by Mike Dougherty and Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The 23rd annual Philadelphia Marathon drew tens of thousands of runners, but the biggest battle on the course was the blustery wind and cold.

30,000 runners crossed the starting line in waves beginning at 7 a.m.

They shed layers of clothing meant to keep them warm, then took on 26.2 scenic miles starting at Eakins Oval, down the Parkway to Race Street, then along the Delaware River to Chestnut, then to Kelly Drive to Manayunk, to the finish line on the Ben Franklin Parkway.

Russ Martinson, the elite race coordinator, says the most challenging part of the race was the wind.

“Definitely slows you down, it also just wears on you,” said Martinson.

Despite the cold and the wind, the Philadelphia Marathon finished in record-breaking fashion.

26.2 miles of frigid fun through Philadelphia and Kimutai Cheruiyot from Kenya did it in record time: 2 hours 15 minutes.

“I feel good. It was good but a little cold,” said Cheruiyot.

In fact, the pace was so fast for the men that the top three finishers actually broke the course record.

Women's first place finisher Taylor Ward. (credit: Mike Dougherty)

Women’s first place finisher Taylor Ward. (credit: Mike Dougherty)

Taylor Ward from Utah won the women’s race. And she came close to breaking the record.

“That was my personal best, so I’m really happy with it. I feel good,” said Ward.

She says the $10,000 prize will go a long way in helping to pay off her student loans.

Spcatators lined the Parkway dressed in layers, and medics were on hand to help weary runners.

The best part for many was the accomplishment, and the race swag: a liberty bell race medal for their trouble.