Added security precautions taken in aftermath of Boston explosions, Joseph Ekuom and Linda Hawke take master's titles
PHILADELPHIA (May 5, 2013) - A sold old field of 40,000 runners took to the streets of Philadelphia for the 34th Blue Cross Broad Street Run on Sunday. In the elite ranks, Ayelle Feisha and Askala Merachi took home the championship titles.
When the gun sounded, Cole Atkins, 27, of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, moved to the front of the pack, but his burst of speed was short lived. By mile two, with a split of 9:11, right by Temple University’s School of Medicine, several elite runners easily caught up, including Ayelle Feisha, 25, who won the race, 47 minutes, 3 seconds. A native of Ethiopia, Feisha trains in New York, under the management of Feven Alem.
Feisha said through Alem that this is his first year running in the United States. Not only was this his first time competing at Broad Street, but it was his first time coming to Philadelphia.
“He wanted to run here because he was attracted by the prize money,” said Alem. He collected $3,000. He woke up at 4:30 AM and traveled to Philadelphia, with just enough time to stretch and prepare for the race.
Feisha was familiar with some of his competitors, such as 29-year-old Eric Chirchir, of Kenya now training in New Jersey. “I beat him (Chirchir) two weeks ago (at the Pike’s Peek 10K in Maryland),” said Feisha through Alem. According to Alem, Feisha finished second and Chirchir finished seventh at Pike’s Peek. “I was confident I could beat him again (at Broad Street).”
The lead pack at two miles consisted of Feisha, Chirchir who finished second 47:11, third place finisher Girma Gebre, 20, 47:17, fourth place finisher, El-Monaziz Abdelhadi, 36, 47:21 and Atkins who finished fifth in 47:44.
By four miles, in front of the Columbia YMCA at Broad and Girard, the lead pack’s split was 18:31.
“I thought I still had a chance,” said Atkins. But by mile seven, at Broad and Federal, he knew that he was not going to win. If he had won, he would have been the first American to have done so since 1994 when Eric Lorenz won with a 49:21 clocking.
As the leaders approached the finish line, the temperature slowly made its way from the mid 50s close to the 60-degree range.
“It was cold,” said Feisha through Alem, “I was not tired.”
With less than a mile to go, the race came down to Feisha and Chirchir vying for the lead. “I thought I could take him,” said Chirchir. “Not this time.”
Feisha was somewhat happy with his win. “He wanted to finish in 46 minutes,” said Alem. “He wants to come back next year and do it (finish in 46 minutes), but he will have to do more speed work. It is his first time he ever ran a 10 - mile race.”
The women’s field was less competitive as Askala Merachi, 23, of Ethiopia, won, 53:46. Last year she finished second at Broad Street, 55:53. “I was happy with my time,” said Merachi.
Finishing second was Tsehay Getiso, 20, 54:11, followed by Jane Murage, 26, 54:37. The fourth place finisher, Clara Grandt, 26, 55:03 of Morgantown, West Virginia, was the first female American to cross the finish line.
This was Grandt’s Broad Street Run debut. “I looked at the past times that won this race and I thought I had a chance to win, or at least be the first American,” said Grandt, who used Broad Street Run as a tune up for the Ottawa Marathon later this month.
When the two bomb explosions disrupted the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that the the Blue Cross Broad Street Run (10 Miler) would proceed as originally scheduled. “I was confident that we were going to have our race,” said Mayor Nutter. “We went through extensive planning.” The Broad Street Run is capped at 40,000 participants.
Blue Cross Broad Street Run Race Director Jim Marino said that the police and security people checked runners’ running gear carefully. He added that these measures were in place before the tragedy in Boston, except people were now more aware of such precautions. The police made sure that all vehicles were off the 10-mile race-course before the race
The course goes from North Broad - Broad Street and W. Fisher Avenue to the Philadelphia Navy Yard at South Broad Street. .“We told runners not to bring back packs or coolers,” said Marino. “I wasn’t discouraged about putting on the race. We’re Americans. We battle back.”
Before the race began, Mayor Nutter acknowledged the people of Boston who suffered on the day of the marathon.
34th Blue Cross Broad Street Run
Philadelphia, PA, Sunday, May 5, 2013
1. Ayelle Feisha, 47:03 $3,000
2. Eric Chirchir, 47:11 $1,500
3. Girma Gebre, 47:17 $1,000
4. El-Monaziz Abdelhad,i 47:21 $750
5. Cole Atkins, 47:44 $1,000 ($500.00 for finishing fifth and $500 to first American.)
1. Askala Merachi, 53:46 $3,000
2. Tsehay Getiso, 54:11 $1,500
3. Jane Murage, 54:37 $1,000
4. Clara Grandt, 55:03 $1,250 ($750 for finishing fourth and $500 to first American)
5. Amanda Marino, 55:38 $900 ($500 for finishing fifth and $400 to second American)
MASTERS - MEN
1. Joseph Ekuom, 43, 54:24 $500
2. Greg Watson, 46, 54:30 $400
3. Elliott Frieder,42, 56:11 $300
4. Jonathan Frieder, 42, 56:14 $200
5. Bill Gould, 44, 57:27 $100
MASTERS - WOMEN
1. Linda Hawke, 45, 1:00:10 $500
2. Doreen McCoubrie, 51, 1:00:57 $400
3. Abby Dean, 41, 1:02:16 $300
4. Cecily Tynan, 44, 1:02:19 $200
5. Michelle Brangan, 43, 1:02:45 $100
For full results, visit http://www.broadstreetrun.com/