PITTSBURGH – At the 7th DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday morning, Clara Santucci of Dilliner, PA defended her title with a late race surge in 2 hours, 34 minutes, 6 seconds, while Stephen Njoroge of Kenya won the men’s race in 2:15:19. In the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon Kenyans Susan Jerotich and Kimutai Cheruiyot took the titles in 1:13:25 and 1:03:16 respectively. Under sunny conditions, 23,238 of marathoners and half-marathoners plus 1,158 FedEx Ground Pittsburgh Marathon Relay teams ran through downtown Pittsburgh and 13 neighborhoods.
“We again had a record number of participants in our Marathon and Half Marathon, and it was so thrilling to see local runner Clara Santucci defend her title in the City of Champions!” said Patrice Matamoros, P3R CEO and race director of the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. “Our sponsors, our ‘Game on Pittsburgh’ runners, the spectators and the city make this community event happen, and we thank them.”
Like last year, the women’s 26.2 mile race again featured a duel; this time between defending champion Clara Santucci and debutante Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton of Kenya. Tuliamuk-Bolton, 26, took over the pace by the halfway point (1:15:08) with Santucci 48 seconds back. By 20 miles, Tuliamuk-Bolton had built up a 1 minute, 33 second lead over Santucci and looked in command of the race. Over the next 4 miles, however, Santucci had cut the lead down to 48 seconds and between mile 25 and 26, the West Virginia graduate caught the tiring Tuliamuk-Bolton and went un-challenged to the tape in 2:34:06 with Tuliamuk-Bolton runner-up in 2:34:44. Santucci, 28, who became the first repeat women’s champion since Wioletta Kryza (2001-02), also took home $13,500 ($8000 as race champion, $4500 American Development Program bonus and $1000 as top Pennsylvanian).
“It feels great to be two-time race champion. There was more pressure this year. Last year, I was just a first time runner in Pittsburgh and it wasn’t as much pressure. Everyone is so encouraging and it feels amazing. I’m so glad I could do it again,” said Santucci after claiming her second career marathon victory. “After I get my legs recovered, I’ll do some summer racing, but the big goal is the Olympic Trials in February and making the Olympic Team. I’m taking this as a stepping stone to that goal.”
In the men’s Marathon, Stephen Njoroge, like Santucci, followed the competition. Ethiopian Mulue Andom Berhe, who set the pace, led at the halfway mark (1:06:05) with the Kenyan 16 seconds back. By 20 miles, Njoroge had pulled away from Berhe, and at 24 miles, he had a 48 second lead over his rival. The 25-year-old eventually cruised to a 24 second victory, 2:15:19 to 2:15:43 for runner-up Negash Abebe Duki of Ethiopia, and took home $8000.
Tyler McCandless, 28, a Penn State graduate and resident of Boulder, CO was the top American, finishing fourth with a time of 2:18:29.
“I’m proud how tough I ran running the last 16 to 17 miles alone. I’ll learn from it and I really appreciate the Pittsburgh community and the staff at the Pittsburgh Marathon for a great event,” said McCandless who earned $7000 ($2500 and $4500 ADP first U.S. bonus).
The women’s UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon featured a two-woman race between Kenyans Susan Jerotich and Hellen Jemutai who battled until the final mile when Jerotich, 28, surged hard on the downhill to win in 1:13:25 followed by Jemutai second (1:13:35). Caitlin Comfort, 25, of Madison, WI was fourth overall and first American, clocking 1:14:26, pocketing $5000 ($2000 and $3000 ADP first U.S. bonus).
“From the start we were trying to break the course record, but we didn’t manage to break it today. I was with my friend till the end, but then I needed to kick for the win. At 10 miles I knew either my friend or I could win today. It was a great feeling,” said Jerotich post-race.
The men’s Half Marathon was also a duel with 2013 race champion and course record holder Julius Kogo and countryman Kimutai Cheruiyot trading the lead until Cheruiyot sprinted hard down the final stretch to beat Kogo, 1:03:16 to 1:03:19. First American was Sam Morse, 31, Camden, NY who finished 6th in 1:05:42, earning $3500 ($500 and $3000 ADP first U.S. bonus).
