Updated 1:45 p.m. March 15, 2015
Daniel Kiprop Limo was the men’s winner of Sunday’s 30th annual Los Angeles Marathon, while fellow Kenyan Ogla Jerono Kimaiyo was the women’s winner.
Limo passed fellow Kenyan Edwin Koech in the 22nd mile to retake his earlier lead, and remained ahead for the remaining for miles to the finish line in Santa Monica.
Limo, 31, won in two hours, 10 minutes, 36 seconds. Lani Rutto of Kenya ran 2:12:43 to finish second for the second consecutive year.
Jared Ward of Provo, Utah was third in 2:12:56, the race’s best finish by an American man since 1995, when Bob Kempainen finished second.
A U.S. runner last won the men’s race in 1994, and Africans have won every men’s race since 1997.
On the woman’s side, Kimaiyo passed Blake Russell in the 19th mile to regain the lead and remained ahead for the remainder of the race.
The 26-year-old Kimaiyo was timed in 2:34:10, 23 seconds ahead of Russian Natalya Puchkova at 2:34:33. Russell of Pacific Grove as third in 2:34:57.
Kimaiyo was the fifth African woman to have won the race in the past six years. A U.S. woman last won in 1994.
The men’s and women’s winners both received $25,000, the runners-up $12,500 and third-place finishers $10,000.
The race also served as the USA Track & Field Marathon Championships, and organizers called this year’s crop of elite runners as the best in the race’s history. Ninety-one elite runners, including 74 from the U.S., turned out at the starting line at Dodger Stadium.
Ward and Russell each received $25,000 for winning the USA Track & Field Marathon Championships, in addition to the $10,000 they each received for their overall third-place finishes. USATF runners-up Matt Llano and Heather Lieberg received $15,000 each and third-place finishers Michael Morgan and Brianne Nelson $10,000 each.
The full field start at Dodger Stadium was moved up a half-hour, to 6:55 a.m., as part of the efforts by race organizers to ensure runner safety amid a forecast of record temperatures.
Wave starts were utilized in an attempt to ensure proper runner spacing and enable more efficient replenishment of supplies at early aid stations. Water and sports drinks were provided at all 24 aid stations.
Race officials asked spectators to consider bringing water, ice or other aid to assist runners.
“Cooling buses” were stationed along the course and at the finish line; misting stations, cold towels and ice were provided and the length of time finish line services will be available was extended.
The temperature at the start of the race “wasn’t that bad,” Russell said.
“I warmed up and you could definitely tell there was a little bit of humidity in the air so you needed to be careful,” Russell said. “There was a good breeze out there and I didn’t notice (the heat) until about 17 miles” when she realized “it was getting a little warm.”
The race’s pace made it clear “everyone was being more conservative because of the weather,” Russell said.
The earlier start “made it more comfortable at the beginning to not have the bright sun beating down on you,” Russell said.
Marathon organizers “did an amazing job at taking every precaution they could to help us out,” Ward said. “I do think it made a big difference.”
The race, officially known as the ASICS LA Marathon, was run for the sixth consecutive year on the “Stadium to the Sea” course from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica.
It sold out for the third consecutive year and fourth time in its history, drawing 26,031 entrants, with 53 percent first-time marathoners, according to race officials.
— City News Service
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