Los Angeles Marathon: Jemal Yimer, Stacy Ndiwa winners on course from Dodger Stadium to Century City

City News Service
Sunday, March 19, 2023
Jemal Yimer, Stacy Ndiwa winners at Los Angeles Marathon
Jemal Yimer of Ethiopia won the men's division of the Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday, while Stacy Ndiwa of Kenya took the women's division.

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Kenyan Stacy Ndiwa was the women's winner of the 38th Los Angeles Marathon Sunday and claimed a $10,000 bonus by finishing ahead of men's winner Jemal Yimer of Ethiopia.

The elite women started at 6:41 a.m., 18 minutes, 19 seconds ahead of the elite men for the race's Morgan & Morgan Marathon Chase. The time difference is based on a calculation of the differences in lifetime finishes among the top seeded entrants.

The 30-year-old Ndiwa crossed the finish line in Century City about 32 seconds before the 26-year-old Yimer. Ndiwa completed the 26-mile, 385-yard course in two hours, 31 minutes. Yimer was the men's winner in 2:13:13.

The chase was part of the marathon from 2004 to 2014, with women winning seven times and men four. It was discontinued in 2015 when the race served as the USA Marathon Championships. It was revived last year with Delvine Meringor becoming the eighth female winner.

Kenyans swept the top three places in the women's field. Martha Akeno was second in 2:34:25 and Grace Kahura third in 2:38:15.

Ashley Paulson of St. George, Utah, was fourth in 2:48:47 followed Katie Layman of Folsom in 2:49:39.

African women have won 11 of the past 14 races. A U.S. runner last won the women's race in 1994.

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Ethiopian Yemane Tsegay was second among the men in 2:14:06 and Barnada Kipkoech of Kenya was third in 2:14:27. Hosava Kretzman of Flagstaff, Arizona, was the top American man, finishing sixth in 2:19:55.

An African man has won the race each year since 1999, including other victories by Ethiopians in 2011, 2014 and 2020. Kenyans won all the other races during that span. A U.S. runner last won in 1994.

The race began under cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid-50s at Dodger Stadium. Mayor Karen Bass spoke at the starting line, welcoming the field of more than 22,000 and encouraging them to do their best, then sounded the starting horn for the race. A light drizzle was falling by the time runners began crossing the finish line.

The marathon drew entrants from all 50 states and 67 nations, its largest field since 2020 when it had a record 27,150 entrants, the 21st time in 22 years it topped 20,000 entrants, organizers said.

When the marathon was next run in November 2021 -- eight months later than usual because of restrictions prompted by the coronavirus pandemic -- there were more than 13,000 entrants, organizers said. There were 14,300 entrants for the 2022 race.

"As we emerge from the pandemic more and more people are comfortable in large gatherings and the increased field size aligns with year-over-year growth in race participation across the country," Dan Cruz, the marathon's head of communications, told City News Service.

Ahead of Sunday race organizers advised runners to watch their step and look out for potholes caused by the recent rains and they also worked with the Bureau of Street Services to fill in as many as they could before race day.

From Dodger Stadium, the course headed through downtown Los Angeles, Echo Park, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City, Westwood and Brentwood then back through Westwood to Century City, with the finish line for the "Stadium to the Stars" course on Santa Monica Boulevard between Avenue of the Stars and Century Park East.

The men's and women's winners both received $6,000, the second-place finishers $2,500 and third-place finishers $1,500. The men's and women's wheelchair winners each received $2,500.

The field included 107 legacy runners who have run all 37 previous editions of the race, including 81-year-old Sharon Kerson of Culver City, who was running her 600th marathon. Her first was the inaugural 1986 Los Angeles Marathon.

Kerson intended to walk to finish the marathon. It was expected it would take her nearly 10 hours to complete the race.

There were more than 3,100 runners from Students Run LA, an after- school mentoring and physical fitness program offered at more than 185 public schools in the Greater Los Angeles Area.

The race had 80 charity partners, with runners raising more than $2.5 million.