Berkeley student wins P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Ariz marathon - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Berkeley student wins P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona marathon

Posted: Updated: Jan 20, 2013 05:47 PM
TEMPE, Ariz. -

Tens of thousands of people laced up their running shoes and hit the pavement for P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona on Sunday morning.

Race coordinators say they've never seen a marathon run like this in Arizona before. They say there were three lead changes and, in the end, a virtual unknown from Berkeley won.

"Oh it was amazing. I was not expecting to win, I just got lucky and had a great race," said Ryan Neely.

23-year old Neely was the first marathon runner to cross the finish line Sunday with a time of 2:31:07.

"I mean, I was hoping for a top 10 today, I think," said Neely.

Race coordinators say Phoenix-born Roosevelt Cook led most of the race, even battling it out with a Moroccan runner for 10 miles, until that runner fell behind.

But, at mile 21 Roosevelt started cramping.

Neely came out of no where.

"I was in third place most of the race...looked like the guys in front of me had a rough time, maybe locked up a little bit. I just had a little left," said Neely.

Neely's girlfriend, Kelly O'Donnel, was about 15 minutes behind him.

She came in third in the women's full marathon.

The two met at Harvard where they ran.

He's now getting his Ph.D. at University of California, Berkeley, in neuroscience and she's getting her Ph.D. at University of California, Santa Cruz, in ecology and evolutionary biology.

The leaderboard - featured some local racers.

A Mesa man came in fourth in the men's full marathon.

A Sierra Vista woman came in first in the women's full marathon, with a time of just over 2-hours, 44 minutes.

A woman from Flagstaff won the women's half marathon, while a Flagstaff man came in third in the men's half.

P.F. Chang's Leaderboard:

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