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The Philadelphia Marathon removed 147 entries of course-cutters from its 2019 results

The Philadelphia Marathon, a popular Boston qualifier with around 24,000 finishers every year, removed 147 entries from its 2019 results when it was clear that those people cut the course. A notice on the race’s website gives them the benefit of the doubt, indicating they were either tired or injured and “trying not to cheat,” adding that “We don’t embarrass people, we try and help.”

Derek Murphy of MarathonInvestigation.com takes the unusual step of agreeing with the race. “I do agree with their statement that the majority of the runners that skipped from the 13.1 timing mat to the finish likely did not do so with the intent to cheat. It was a miserable day, and most likely just wanted to call it a day.”

Moreover, the race identified more than 8,000 people who did not start in the wave they were assigned to, which could legitimately have resulted in their being disqualified, but instead they corrected their results.

Murphy praised the race organizers for the appropriate way they dealt with suspicious results. “I have been critical of The Philadelphia Marathon in the past,” says Murphy. “As such, I feel it is my obligation to acknowledge when they get it right. This year, they got it right.”

After receiving a tip, Murphy did identify one serial cheater, a man named Tracy, who has made a habit of jumping onto marathon courses around the halfway point and then cutting to yield impressive-looking result–in this case a 3:18 finish. Tracy was apparently walking on the course while “cluelessly” staring at his phone, blocking the way for fast runners and a handcycle wheelchair athlete, who was blowing his whistle to get him to move out of the way and who was forced to swerve around him. When the tipster moved across to cheer at the return portion of the course, she saw Tracy again, and knew he had obviously cut across. Murphy suspected it was Tracy, which was later confirmed by photos and by analyzing his results.

Tracy’s history of course-cutting goes back to 2013, when he recorded a 2:50 split for a half-marathon and a 3:07 finish (17 minutes later). He finished a 2016 race with a 3:02 finish and was later disqualified, and he recorded results from 2017 and 2018 (from which he was not disqualified) showing 3:26 and 4:07 finishes, respectively, but with no splits.

Murphy notes that Tracy is not attempting to use his times to apply for Boston.

(12/02/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Philadelphia Marathon

Philadelphia Marathon

Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a first-timer, Philadelphia is the place for you. We’ve designed our course to be scenic, fan-friendly and, above all, great for running. It’s no wonder we're consistently listed among the top ten races in the country, recognized for our mostly flat terrain, ideal temperature and awesome atmosphere. Join us this fall for the best...

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Diriba Yigezu wins men’s race; Feyne Gemeda breaks women’s record at Philadelphia Marathon

An expression of relief and achievement swept across the face of Diriba Degefa Yigezu as he crossed the finish line first in the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday with a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, 31 seconds.

Last year, the Ethiopian finished second in the Philadelphia Marathon’s 8K event. He was so disappointed he decided to run in the marathon the next day but finished third with a time that would have won the race the year before.

In 2019, there was cold wind and rain but no disappointment. Yigezu, fittingly wearing bib No. 3, was all alone on top.

“It feels really good, I trained really hard,” said Yigezu, who took the lead just before the seventh mile and never lost it. “The rain made it very hard but I got through. ... It just feels so good.”

Minutes later, the bundled-up crowd on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway witnessed dramatic history as Feyne Gudeto Gemeda beat the female course record by 3 seconds with a time of 2:32:48.

Gemeda knew what was at stake and pushed hard through the last few hundred feet before falling to the ground just past the finish line. With the Ethiopian flag draped around her back, she was able to rise to her feet minutes later to celebrate her achievement.

“I’m very happy with the record,” Gemeda said through an interpreter. “I was training very hard. I was pushing to run under 2:32 but the rain and wind was very challenging so I’m happy with how I finished.”

Ethan Rissell was the first Philadelphian to cross the finish line, with a time of 2:35 even. The 30-year-old previously lived outside of Harrisburg and in Conshohocken but moved to Roxborough in January.

Rissell’s friend told him Saturday night that he had a good chance to finish first among Philadelphians. Through the last 10 miles of his third marathon, he said it was all he could think about.

