An estimated 30,000 runners took part in Sunday’s Philadelphia Marathon, one of the largest fall road races in the United States. Because of its late-season timing and flat course, the race has become a popular destination for Canadians in recent years.
Three Canadians went under 2:30 including two Quebec-based athletes led by Anthony Larouche’s 2:27:08. The Quebec City resident went through the halfway point in 1:11:48. Christian Mercier followed closely in 2:28:17 while London, Ont.’s Matt Suda ran 2:28:33. Mercier, 42, was the winner of the men’s 40-44 age division. (Pictured below in the black top, black pants.)
Arwen McKay of Toronto was the top Canadian woman in 3:00:46 following a 1:28:53 split through the half-marathon. She opted to celebrate after the race by climbing the famous “Rocky Steps,” the set of stairs in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art which got their name because of its appearance in the Rocky series.
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The Nov. 18-20 race weekend featured the full distance option in addition to a half-marathon and 8K on Saturday. Splitting the half-marathon and marathon from a single-day event was a new initiative by race organizers as marathon runners had the course to themselves on Sunday.
Start of the race
Conditions were cool and windy on Sunday morning – the race began at 7 a.m. local time – though the men’s marathon winner, Kimutai Cheruiyot, set a new course record running 2:15:53. The women’s winner Taylor Ward ran 2:36:25.