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Mashkantceva To Defend Philly Title

The Russian set a new course record last year.

The Russian set a course record last year.

Russia’s Irina Mashkantceva will return to the Philadelphia Marathon this weekend to look for a repeat win. Last year, she clocked a course record at the “City of Brotherly Love.” Her time then was 2:35:37.

On the American side, Amanda Marino, who attended nearby Villanova, will be looking for an Olympic Trials qualifier. She placed third in the 2011 edition of the Philadelphia Half Marathon.

Military spouse Kris Lawrence will also toe the lines with the hopes of improving on her 2:49 personal record.

Meanwhile, the men’s field is full of international talent. The course record (2:16:47), set by Joseph Ndetitu back in 2003, stands a good chance of falling. Kenya’s Phillip Lagat is the front runner with his 2:15:26 time that he set earlier this year in India. Compatriot Fred Koskei is also in the mix. He clocked 2:15:37 last year at the Baltimore Marathon.

“We are excited about the depth of the elite field in this year’s Marathon and Half Marathon,” said the race’s executive director, Desiree Peterkin-Bell.

For More: Running USA