“I was on the fence about doing a marathon this fall," Rissell said. “Doing the Philly Marathon was a big factor because now it feels like my hometown race. It’s really awesome.”

Lauren Kelly finished first among Philadelphia women with a time of 2:52:25. Michelle Wheeler took the wheelchair title with a time of 2:31:49. Phoenixville’s T. Lawrence Way, at 71, finished first among hand cyclers at 2:37:59.

The misty rain blowing through chilly early-morning winds didn’t deter thousands of spectators whose ponchos and bright jackets created a bright rainbow lining along the track. Hundreds of volunteers in neon vests trudged through the Benjamin Parkway mud and directed the eager supporters, unfazed by the conditions.

(11/25/2019) ⚡AMP
by Graham Foley
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Philadelphia Marathon

Philadelphia Marathon

Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a first-timer, Philadelphia is the place for you. We’ve designed our course to be scenic, fan-friendly and, above all, great for running. It’s no wonder we're consistently listed among the top ten races in the country, recognized for our mostly flat terrain, ideal temperature and awesome atmosphere. Join us this fall for the best...

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The forecast reports are saying it could rain on Philadelphia Marathoners

While clouds are hanging over the weather forecast for Sunday’s annual Philadelphia Marathon, the outlook does have at least a few bright spots for participants in this weekend’s race events.

Temperatures are forecast to range from 40 to 44 during the Sunday morning race, not too far from the ideal for most runners, says Jeremy Close, a sports medicine specialist at Jefferson University Hospitals and a runner himself.

Wind should not be a factor for at least the first part of the race, which begins at 7, said Sarah Johnson, lead meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly.

Saturday should start off dry and cold; temperatures will be around freezing at the time the half-marathon begins, at 7:25 a.m., but winds will be light. It should be brilliantly sunny throughout the half-marathon. The 8k race then begins at 10:40 a.m. and the kids’ fun run at noon. Clouds will build in the afternoon and rain is a near certainty Saturday night and early Sunday.

Friday’s forecast called for the likelihood that rain would linger into midmorning Sunday. Even if it stopped at 7, that could still be a pain for the runners milling about waiting for the race to get underway.

However, Johnson did offer a bright spot. Computer models often have a hard time nailing the duration of precipitation, and that has been evident in the last few days with the vacillating hourly forecasts.

“The timing has been jumping around a bit,” she said. Thus, the forecast is very much subject to change. AccuWeather Inc., the private service in State College, Pa., had the rain stopping at 7 a.m. and then picking up again at 9 a.m. But anyone who has tried to rely on those weather apps knows that the hourly predictions are prone to fallibility.

The rains would be generated by a coastal low that a month from now might look like a snow threat. Instead, it will be a rather ordinary cold November rain. Winds could pick up later in the race — maybe 5 to 15 mph with higher gusts, said Johnson — as the storm moves north.

And while Sunday morning might be chillier than the average spectator would like, it should be good for runners, Jefferson’s Close said.

(11/23/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anthony R. Wood
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Philadelphia Marathon

Philadelphia Marathon

Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a first-timer, Philadelphia is the place for you. We’ve designed our course to be scenic, fan-friendly and, above all, great for running. It’s no wonder we're consistently listed among the top ten races in the country, recognized for our mostly flat terrain, ideal temperature and awesome atmosphere. Join us this fall for the best...

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Bob Koen, 73, is ready to run his 26th straight Philadelphia Marathon

Bob Koen Plans to run this Marathon Every year as long as he physically can.

He has run all the Philadelphia Marathons since its 1994 reincarnation. He has seen the race grow over the years.

In 1994, only 1,500 people competed in the marathon. Now the marathon organizers are forced to limit the number of entrants to 15,000.

Koen likes this marathon because for him it is like competing on his home turf. His favorite part of the race course is the Martin Luther King Drive and the Kelly Drive because he often trains there.

Including the Philadelphia Marathons, Koen has run a total of 54 marathons. His best finishing time is 3:37:30, which he set at the 1999 Chicago Marathon.

When Koen began running in 1986, at age 40, he never imagined that he would be a marathon runner.

