Philadelphia Marathon winners set new records

Justin Udo
November 18, 2018 - 10:31 am

Justin Udo | KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) —  With a time of 2:14:46, Tadesse Yai Dabi won the American Association for Cancer Research' s Philadelphia Marathon for the men's race and set a new course record Sunday.

The women's leader, Serkalem Abrha, also set a record with a time of 2:32:51.

This 26.2-mile race took hundreds of runners all over Philadelphia including Center City, Old City, and Manayunk before crossing the finish line at Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

For their history-making win Tadesse and Serkalem will take home $10,000 dollars each, and another $1,500 dollars for setting a new course record.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney was also in attendance and congratulated the winners.

For many runners KYW Newsradio spoke to, the race started long before Sunday morning.

"Training wise, I've done a lot of long runs on the weekends and I've run cross country during the year," said Lisa D'Ambrosio.

For D'Ambrosio running her first marathon in the cold was not enough to keep her from competing and she will reward herself with a cold treat.

"Milkshakes!," she said.

For the last 8 years Pete Celona has worked towards his goal of running a marathon in under three hours.

"I was running 60 to 70 miles per week. I had a race plan and I executed it," Celona told KYW Newsradio.

The West Philadelphia native accomplished his goal, by running the marathon in 2:59:15. It's something that took him three tries to do.

"It finally comes true. I can hardly believe it. I'm still processing it," he said.

Celona says the race was tough, but well worth it.

"The hardest part was I felt my legs cramping up, so I followed my breath and I focused on my breathing."

For others the race was a part of a personal mission.

Yasir Salem, of New York, is determined to run 50 marathons in 50 weeks. He ran Sunday's marathon in a little more than four hours.

"It was a race that I ran at a slightly easier pace. I need to save my legs for the next three marathons in the next three weeks."

Salem is running the races to honor his late wife, Gweneviere Mann, who died earlier this year of lung cancer. He says marathon running is something they loved to do together, and it's part of his healing process.

"I do think about her of course, I let the grief flow through me. I accept it, then I keep running and go back to business," he told KYW Newsradio.

Starting next year Salem says he will show up to marathons with a special vehicle aimed at detecting lung cancer.

"We're going to have a low dose CT scan van it will take 15 minutes, anybody can come in," he said.

To learn more about the Gweneviere Mann Foundation, log on to