Elite runners in the Blue Cross Broad Street Run journey to Philadelphia, run the 10-mile race and leave. Their names are rarely remembered.
Patrick Cheruiyot will be remembered, for a while at least.
Aided by a strong tailwind yesterday, Cheruiyot broke the course record by two seconds. The 21-year-old Kenyan was clocked in 45 minutes, 14 seconds.
Simon Wangai held the previous record (2002).
"Good course," a smiling Cheruiyot said, giving the thumbs up signal.
Cheruiyot, the youngest winner in the 28-year history of the run, edged Benson Cheruiyot (no relation) by five seconds.
They ran side-by-side past the nine-mile marker. As they sprinted into the Naval Business Center in South Philadelphia, Patrick broke away about 30 meters from the finish line.
Patrick collected $2,000, including a $500 bonus for setting the course record.
The Cheruiyots said they planned to run together.
"We wanted to run 4:28 per mile," Benson said.
When they are in the United States they train together in the West Chester area.
Benson, 24, said he is focusing on marathons. He finished third in the Houston Marathon in January in 2 hours, 14 minutes, 3 seconds.
Naomi Wangui, also of Kenya, won the women's race in 53:43, 36 seconds off Catherine Ndereba's course record (1999).
"I was planning to break the course record, but I didn't know the course," Wangui, 28, said. "I felt so bad [about not breaking the mark] because when I saw the finish line I was feeling strong."
Wangui earned $1,500 for her victory.
Olga Romanova, last year's women's winner, finished second in 54:14. She led for close to three miles yesterday.
"[Then Wangui] just pushed faster," Romanova, 26, said. "My legs couldn't do it."
Last year Romanova won in 53:21; she trains in Germantown, Md.
Renee Gunning, a former Pennridge High and North Carolina State runner who coaches at Penn Charter, was third in 54:28 in her first 10-mile race.
A record 15,800 runners finished the race. There were 17,883 registered runners, also a record. *
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