In 1986 at a Cherry Hill N.J. gym: "I was playing basketball. This guy there was 13 years older than me and he was always outrunning me on the court," said Koen. "I finally asked him why I couldn't keep up with him. He said that he runs 3 miles every day and then he talked me into running a 5K (3.1 miles)."

Koen soon caught the "running bug" and it became a huge part of his life.

He is finally injury free. The last couple years, he was struggling with a neck injury due to a bad fall he sustained while running.

A special Philly Marathon moment was when Koen finished the 20th running of the Philadelphia Marathon, Mark Sullivan, 57, of Freeburg, P.a. met him at the finish line.

"We're the only two who have run all the Philadelphia Marathons," said Sullivan who will also compete this Sunday.

(11/22/2019) ⚡AMP
by David Block
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Philadelphia Marathon

Philadelphia Marathon

Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a first-timer, Philadelphia is the place for you. We’ve designed our course to be scenic, fan-friendly and, above all, great for running. It’s no wonder we're consistently listed among the top ten races in the country, recognized for our mostly flat terrain, ideal temperature and awesome atmosphere. Join us this fall for the best...

more...
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Tadesse Yai Dabi of New York won the men’s race in 2:14:46 at Philadelphia Marathon setting a new course record

The winner of the men’s race was Tadesse Yai Dabi of New York in 2:14:46, and the women’s title went to Serkalem Abrha of Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2:32:52. Both winners set course records. The race draws crowds of up to 30,000 and many Canadians head south of the border to get in a late fall race. Boston 2018 winner Des Linden made it to Philadelphia for the marathon, but sadly her clothes did not. She joked in a tweet that she spent her per diem on food instead of replacement clothes. Linden was joined by Boston, New York and Olympic marathon winner Meb Keflezighi. The athletes led a shakeout on Saturday morning and presented at the expo. (11/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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These tips will help you enjoy and complete your marathon in record time

There are over 1400 marathons held annually around the world including the upcoming Philadelphia Marathon.  Here are some tips to help you reach your personal goal.  Be sure to wear shoes that have good support and are lightweight. Comfortable socks are also important if you wear them.  Socks and shoes should be tested in a pace run to help prevent blisters and sore feet.  Your local running store can help fit you.  Chill out and avoid stress in the days leading up to the race. Make sure to stay hydrated.  In the days before the race get your body used to the routine and run at the same time of day as the start of the race. Mimic the course and go on runs that share the same course as the race. Eat carb-rich foods such as pasta, potatoes, bread, fruit, fruit juice and yogurt as well as other low-fat treats and sports drinks. Stretch gently 15 minutes before the start of the race. Focus on your calves, hamstrings, glutes and lower back.  Run the first few miles 10 to 15 seconds per mile slower than your goal pace to preserve glycogen for later to help you finish strong.  Once you finish and if this is your first race of 26.2 miles (42k), you can now call yourself a marathoner.   (11/16/2018) ⚡AMP
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Mark Sullivan is running the Philadelphia Marathon for the 25th consecutive year

Mark Sullivan is one of only two runners who has participated in every Philadelphia Marathon since 1994. He’ll be competing for the 25th consecutive year. The 56-year-old graphic designer and running coach has completed 176 marathons — more than 4,600 miles — since 1986, including 32 consecutive Boston Marathons, but never set out to make it a goal. “If races ceased to exist, I’d still be a runner,” said Sullivan. “It’s not about the challenge. I just like it.” He did ran track in high school but he didn’t take up running seriously until after college. Working as a technical illustrator early in his career, Sullivan found himself sitting at a desk all day and felt he wasn’t getting enough exercise on the occasional hikes and tennis matches he played with his wife, Robin. “I needed to get out and the cheapest thing to do was run,” he said. Sullivan discovered the outdoor exercise was useful in his work by helping him tap into his technical and creative side. “If I was out running, I could come back (to the home office) and be more productive,” he said. It began with a three-mile loop around his Freeburg neighborhood until “one day I just went and ran six miles,” Sullivan recalled. The outings kept getting longer and by 1985 Sullivan began entering local 5K and 10K races. In addition to running marathons, he’s participated in several ultras too.  (11/02/2018) ⚡AMP
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