By Justin D’Ancona and Robert Senior
Last week, Sports Doc profiled competitors in the Rothman Institute 8K and the Philadelphia Marathon and Half-Marathon. Each athlete was running with different motivations and for unique causes, but the one common thread was their desire to compete in the City of Brotherly Love. Here were their results and reactions:
Hugh Campbell of Wilmington, Del. started off race weekend with another record-setting performance. Campbell, 88, finished the Rothman Institute 8K in 47 minutes, 40 seconds, shattering the USA Track and Field record for runners age 85 and over at that distance.
“I felt fine,” says Campbell. “A big problem I had was the sun was just coming up and I couldn’t see. I never wear sunglasses so I had to hold my hand in front of my face. It was my own fault but that initial 100 yards was murder.” There’s no rest for the weary--Campbell’s set to run a 10K for charity in Wilmington on Thanksgiving Day.
Elliot Gordon of Princeton Junction, N.J. finished Sunday’s half-marathon in 2:50:26. Gordon, who is less than four years removed from life-threatening surgery to repair an aortic dissection, told Sports Doc last week he wanted to run a 13:30 pace per mile—meaning he exceeded his own expectations. “It was a wonderful event,” Gordon summarizes. “It was indeed a celebration.”
Linda Reilly of Carlisle, Pa. covered the 26.2 mile course in 4:19:40, besting her 2011 finish by nearly a full hour. Reilly ran for the Organization for Autism Research, and said the event was a triumph not only personally, but for her cause.
“When I crossed the finish line, the announcer called my name and the name of our charity,” she recalls. “That was thrilling. I had my kids there at the finish and I got to celebrate with them and my teammates. Then I was able to talk via Skype with Shane [her husband, currently stationed in Kuwait].”
Chip Bearden of Boonton Township, N.J. finished in 5:13:27. Bearden returned to Philadelphia yesterday after missing the 2011 marathon—the first he hadn’t run since 1995. “It wasn’t the solid time I’d hoped for, but I’m happy with the experience,” Bearden says. “I feel very blessed and fortunate.”
Mike Fanelli of San Francisco, Cal. finished with a time of 4:08:01, running his 100,000th lifetime mile in the process. Fanelli pinpoints hitting the milestone around the 14-mile mark, revealing that yesterday also marked his 690th consecutive day of pounding the pavement doing some type of running.
Asked when he planned to take a break, Fanelli laughed, “The day after I hit one thousand in a row.”
And last—but only on this list—Mike McKeeman of Ardmore, Pa. is the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon champion. McKeeman ran the course in 2:17:47, a full 43 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. It’s McKeeman’s first lifetime marathon victory after near-misses in Chicago in 2009 and right here in Philadelphia in 2006.
"It was a dream come true. It is definitely the new highlight of my running career," said McKeeman. Look for a full interview on McKeeman and his hometown triumph tomorrow.