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Kibet, Chepchumba Claim Victory at 30th Philadelphia Distance Run
by: Philly Distance Run

PHILADELPHIA (September 16, 2007) Kenyan Julius Kibet earned top honors for the second time at Sunday’s Philadelphia Distance Run, winning the men’s race in a time of 1 hour, 2 minutes, 2 seconds. Pamela Chepchumba, also from Kenya, won the women’s race in 1:08:45, one of the world’s fastest half-marathon times for women this year.

It took a few miles for the men’s professional field to warm up to the clear and cool morning, recording their first sub-five minute mile at mile three (4:52). The pack of 27 men weaved through Center City, before doubling back onto Benjamin Franklin Parkway, to the cheers of thousands of runners who were taking their initial steps on the course.

The pace quickened as the race progressed through miles four and five. Kibet, 25, the 2004 Philadelphia Distance Run champion, led the group of athletes as they began the eight-mile stretch along the Schuykill River. Fellow Kenyans, 27-year-old John Yuda and Tom Nyariki, 36, joined Kibet as they pushed through mile seven in a time of 34:04.

At Falls Bridge, the athletes crossed the river and began their return towards the finish line. Now, 15 men were jockeying for position as MacDonald Ondara, 23, from Kenya, joined the leaders as they recorded the fastest split time of the day, running through mile nine in 4:33.

MacDonald and Nyariki led the next mile, but Kibet, who was close behind knew he had to make a move to defend against his toughest competition, Nyariki.

“He is very strong in the finish,” Kibet said of Nyariki.

Like his 2004 win, Kibet had to fight for today’s victory as he ran virtually neck-and-neck with Nyariki and Yuda. Fortunately for Kibet, Nyariki did not answer as Kibet looked back before his final sprint across the finish line.

The women’s race was led early by the women’s 2004 Philadelphia Distance Run champion, 36-year-old Nuta Olaru from Romania. She took the entire women’s pack through mile four on a 1:10:30 half-marathon pace.

Kenyan Edna Kiplagat, who finished second at the Philadelphia Distance Run in 2006, traded places with Olaru through mile five and was joined by countrywoman Alice Timbilili, 24, at mile six. The two women pushed the pace as they passed though the 10-kilometer mark in 33:03, dropping Kenyan Angelina Mutuku, 25 and Ethiopian Ashu Kasim, 22, who finished fourth two weeks ago at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach, Va.

Shortly after the women’s group passed mile eight, Chepchumba began to take control of the race alongside Timbilili. For the next three miles, the two women launched a number of attacks. The pack thinned in response to the quicker pace and Kiplagat eventually dropped away from the leaders.

Chepchumba now had to shake her challenger Timbilili.

“I tried to run faster, but she (Timbilili) was resisting,” Chepchumba said . “I started running at mile 11.”

At mile 11 they recorded the fastest mile of the race (5:11). Chepchumba began to pull away inside mile 12, breaking the tape 11 seconds ahead of Timbilili.

American Brandon Leslie, 31, from Arizona finished 22 overall in a time of 1:05:01, ahead of the six other men who were tuning up for the 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials in November.

Bryan Skelly, 25, who will run the Chicago Marathon this October in an attempt to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials was the first Philadelphia finisher in a time of 1:07:09. Claire Duncan, 24, the assistant track coach at Germantown Friends High School was the first female Philadelphia finisher line in a time of 1:18:46.

Gideon Mutisya from Kenya topped the men’s masters division (age 40 and over), finishing in a time of 1:08:34. Doreen McCoubrie, from Malver, Pa., was first among the masters women, finishing in a time of 1:19:19.

Both the men’s and women’s races were led by Saturn SKY roadsters, the official vehicles of the 30th Anniversary Philadelphia Distance Run.

Professional Men’s Field
1. Julius Kibet, 25, Kenya, 1:02:02, $8,000
2. Tom Nyariki, 36, Kenya, 1:02:04, $5,000
3. John Yuda, 27, Tanzania, 1:02:05, $3,000
4. MacDonald Ondara, 23, Kenya, 1:02:10, $2,000
5. Festus Langat, 22, Kenya, 1:02:28, $1,500
6. Charles Munyeki, 19, Kenya, 1:02:28, $1,250
7. Samuel Ndereba, 30, Kenya, 1:02:37, $1,000
8. Linuis Maiyo, 24, Kenya, 1:02:46, $750
9. Demesse Tefera, 25, Ethiopia, 1:02:46, $600
10. Daniel Kipkoech, 28, Kenya, 1:02:59, $500

Professional Women’s Field
1. Pamela Chepchumba, 28, Kenya, 1:08:45, $8,000
2. Alice Timbilili, 24, Kenya, 1:08:56, $5,000
3. Edna Kiplagat, 27, Kenya, 1:10:11, $3,000
4. Sharon Cherop, 23, Kenya, 1:10:21, $2,000
5. Hiromi Ominami, 31, Japan, 1:10:41, $1,500
6. Ashu Kasim, 22, Ethiopia, 1:11:19, $1,250
7. Angelina Mutuku, 25, Kenya, 1:11:20, $1,000
8. Olga Kravtsova, 26, Belaruss, 1:11:33, $750
9. Nuta Olaru, 36, Romania, 1:11:46, $600
10. Aziza Aliyu, 22, Ethiopia, 1:12:45, $500

Masters Men
1. Gideon Mutisya, 40, Kenya, 1:08:34, $1,000
2. Fred Klevan, 41, Merion Station, PA, 1:11:48, $500
3. Greg Watson, 41, Media, PA, 1:12:02, $250

Masters Women
1. Doreen McCoubrie, 45, Malvern, PA 1:19:19, $1,000
2. Lori Kingsley, 41, Wysox, PA 1:22:14, $500
3. Lee Dipietro, 49, Ruxton, MD 1:23:01, $250
Top Philadelphia Male
1. Bryan Skelly, 25, Philadelphia, 1:07:09, $1,000

Top Philadelphia Female
1. Claire Duncan, 24, Philadelphia, 1:18:46, $1,000

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