There were about 18,000 runners in the Philadelphia Marathon, but two Ukrainians outran them all on a frigid Sunday. Andriy Toptun won in 2 hours, 19 minutes, 58 seconds over the 26.2-mile course, while Vera Ovcharuk clocked in at 2:44.03 in her marathon debut.
"I had to run alone and it was cold, so the time is not too bad," Toptun said through an interpreter.[American runner Fred] Kieser lost sight of Toptun early in the race."I thought I might have a chance at the eight-mile mark, but he just had too much left in the tank," said Kieser, who coaches a high school girls cross country team.
The Philly Marathon, founded in 1954, awards $3,500 to the first-place finishers.
Even if I had a remote shot to win that kind of money in a marathon, I still don't think I'd venture into 30-degree weather for such a grueling race... which is why I give these long-distance runners, like FanHouse's very own This Suit Is Not Black, so much credit for having that kind of will.
1. Andriy Toptun, 27, 2:19:58 (Ukraine)
2. Fred Kieser, 37, 2:22.45 (Cleveland)
1. Vera Ovcharuk, 27, 2:44.03 (Ukraine)
2. Abby Dean, 37, 2:48.52 (Philadelphia)
Philadelphia Marathon Results: Ukrainian Pair Runs Away With Race originally appeared on FanHouse Back Porch on Sun, 23 Nov 2008 19:25:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.