The 20th consecutive running of the Philadelphia Marathon took place Sunday with plenty of excitement, and the 2013 edition of the event ended in spectacular fashion.
Ethiopian star Abebe Mekuriya stole the show in the men’s race with an impressive victory and a time of two hours, 17 minutes and 35 seconds. Dating back to the marathon's rebirth in 1994, Mekuriya's time was less than a second off Joseph Ndiritu's record time of 2:16:47 in 2003.
First place at the Philadelphia Marathon Abebe Mekuriya 2:17:35 unofficial time @6abc— Amy Buckman (@AmyBuckman) November 17, 2013
Second-place finisher Tesfaye Dube finished with a time of 2:18:15, a full 40 seconds off the torrid pace set by Mekuriya.
Here is a look at the top finishers from each race:
|1||Abebe Mekuriya||City Falls, NY||2:17:35|
|2||Tesfaye Dube||New York, NY||2:18:15|
|3||Nicholas Hilton||Flagstaff, AZ||2:19:36|
|4||Birhanu Mekonnen||Washington DC||2:19:59|
|5||Abiyot Endale||Bronx, NY||2:20:55|
|6||Takele Gebreliul||Washington DC||2:21:58|
|7||Girma Bedada||Washington DC||2:24:31|
|8||Jason Leonard||Germantown, MD||2:24:31|
|9||Jae Yung Hyung||Albuquerque, NM||2:24:36|
|10||Daniel Hocking||Dover, NH||2:25:50|
|1||Irina Alexandrova||Hebron, KY||2:39:04|
|2||Tezeta Dengersa||Washington DC||2:40:11|
|3||Meseret Basa||New York, NY||2:40:48|
|4||Aregash Abate||High Falls, NY||2:42:38|
|5||Amanda Marino||Jackson, NJ||2:43:54|
|6||Sarah Powell||New Orleans, LA||2:45:44|
|7||Emily Hulme||Havertown, PA||2:45:53|
|8||Carly Shea||Lewisburg, PA||2:46:12|
|9||Kris Lawrence||Virginia Beach, VA||2:47:10|
|10||Marie Davenport||Guilford, CT||2:47:37|
The biggest surpise of the day was Reading, Pa. native Nick Hilton. The first-time marathon runner managed a third-place finish, just over a minute behind Dube.
Hilton told Marc Narducci of Philly.com:
I definitely wanted to do something special since this is the hometown thing and coming here and finishing third meant the world to me. I had a lot of family and friends on the course and the fans in Philadelphia are fantastic, there are a lot of passionate people so it made it great.
3rd place winner Nicholas Hilton completed the course with an unofficial time of 2:19:36 for his FIRST EVER marathon. #PhillyMarathon— PhiladelphiaMarathon (@Philly_Marathon) November 17, 2013
The minute gap between first and third in the men's race indicates just how dominant Mekuriya was on this particular day.
As exciting as the men’s event was, the women engaged in a fierce battle of their own.
Russian star Irina Alexandrova ran an impressive time of 2:39:04 in her first appearance in the Philadelphia Marathon and won the women’s leg of the event. Alexandrova was guided by coach and former champion Larisa Mikhaylova, and that influence clearly paid dividends.
Tezeta Dengersa managed a second-place finish and Meseret Basa rounded out the top three.
Both the men’s and women’s winners will receive a $3,500 cash prize, according to Lauren Mennen of Philly.com. Second-place finishers earn $2,000 and third-place finishers take home $1,000.
The Philadelphia Marathon was more than just the 26.2-mile main event on Sunday and featured several other races. Kenyan runner Elijah Karanja won Sunday’s men's half marathon with a time of 1:02:59 and also won Saturday’s Rothman Institute 8K.
Moroccan female runner Rikia El Moukim won the women's half-marathon with a record time of 1:10:56.