Boniface Kongin wins men's 2017 Philadelphia Marathon; Sarah Kiptoo claims women's crown

The elite runners of the Philadelphia Marathon try to stay warm as a cold wind blows through at the starting line on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017.

The rain held out and the sun came out to shine on Boniface Kongin, from Albuquerque, N.M., who endured wind gusts of 23 mph Sunday morning to win the Philadelphia Marathon in 2 hours, 16 minutes, 24 seconds.

Nelson Oyugi finished in second place at 2:18:08. Last year’s winner, Kimutai Cheruiyot, clocked in at 2:22:57 for seventh place. Kenneth Kosgei crossed in third place in 2:18:56.

Sarah Kiptoo, from Santa Fe, N.M., won the women’s race in 2:38:13. It was Kiptoo’s first time in Philadelphia and, along with everyone else, she had to brave the elements.

“I really liked the course,” she said, “but the challenge was the wind. I was saying [to myself], ‘I’m not the only one who has to run here [with the wind]. I just have to focus and go.”

Kiptoo led  early but fell behind toward the middle portion of the race. She regained the lead around mile 20 and took it home from there for her first marathon win this year. Hellen Jemutai, from Chapel Hill, N.C., finished in second place at 2:40:11. Julianne Quinn came in third place at 2:42:12

Patrick Richie was the first runner from Philadelphia to finish  for the second straight year, completing the marathon in 2:27:33.

Richie, 26,  who lives in South Philadelphia, near the sports complex, runs seven days a week, totaling 60 to 80 miles. He, too, struggled with the conditions, but the reigning city champion thought he could repeat.

“I was much more aggressive this year in the early parts of the race than I was last year,” he said. “I felt like my preparation was a little better, but just the wind of Kelly Drive caught up with me pretty hard, especially on the last couple of miles.”

Beth Blendell was the first woman from Philadelphia to finish,  in 3:01:05.