LOS ANGELES — Jemal Yimer waited patiently until nearly two hours into the 38th Los Angeles Marathon to make his move. That’s when the 26-year-old from Ethiopia decided to break away from the pack at mile 23, on his way to winning by nearly one minute in a time of 2 hours, 13 minutes and 13 seconds.
The 26.2-mile course, which began at Dodger Stadium and moved through downtown L.A., Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Century City, ended with a jubilant fist pump by Yimer as he broke the tape.
“It’s a good race. I’m happy today,” Yimer said. “Thank you so much, Los Angeles.”
Kenya’s Stacy Ndiwa, 30, not only won the women’s race in a personal-best 2 hours and 31 minutes. She won a $10,000 bonus by holding off a late charge by Yimer to be the first person to cross the finish line in the marathon chase challenge. The time differential for the marathon chase challenge was set at 18 minutes and 19 seconds.
“I was so prepared for this race,” Ndiwa said.
Her coach, Haron Lagat, said the additional prize money means the world to Ndiwa.
“As soon as I told her … she started crying because I know what she has gone through,” Lagat said. “She lost her (running) contract a few years ago when she had a baby. I feel like companies should not be cutting women. When you have a baby they should let you keep your contract because men are having babies (too). Why are they not cutting men?”
Lagat said Ndiwa’s win was about making a statement in the marathon, especially because it was her trip to the USA.
“The name itself, L.A., is very important,” Lagat added. “When you win L.A., when you’re a champion of L.A., everyone knows L.A., so actually the most important part is the city. I feel like this event should be way bigger than it is.”
Kenya’s Stacy Ndiwa gives it her all to win women’s race at the 38th Los Angeles Marathon. Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer won the men’s race. @ladailynews @lamarathon #LAMarathon pic.twitter.com/36znGRI6ES
— John W. Davis (@johnwdavis) March 19, 2023
The men’s race was down to a lead pack of six runners before mile 2, including Yimmer, who was among the leaders from start to finish.
At the halfway point, five runners were still in contention: Kenya’s Emanuel Ngatuny, Thomas Rono and Barnaba Kipkoech, and Ethiopia’s Yemane Tsegay and Yimer.
Tsegay, 37, finished second in 2:14:06. Kipkoech, 29, finished third in 2:14:27.
The L.A. Marathon was also a prime opportunity for Americans to chase a qualifying time for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials which will be held on Feb. 3, 2024, in Orlando, Fla.
The men needed to run 2:18 or faster. The women needed to run 2:37 or faster.
The fastest American man was Hosava Kretzmann of Flagstaff, Ariz. Kretzmann, 28, finished sixth in 2:19:55.
“It was tough,” Kretzmann said. “Hills are always tough. This was my first marathon too. So I wasn’t expecting any of this. I was hoping for it …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment