Defending champion Stanley Biwott wins 2013 Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

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Stanley Biwott is a second-time winner of the Philadelphia Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon. (Robert J. Senior / Philly.com)

It's official: Stanley Biwott, the winner of last year's Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in Philadelphia, is also this year's top male finisher.

Biwott's official time of 59:36 means he ran the fastest half marathon on U.S. soil this year and now holds the second fastest time in the half marathon's 36-year history.. He beat the second-place runner, Cybrian Kotut, (who is also his training partner) by 23 seconds.

"It was easier this time, being familiar with the course," Biwott told Sports Doc's Rob Senior after his victory. "I will be back to try to win a 3rd in a row, if I'm invited."

The 27-year-old from Kenya is also running the New York City Marathon in November. When asked if he thinks he'll win, Biwott said "I don't know about that... but I won the Paris Marathon last year. I am ready to do my best."

Stanley Biwott ran his personal best of 58:56 at the Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates earlier this year.

Of the female runners, the top finisher was Lyudmyla Kovalenko, 24, of Ukraine. Her official finish time of 01:08:59 was less than 1 second faster than second place finisher Konjit Biruk. Kovalenko's time is a new Ukrainian national record for female half-marathon.

"I was just holding my pace... I knew if I stayed close, I could finish strong," Kovalenko shared after the race.

Stanley Biwott and Lyudmyla Kovalenko were just two of 22,500 entrants in the 36th annual event.

Top Overall Finishers

Men

1. Stanley Biwott, Kenya - 59:37

2. Cybrian Kotut, Kenya - 59:59

3. Edwin Kipyego, Kenya - 01:00:04

4. Ghirmy Ghebreselassie, Eritrea - 01:02:27

5. Abdellah Falil, Morocco - 01:02:44

Women:

1. Lyudmyla Kovalenko, Ukraine - 01:08:59

2. Konjit Biruk, Ethiopia - 01.09:00

3. Hanae Tanaka, Japan - 01:10:02

4. Tomomi Tanaka, Japan - 01:10:03

5. Asami Kato, Japan - 1:10:21

Top U.S. Finishers

Men

1. Fernando Cabada, Boulder, CO - 1:03:53

2. Eliud Ngetich, New York, NY - 1:03:55

3. Mike Sayenko, Bellevue, WA - 1:04:36

4. Jeremy Criscione, Gainesville, FL - 1:04:52

5. Ahmed Osman, Flagstaff, AZ - 1:04:54

Women

1. Susanna  Sullivan, Falls Church, VA - 1:16:19

2. Julie Culley, Arlington, VA - 1:16:28

3. Christine Ramsey, Baltimore - MD, 1:16:37

4. Chantelle Wilder, Monte Sereno - 1:16:42

5. Emily Hulme, Havertown, PA - 1:16:53

Masters (over 40)

Men

Phillipe Rolly, 41, McLean, VA - 1:09:00

Women

Dorota Gruca, 42, Las Cruces, NM - 1:15:25

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