Wind-whipped athletes blow through Philly marathon in record time

Battling through whipping winds and plummeting temperatures, runners from around the world made the 26.2-mile trek at the 23rd annual Philadelphia Marathon Sunday.

With wind gusts estimated at 30 to 40 mph, strong headwinds and tailwinds (depending on which portion of the course runners were on) seemed to act as both a help and hindrance.

After competitors in Saturday’s half-marathon enjoyed unseasonably warm temperatures, the overnight drop was acknowledged by the race hosts who referred to the starting line as “Eakins Oval Tundra.”

The top three finishers in the men’s division each beat the course record, with Kenyan Kimutai Cheruiyot taking the gold with a time of 2:15:53. Second place went to Jacob Chemtai with a time of 2:15:59 and third place Bado Merdessa clocked in at 2:16:10.

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In the women’s division, American Taylor Ward took the gold with a time of 2:36:25. Second place went to Serkalem Abhra with a time of 2:37:53, and Vera Nunes came in third at 2:39:03.

Nearly 30,000 runners annually participate in the race on a course stretching from the Ben Franklin Parkway, through Center City, out to Manayunk, and back to the finish line near the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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