“I was proud to see my friend Julius next to me and we both struggled together. Last week I won the Hy-Vee Half Marathon in 64 minutes and today I was 63 minutes, so I was very happy with my improvement. I ran the EQT 10-Miler last November and I wanted to return to Pittsburgh to race. I looked back over the last bridge and saw Julius still near me and I thought ‘let’s go,’” commented Cheruiyot who like Jerotich also collected $6500 for the win.
For the Marathon and Half Marathon, P3R’s American Development Program overall awarded $40,500 to the top five U.S. runners.
Carlos Moleda, 52, from Bluffton, SC won the men’s Marathon Handcycle Division presented by PNC Bank in 1:23:48. Moleda was one of ten athletes representing the Paralyzed Veterans Racing team. Ashli Molinero, 43, of Bethel Park, PA captured the women’s title in 1:59:57. A record 24 handcycle athletes participated in this morning’s event.
1) Stephen Njoroge (KEN), 2:15:19, $8000 2) Negash Abebe Duki (ETH), 2:15:43, $6000 3) Werkuhah Seyoum Aboye (ETH), 2:17:13, $4000 4) Tyler McCandless (USA/CO), 2:18:29, $7000* 5) Bryan Morseman (USA/NY), 2:22:25, $5000* 6) Jed Christiansen (USA/PA), 2:23:48, $4500+ 7) Tony Migliozzi (USA/OH), 2:24:44, $3000* 8) Tufa Genna (ETH), 2:27:12 9) Tyler Sewald (USA/CO), 2:29:09 10) Zachary Hoagland (USA/PA), 2:31:26
*Includes American Development Program U.S.-only money + Includes American Development Program U.S.-only money and $1000 first Pennsylvanian
1) Lee Shaw, 40, (MI), 2:43:14, $1000 2) Eric Anish, 46, (PA), 2:44:25, $500 3) Glenn Edwards, 45, (PA), 2:44:59, $250
1) Clara Santucci (USA/PA), 2:34:06, $13,500+ 2) Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton (KEN), 2:34:44, $6000 3) Christina Murphy (USA/OH), 2:40:29, $7500* 4) Yihunlish Bekele (ETH), 2:41:10, $2500 5) Dininet Memisew Jara (ETH), 2:41:45, $1500 6) Loice Kangogo (KEN), 2:45:57, $1000 7) Emily Potter (USA/VA), 2:46:45, $3000* 8) Emily Gordon (USA/MN), 2:47:29, $1500* 9) Anna Weber (USA/IN), 2:47:54, $1000* 10) Devon Yanko (USA/CA), 2:51:58
+ Includes American Development Program U.S.-only money and $1000 first Pennsylvanian *Includes American Development Program U.S.-only money
1) Candida Keller, 40, (NJ), 3:20:37, $1000 2) Tammy Slusser, 50, (PA), 3:21:39, $500 3) Stacy Kopchak, 51, (PA), 3:22:42, $250
1) Kimutai Cheruiyot (KEN), 1:03:16, $6500 2) Julius Kogo (KEN), 1:03:19, $4000 3) Yonas Mebrahtu (ERI), 1:04:12, $3000 4) Jordan Chipangama (ZAM), 1:04:44, $2000 5) Ayele Megersa Feisa (ETH), 1:05:38, $1000 6) Sam Morse (USA/NY), 1:05:42, $3500* 7) Christian Thompson (USA/PA), 1:06:43, $2250* 8) Jeff Weiss (USA/PA), 1:07:35, $1000* 9) Josh Dedering (USA/MN), 1:07:53, $750* 10) Nik Schweikert (USA/OH), 1:09:13, $500*
*Includes American Development Program U.S.-only money
1) Susan Jerotich (KEN), 1:13:25, $6500 2) Hellen Jemutai (KEN), 1:13:35, $4000 3) Serkalem Biset Abrha (ETH), 1:14:15, $3000 4) Caitlin Comfort (USA/WI), 1:14:26, $5000* 5) Carly Seymour (USA/PA), 1:15:04, $3000* 6) Kelsi Nutter (USA/OH), 1:17:37, $1500* 7) Maria Elena Calle (ECU), 1:18:26 8) Jennifer Bigham (USA/PA), 1:18:36, $1000* 9) Mindy Sawtelle-Zottola, 42, (USA/PA), 1:21:34 10) Sara Zambotti (USA/PA), 1:22:33
*Includes American Development Program U.S.-only money