For the second year in a row, the Philadelphia Marathon was won by an American. Daniel Vassallo was the first of the roughly 11,000 runners to cross the finish line on Sunday, breaking the tape in 2:21:28.
The women's field was won by Mariska Kramer, 36, of the Netherlands who did it in 2:38.55.
Vassallo, a 25-year old from Massachusetts, suffered a sports hernia injury in July, which had him planning to just run the half-marathon, but his training and recovery went so well he stuck with the full 26.2 mile race. The win left Vassallo emotional afterward.
"I was kind of overcome by emotion a couple times today," says Vassallo. "At 24 miles, I was like, ‘Gosh, I'm going to do this.' At 26, when they were playing the music (‘Chariots of Fire') and calling my name, I got very emotional, especially with all I've been through this year."
Vassallo called it the biggest win of his life.
Meanwhile, Kramer said she knew she had won the race at mile one -- "even though she wasn't sure of her lead until she reached a course turnaround point at mile 20."
"I knew there were other women of equal strength, but I meant to win it," she said. "I believe confidence is part of leading you to victory."
David Bedoya finished second behind Vassallo, in 2:23.37. Ramilia Burangulova was the women's runner-up, finishing in 2:40.32.