Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Vassallo Wins His Second Philly Marathon

 David Block
 November 24, 2014
Men's winner trumps 2010 victory time by exactly four minutes, runs B-standard qualifier for U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

PHILADELPHIA (Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014) - Over thirty thousand runners descend on Philadelphia the weekend before Thanksgiving to compete in three races put on by the city.  
The weekend kicked off with the Rothman Institute 8K on Saturday and then the 21st GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon and GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon on Sunday.
Dan Vassallo of Peabody, Mass. was no stranger to the Philadelphia Marathon. He won it in 2010 in 2:21:28, and on Sunday  he chalked up his second victory Philadelphia victory. Vassallo shaved off more than four minutes as he hit the finishing tape in a much faster 2:17:28 to collect $3,500.

“That’s my best marathon time,” said Vassallo.
Vassallo’s key goal this year was to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. To make the B-Standard, he needed to finish in 2:18. He did it with more than 30 seconds to spare.
“It was a dream come true,” said Vassallo.

Vassallo had the lead for the first 14 miles. Then several runners passed him. Vassallo did not resist. “My goal was to stay on pace,” said Vassallo. “If I had a little left in the tank at the end, I’d use every last second of it.”
In 43-degree temperature at the 20-mile mark on Manayunk Main Street, Birhanu Dare Kemal had the lead. His split was 1:44:14.
By 23 miles, running past the Strawberry Mansion Bridge, Kemal led the pack by about a block. His split was 1:59:52.
At 24 miles - along the Kelly Drive - the lead still belonged to Kemal as his split read 2:05:18.
At 25 and a half miles, Vassallo regained the lead. “Before that, I was either in 5th of 6th place,” said Vassallo.
Kemal initially put up a fight, but by the end, it was a losing battle.
“My legs did not respond,” said Kemal, who finished second in 2:17:52 and collected $2,000.
In the women’s marathon field, Leonora Petrina posted 2:39:59 for the lion’s share.
“It was my first marathon - ever,” said the 32-year-old Petrina. Last year Petrina decided to run marathons. “I was losing speed {in shorter races} so I needed to move up the distance.” The first time marathoner with a substantial lead as runner-up Lauren Philbrookfinished in 2:42:05.
In the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon, Kiprono Kurgat finished first with a 1:03:59 posting and collected $2,500. He took the lead the last few meters.
“I was not expecting to win,” said Kurgat. “You don’t expect anything {to win races} because everybody’s well prepared.”
Runner-up Kimutai Cheruiyot (1:05) trailed by 6.7 seconds to collect $1,000.
In the women’s half marathon, Etaferahu Temesgen ran her personal best, 1:12:49, to rack up the win. Runner up was Maegan Krifchin -  1:12:56 who trailed by 7.08 seconds.
On Saturday in blistering 23-degree weather, Jim Spisak won the Rothman Institute 8K posting a 23:40 clocking to collect $1,000.00. It came down to the wire as Spisak edged Diriba Degefa Yigezu (23:41) by 0:00.36 of a second.
“I went out pretty slow,” said Spisak. “I anticipated the race would go out faster. I planned to just hang out with the pack and try to win at the end, but it was slow and I ended up taking the lead at two miles. I didn’t want to floor it, but I wanted to inject a little bit of pace.”

Yigezu challenged Spisak with 600 meters to go as the two sprinted to a photo finish.
Yigezu’s second place finish earned him $500. The next day, Yigezu finished sixth in the half-marathon.
In the women’s 8K field, Alice Kamunya finished first, 26:20.51, and runner-up was Kerri Gallagher.
“I was happy with my performance,” said Gallagher. “I started out in fifth place and worked my way up to second.” In the final mile, Gallagher passed Kamunya, but Kamunya refused to concede.
“It was a tough field,” said Gallagher. “I was racing to win, but had little expectation of it.”

Philadelphia Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 8K
Philadelphia, PA, Nov. 22-23, 2014

Men’s Marathon
1. Dan Vassallo 2:17:27.80 $3,500
2. Birhanu Dare Kemel 2:17:51.85 $2,000
3. Abiyot Endale 2:18:45.06  $1,000
4. Christopher Zablocki 2:19:19.89 $750
5. Philippe Viau-Dupuis 2:20:41.32 $500

Women’s Marathon
1. Leonora Petrina 2:39:59.02 $3,500
2. Lauren Philbrook 2:42:05 $2,000
3. Shitaye Gemechu 2:42:36.01 $1,000
4. Rachel Hyland 2:44:55.75 $750
5. Melissa Hardesty 2:45:22.73 $500

Men’s Half Marathon
1. Kiprono Kurgat 1:03:58.70 $2,500
2. Kimutai Cheruiyot 1:04:04.77 $1,000
3. Chris Kwiatkowski 1:04:42.36  $500
4. Rachid Ezzouniou  1:04:50.24 $350
5. Habtamu Arga 1:04:55.32 $250

Women’s Half Marathon
1. Etaferahu Temesgen 1:12:49.08 $2,500
2. Maegan Krifchin      1:12:56.16 $1,000
3. Susan Jerotich 1:14:43.90 $500
4. Hannah Davidson 1:15:03.97 $350
5. Rachel Schneider 1:17:03.32 $250

Men’s 8K
1. Jim Spisak 23:40.26 $1,000
2. Diriba Degefa Yigezu 23:40.62 $500
3. Cameron Marantz 23:51.01 $250
4. Owen Dawson 23:55.63 $150
5. Rachid Ezzouniou  24:02.79 $100

Women’s 8K
1. Alice Kamunya 26:20.51 $1,000
2. Kerri Gallagher 26:25.55 $500
3. Etaferahu Temesgen 26:30.17 $250
4. Jane Murage 26:54.82 $150
5. Sophy Jepchirchir 27:44.69 $100

For full race results, visit http://philadelphiamarathon.com/

this article Courtesy of Running USA wire

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