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Canadians place well in Philadelphia Marathon

Canadians place well in Philadelphia Marathon

Scott Leitch

November 24, 2014

The 2014 Philadelphia Marathon weekend saw 30,000 runners compete in the marathon, half-marathon and 8K races.

Canada’s best result this weekend was a masters win in the half-marathon by Christian Mercier, who ran 1:12:09, but he wasn’t the only Canadian with an impressive result.

In the marathon, Philippe Viau-Dupuis was the top Canadian man, finishing fifth overall with a 2:20:42. Denise Robson of Dartmouth, N.S. was the top female, running 2:50:39. Robson and Jutta Merilainen of Batawa. Ont. finished second and third in the women’s master category. Merilainen has had success in Philadelphia before. She was the 2009 overall winner.

“It was a banner day for the Gore-Tex Philadelphia Marathon and half-marathon,” race director Desiree Peterkin-Bell said. “Having a past winner and a first-time marathoner take the top spots in the full-marathon was a great highlight for this year’s race weekend. As usual, our amazing fans helped keep the excitement going all day long, from the moment the runners began until the last participants crossed the finish line.”

American Dan Vassallo of Peabody, Mass. won the race in 2:17:17, beating two East African runners in a hotly contested race. East Coast runners may recognize Vassallo from his participation in the 2014 Cabot Trail Relay in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Leonora Petrina of Bayport, N.Y. won the women’s race in 2:39:59.

The event is a popular destination race for Canadians, being held in a city that hasn’t reached the point of being too cold for road races during late November and not too far to consider for many Southern Ontario, Quebec and Maritime runners. Canadians looking for a late-season race to capitalize on fitness after missing a September or October race closer to home, the event in Philadelphia offers an opportunity to run a popular, big-city marathon after most of the other options have been exhausted for the season.