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Peabody Man Wins Philadelphia Marathon

Peabody Man Wins Philadelphia Marathon

11/24/14

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2014/11/23/massachusetts-man-wins-philadelphia-marathon/Asm9XuLC2z8d7SUVcl1leL/story.html

A Massachusetts man who won the Philadelphia Marathon in 2010 returned to win it again Sunday.

Dan Vassallo, 29, of Peabody, Massachusetts, also finished fast enough to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic trials. To do that, Vassallo had to run faster than 2:18. His winning time was 2:17:28, race officials said.

‘‘To qualify for the Olympic trials was a huge highlight,’’ Vassallo said. ‘‘And here of all places, I love this city.’’

Vassallo likely ruffled the feathers of his fellow Boston area residents when he told NBC that the city of brotherly love “is probably the best sports town in America.”

Leonora Patrina, of Bayport, New York, was the fastest female finisher, with a time of 2:40:00.

Sunday was Patrina’s first full marathon. She ran the half marathon in Philadelphia last year with a time of 1:10:53.

‘‘It’s pretty cool, actually, I didn’t expect to win,’’ Patrina said Sunday. ‘‘I was hoping for top 5.’’

More than 30,000 runners participated in the marathon and several related events this weekend, including a half marathon, an 8-kilometer run and a Kids Fun Run.

Vassallo’s winning time was more than four minutes faster than in 2010. He won that race with a time of 2:21:36. This year, Vassallo beat Abebe Mekuriya, the 2013 winner, by seven seconds.

The race drew about 60,000 spectators, including Mayor Michael Nutter, who cheered on runners as they left the starting line.

‘‘I probably slapped 10,000 hands out there today,’’ Nutter said.

After a week of unseasonably cold temperatures, the race began with temperatures in the mid-40s.