LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KTLA) — Runners from Ethiopia and Kenya finished the 2012 Honda L.A. Marathon before any others Sunday.
Fatumo Sado, 20, of Ethiopia, won the marathon’s women’s division with an unofficial time of 2:25:28 — finishing within a second of the course record and breaking her personal best time by more than 2 minutes.
Simon Njoroge, 23, of Kenya, won the men’s division with an unofficial time of 2:12:11. Both runners won $25,000 for their first-place finishes as well as Honda CRVs valued at about $30,000, and because Sado crossed the finish line first overall, she walked away with a $100,000 gender challenge bonus. The women’s runners were given a 17-minute, 31-second head start, a time based on the calculation of the differences in lifetime finishes among the top-seven-seeded men and women in the elite fields. Sado received brief medical attention after she finished.
She later said — through a translator — that she gave everything she had to win the race and only wanted to be checked out. The chilly weather didn’t stop more than 23,000 runners from showing up early Sunday morning to take part in the annual 26.2-mile race from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica.
During last year’s marathon, near one-and-a-half inches of rain fell as the runners ran the course. Dozens were treated for hypothermia-related medical issues.
In this year’s men’s field, Kenyans Elias Kemboi and David Mandago were expected to be top contenders. Elias has a personal best of 2:07:04, posted in the 2010 Frankfurt Marathon, and Mandago has a personal best of 2:06:53, in the 2009 Paris Marathon. For the women, Ethiopia’s Misiker Demissie, who set a personal best of 2:25:21 in the 2011 San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, was considered a favorite.
This year’s race was the third time the course took the stadium to sea route, incorporating countless iconic landmarks along the way. For more information about the race, you can visit LAmarathon.com.
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