As 6:30 rolled around on Sunday morning, thousands of runners began lining up to compete in the 23rd annual Philadelphia Marathon. The morning rain had finally tapered off, but the strong 23-mph winds made the air seem much colder than its 56 degrees. At 7 a.m. the first racers were off, beginning with the wheelchair racers and followed by waves of runners in different packs.
The 26.2-mile course wove through historic Philadelphia. Beginning at the Art Museum, runners continued down the Parkway, through Chinatown, down Columbus Boulevard, zig-zagging back to Chestnut Street, across the Schuylkill River, looping through West Fairmount Park, up Kelly Drive into Manayunk and doubling back to the Eakin’s Oval finish line. Thousands of family, friends, and spectators lined the course with cheers, signs, and of course, lots of cowbell.
Boniface Kongin, 27, training out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, took the title crossing the finish line at 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 25 seconds, almost a full two minutes in front of second-place finisher and training partner Nelson Oyugi, 25. Sarah Kiptoo, 28, training out of Santa Fe, New Mexico, grabbed the women’s title with a time of 2 hours, 38 minutes, and 14 seconds. Patrick Richie, 26, and Beth Blendell, 32, claimed the Philadelphian titles.