Two first-time participants enjoyed successful debuts at the 22nd annual Philadelphia Marathon while also enjoying the hospitality of the fans.
Having to overcome some windy conditions, Teklu Deneke, 36, of Ethiopia was the men's marathon winner and Gisela Olalde Granados, 31, of Mexico captured the women's race.
There were 12,800 registered for the marathon and another 12,200 for the half marathon.
"I really liked the people on the road," said Deneke, who had a winning time of 2 hours, 17 minutes and 44 seconds.
What he didn't like was the weather, which was about 50 degrees when the race began a little after 7 a.m.
"It was windy and cold, but I was happy to win the race," he said.
Deneke said he expected to win.
"That's why I came here," he said.
And will he return?
"After this, I would like to," he said.
Abraham Kiprop Ruttic, who is from Kenya but since last year has been training in Roxborough, placed second in 2:18:00.
Olalde Granados, who now lives in Nashville, won by a considerable margin in 2:40:05.
"This is a beautiful city, and the people are nice and friendly," she said.
The wind was another matter.
"That was hard, especially as the race went on and I was running more by myself," she said.
Incredibly, Olalde Granados doesn't feel she is at her peak. Her best time was 2:35:43 when she won the Birmingham Marathon in February 2014.
Then again, she has a good reason to still be rounding into form. In March, she had her second child.
"I am getting there," she said.
Second-place Margaret Vido of Philadelphia finished in 2:44:40. Vido is a former runner at Penn and a first-year student at PCOM. She is originally from Nazareth, Pa.
Neither marathon winner approached the course record. The men's record was set in 2003 by Joseph Nderitu (2:16:47). The women's record was set in 2012 by Irina Mashkantceva (2:35;37).
First place in both the men's and women's marathon was worth $3,500, with second place worth $2,000. Going down to fifth place, the prize was $500.
For the half marathon, the first-place prize money was $2,500, with $1,000 for second, down to $250 for fifth.
Saturday's 8K awarded a top prize of $1,000, with $500 for second, down to a fifth-place prize of $100.
Eliud Ngetich, 22, won the men's half marathon, making it a successful weekend, worth $3,500. On Saturday, he won the 8K race.
Ngetich is from Kenya and has been training in Santa Fe, N.M. He won the half marathon in 1:03:40, edging second-place Eirma Gebre of Ethiopia (1:03:41).
"It was exciting coming here and winning two races," Ngetich said.
Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton, 26, was the women's half marathon winner, in 1:09.49. Biruktayit Degefa of Ethiopia finished second in 1:10:25.
"I was so happy to go under 1:10," Tuliamuk-Boton said.
A former 14-time all-American at Wichita State, Tuliamuk-Bolton is originally from Kenya and has been training in Santa Fe. This was her first time in this race.
"It feels amazing," she said. "The conditions were good but a few times there was a head wind, but other than that, it was really good."
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