Diriba Yigezu finished third, 2:17:09 to receive $2,500.00.

The first woman, Serkalem Abrha of Ethiopia, also set a new course record, 2:32:52, to collect $11,500.00

Runner-up was Anna Weber, 2:40:11, who earned $5,000.00.

“My sister lived here for the last 20 years. I thought it would be fun to come out here,” said Weber of Indianapolis, Indiana. “My top goal was to be in the top three.  After 20 miles, I was hurting, so I took it a mile at a time and then a step at a time.”

Finishing third was Sarah Kiptoo of Kenya in 2:42:41

Editor’s notes on the marathon:  Tadesse Yae Dabi ran the New York City Marathon in 2:13:57 and placed 12th two weeks before Philly marathon.  Birhanu Dare Kemel and Diriba Yigezu also ran 2018 NYC.  Sarah Kiptoo was the 2017 Philly Marathon champion.

Anna Weber w MGonzalez SDever RNorcross-5482
Anna Weber runs with Manuel Gonzalez, Shaun Dever, and Robert Norcross at halfway
Serkalem Abrha ETH 1stF CR-6112
Serkalem Abrha ETH 1st woman and course record
Tadesse Yae ETH 1st CR-5871
Tadesse Yae ETH 1st man and course record

James Ngandu won the Philadelphia Half Marathon in 1:02:42 and received $2,500.00.  At the 10-mile mark at 33rd and Oxford, his split was 48:08.

“I felt I had some energy,” said Ngandu. “I wanted to push the pace a bit. I wasn’t expecting to win. I thought I would be number three.”

Finishing second was last year’s Philadelphia Half Marathon winner, Panuel Mkungo. This year he clocked 1:03:10 for $1,000.00.

The first woman to finish the half-marathon was Vicoty Chepngeno, 1:10:17.

James Ngandu and Panuel Mkungo lead half-4403
James Ngandu and Panuel Mkungo lead at halfway point.
James Ngandu KENYA wins half marathon-4526
James Ngandu KENYA wins half marathon men’s division

Brenda Flores of Mexico City won the Rothman Institute 8K, 26:35 and collected $1,000.00.

“This was my first time in Philadelphia,” said Flores. “It was too cold for me.”  After hitting four miles, Flores grabbed the lead.

The first male 8K winner was 18-year-old Charles Kamau, 23:14, a Kenyan citizen training in Boulder, CO.

Brenda Flores MEX wins Rothman 8K-5064
Brenda Flores MEX wins Rothman 8K
Diriba Yigezu 2 Charles Kamau 1 and John Raneri 3 in Rothman 8k-4955
Diriba Yigezu 2 Charles Kamau 1 and John Raneri 3 in Rothman 8k

One of the special guests attending this year’s Philadelphia Marathon was Desiree Linden, the first U.S. woman to win the Boston Marathon since 1985. (Linden’s finishing time at Boston was 2:39.54.)

“I wanted to be here to support everyone,” said Linden.”

(All photos by Clay Shaw)