BERLIN, GERMANY - Iona College men's cross country and track and field graduate Stephen Chemlany '06 finished second overall in the 38th annual BMW Berlin Marathon on Sunday. Chemlany ran a personal best time of 2:07:55.
In what can be described as one of the greatest athletic feats by an Iona College athletics alum, Chemlany finished between fellow Kenyan's Patrick Makau (2:03:38) and Edwin Kimayo (2:09:50) in the 26.2 mile event. Makau set a world record in the event, besting the previous record-holder, Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, who had run 2:03:59 in Berlin in 2008.
"I just want to thank the entire Iona community for acknowledging this performance which I have been dearly hoping for since the begining of this season," said Chemlany via email. "It has been through tireless efforts of training, focus, determination and hope that has enabled my performance up to this mark. I still believe that I can do better than this - very possible 2:04 sometime in the future. I am extremly happy (for the time) and it will just be a motivation and for better results come next season."
Chemlany also added a personal note to his current Iona bretheren. "I also want to wish the Gaels' teams all the best in their competition for I know that 'Through their determination and persistence, success is omnipotent'. GO GAELS!!!!"
Starting off the event as one of its pacemakers for the first 20 miles, Chemlany held on to the second place performance.
Chemlany spent three seasons with the Gaels appearing in three NCAA Cross Country championships from 2003-05. In 2004, he had is top finish in the 10k event, just missing an All-American honor as the 33rd finisher in Terre Haute. Chemlany was a three-time All-Northeast region performer in cross country and earned four MAAC Championships in track in field, finishing first in the 3k and the 5k in back-to-back years in 2005 and 2006. He earned his bachelor's degree from Iona in Computer Science in 2006 and master's in the same in 2008.