McKeeman and Mashkantceva win 2012 Philly Marathon

Runners throughout the region put their competitive training to the test Sunday morning as they joined more than 20,000 others in the 19th annual Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon.

Both races kicked off at 7 a.m. and the whole event wrapped up by 2 p.m. along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Michael McKeeman of Ardmore, Pa. won the men’s Philadelphia Marathon division and Irina Mashkantceva, of Solikamsk, Russia broke the women’s Philadelphia Marathon record by clocking in at the unofficial time of 2:35:34. McKeeman, who trains on Kelly Drive and West River Drive, crossed the finish line at the unofficial time of 2:17:47.

Brendan Christian was the top Philadelphia resident winner in the race with an unofficial time of 2:25:49.

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The winners of the Philadelphia Half Marathon were Misiker Mekonnin Demessie in the women’s race and Isaac Korir in the men’s race.  Korir had an unofficial finishing time of 1:02:52 and Demessie clocked in at 1:11:56.

This year’s race included more than 1,400 extra runners from the New York City Marathon, which was canceled at the last minute due to Hurricane Sandy. A portion of every runner’s entry fee will be donated to the American Red Cross.

For a full rundown of the day’s events, read our blog below.

2:30 p.m. update 

The 19th annual Philadelphia Marathon has come to an end. To view race results, go to

1:40 p.m. update 

From the sidelines in East Falls, one fan held a sign that read “you’re not even close yet.”  Some were amused; some were not. 

In Manayunk, cleanup crews have arrived for trash pickup along Main Street and officials are removing cones from the middle of the street. The road should be back open to traffic shortly. 

12:35 p.m. update 

Is Mayor Michael Nutter planning on running in next year’s Philadelphia Marathon? In an interview with NewsWorks photographer Bas Slabbers this morning, the Mayor indicated that it’s a possibility.

“Next year is our 20th; that’s a milestone and we have to do something special,” he said. “We’re already starting to talk about that and it’s going to be a spectacular event.”

When asked specifically if he’ll be running in next year’s race, Nutter said he’s thinking about it.

“I’m no way ready for a marathon but I’ve been running a little more,” he said. “I got inspired by last year’s race to start doing some running; I bought some new shoes and have been doing stuff in the gym; I ran in a 5K earlier this year but I need to do a little more training.”

If he goes through with it, will he continue his role as the designated high-five guy for runners along the race route? We’ll have to wait and see.

11:40 a.m. update 

NewsWorks photographer Bas Slabbers caught up with Michael McKeeman in a video interview shortly after he won the men’s portion of the Philadelphia Marathon this morning.

The Ardmore resident said it was important for him to run in the Philadelphia Marathon this year rather than the Chicago or New York races. 

“I grew up in this area and I’ve lived in this area most of my life and a lot of the course is areas I run a lot,” he said. “Pretty much all of my long runs were on Kelly Drive into Manayunk to West River [Drive] so this is where I train.”

McKeeman, who went to North Penn High School in Landsdale, Pa. and the University of North Carolina, says some of the best parts of the race were running through Manayunk near his friends at the Bryn Mawr Running Company and passing through the Strawberry Mansion area on Kelly Drive.

“It was near that sort of cave,” he said. “People were yelling and it was echoing through the rocks; it was incredible.”

McKeeman, who has also participated in marathons in Chicago and Boston, says winning the race was something he’s always envisioned, but adds that it was a possibility he never took for granted.

“I’m pinching myself,” he said.

10:50 a.m. update

Brendan Christian was the top Philadelphia resident winner in the Philadelphia Marathon timing in at 2:25:49. 

10:30 a.m. update 

The winners of the Philadelphia Half Marathon this morning were Misiker Mekonnin Demessie in the women’s race and Isaac Korir in the men’s race.  Korir had a finishing time of 1:02:52 and Demessie clocked in a 1:11:56. 

10  a.m. update

WHYY’s Chris Satullo is cheering for his daughter and son-in-law near the Philadelphia Museum of Art where one cheering woman tells runners, “it’s all downhill now.”  Then she looks over at Satullo, shrugs and says “well, it’s sort of downhill; whatever keeps ’em going.” The loudspeaker at Eakins Oval is blaring Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” as many New Yorkers wander about asking for directions. 

9:48 a.m. update 

Irina Mashkantceva, 29, of Solikamsk, Russia broke the women’s Philadelphia Marathon record at 2:35:34. 

9:30 a.m. update 

Michael McKeeman, 36, of Ardmore, Pa. is the 2012 men’s Philadelphia Marathon winner clocking in at 2:17:47. 

9:15 a.m update 

Large groups of runners are making their way through Main Street in Manayunk as fans cheer them on from the sidelines. It’s the 20-mile mark, a critical point for the runners who are relying on the crowd’s support and energy to carry them through the next few miles. The full Marathon winners are expected to cross the finish line at 9:20 a.m. 

8:30 a.m. update 

NewsWorks photographer Bas Slabbers is reporting runner #100 in the lead with a small group of runners quickly approaching. Slabbers is traveling in a media vehicle on the course and adds that there are very few people cheering from the sidelines this morning. He says the runners are about one mile away from approaching the Falls Bridge on Kelly Drive in East Falls.  

On Main Street in Manayunk, volunteers are preparing for the rush of runners by setting up a dozen tables of water and Gatorade outside Winnie’s LeBus. Music is blasting at two locations along Main Street and there are a few fans scattered about along the sidewalk.  The elite runners are expected to make their way through Main Street around 8:40 a.m. 

7:35 a.m. update 

WHYY’s Elizabeth Fiedler reports that runners have made their way to Arch Street near 8th Street in Center City. 

7:05 a.m. update 

They’re off and running. After a few remarks from Mayor Michael Nutter, the Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon got underway along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. NewsWorks photographer Bas Slabbers will be capturing the scene along the course throughout the day from his press vehicle.  Send your race day photos to

6 a.m. update

Hundreds of runners and their supporters are beginning to gather along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway this morning for the 19th annual Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon. The runners will leave the start area in groups, or staggered “wave” format at the sound of the air horn in about an hour. Runners from the ING NYC Marathon in corrals 1 and 2 will be first at the starting line.  

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