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Posted: May 26, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

(RWire) Athletics: Korir, Petrova Win 24th Los Angeles Marathon

Korir also earns $100,000 gender "Challenge" bonus and sets course and state records

By Ryan Lamppa, Running USA wire

LOS ANGELES - (May 25, 2009) - At the 24th Los Angeles Marathon on Monday, Kenyan Wesley Korir, in his second marathon, ran 2 hours, 8 minutes, 24 seconds to set personal, course and California state records. In addition, the University of Louisville graduate won the $100,000 gender "Challenge" as the first person across the finish line. Tatiana Petrova of Russia captured the women's title in 2:25:59. Their times are the second fastest marathons run in the U.S. this year.

Under overcast conditions and 60F degrees on Memorial Day, the professional women started 16 minutes and 57 seconds ahead of the field. The time differential for the 6th "Challenge" was determined by the composition of the professional field. The women's field who ran together in the early miles at 5:35-5:40 per mile pace hit the half-marathon in 1:14:21, while the men who also had 6-9 in the lead pack went out at a fast sub-2:07 clip and passed halfway at 1:03:34.

During mile 18, Petrova and Amane Gobena of Ethiopia separated themselves from the women's field, and for the men, by mile 19, Korir, race favorite Tariku Jifar of Ethiopia and Laban Kipkemboi of Kenya were giving chase to the top women.

In the 24th mile, Petrova, 26, pulled away from her shadow Gobena, but about a minute later, thanks to 4:40 mile pace, Korir, 26, passed Petrova at 1:58:16 on Olympic Boulevard to take the overall lead - a lead he increased to the finish line in downtown Los Angeles.

Afterwards, a surprised Korir who won $160,000 and a new Honda Accord said, "I wasn't expecting to win at all. It's a miracle. I came here to do my best, and I have to thank Laban [who finished third] for his encouragement around 21 miles. I owe this guy." Korir was the 12th fastest man in the field.

For Petrova, the 2007 World Championship steeplechase silver medalist, winning the women's race was "a dream come true" and she hopes that her performance will qualify her for the Russian marathon team for the World Championships in Berlin this August.

Jifar and Gobena were the runners-up in 2:09:32 and 2:26:53, respectively.

The LA Marathon "Challenge" is now tied 3-3, and no gender has won it two consecutive times.

This year's race numbers - 17,307 entrants - were down, perhaps due to the date change from March to Memorial Day. The event may return to the March date next year. This year, the race also returned to the old loop course that starts and finishes in downtown Los Angeles from the point-to-point course (2007-08).

24th Los Angeles Marathon
Los Angeles, CA, Monday, May 25, 2009

1) Wesley Korir (KEN), 2:08:24*, $160,000 + 2009 Honda Accord EX-L sedan
2) Tariku Jifar (ETH), 2:09:32, $32,500
3) Laban Kipkemboi (KEN), 2:10:29, $25,000
4) Mulugeta Wami (ETH), 2:10:49, $15,000
5) Negari Terfa (ETH), 2:10:53, $12,500
6) Benjamin Limo (KEN), 2:14:38
7) Fekadu Lemma (ETH), 2:15:12
8) Isaac Arusei (KEN), 2:17:54
9) Moses Kororia (KEN), 2:19:48
10) Diego Colorado (COL), 2:20:39
*course, event and California state records (previous, 2:08:40, Benson Cherono, 2006)

1) Tatiana Petrova (RUS), 2:25:59, $40,000 + 2009 Honda Accord EX-L sedan
2) Amane Gobena (ETH), 2:26:53, $27,500
3) Silvia Skvortsova (RUS), 2:28:35, $15,000
4) Lyubov Morganova (RUS), 2:29:42, $8000
5) Irene Mogoka (KEN), 2:30:10, $2500
6) Alice Chelangat (KEN), 2:31:56
7) Martha Markos (ETH), 2:33:30
8) Rehima Kedir (ETH), 2:36:55
9) Kim Dulcos (USA / MA), 2:44:32

More results at:

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