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Elisha Barno wins L.A. Marathon; Askale Merachi wins women’s race in course-record time

LOS ANGELES, CA-MARCH 24, 2019: Runner Elisha Barno celebrates finishing in first place during durin
Elisha Barno celebrates with the flag of Kenya after winning the 34th running of the Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Marathon has another two-time champion.

Elisha Barno of Kenya won the L.A. Marathon in dramatic fashion Sunday, passing countryman John Korir over the final meters in the closest finish of the race’s 34-year history.

Barno won the men’s race in a time of 2 hours, 11 minutes and 46 seconds. Korir finished second (2:11:52), and Juan Luis Barrios (2:11.59) of Mexico was third.

Barno has won the Los Angeles Marathon twice — his first win came in 2017.

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Korir, the brother of two-time L.A. Marathon champion Wesley Korir (2009-10), broke away from the main group of elite men runners before the 20-mile mark and appeared set to win after building a big gap over Barno and Barrios heading into the last mile and a half. However, Korir’s pace began to slow over the final mile, allowing Barno to run past him on Ocean Ave. about 150 meters before the finish line.

Barno’s victory prevented countryman Weldon Kirui from becoming the first runner to win the L.A. Marathon three times. Kirui, who won the race in 2016 and 2018, finished fifth (2:13:24.11).

On the women’s side, Askale Merachi of Ethiopia broke the “stadium to the sea” course record with a winning time of 2:24:12 seconds. She broke the previous mark set by Lidiya Grigoryeva in 2006 by nearly a minute.

Kenya’s Cynthia Jerop finished second (2:25:54) and countrywoman Lucy Karimi (2:26:15) was third.

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Merachi and Barno both receive $23,000 for winning their respective races.

Joshua Cassidy (1:31:48) won the men’s wheelchair race and Katrina Gerhard (1:56:22) took first in women’s wheelchair.

The annual race, which begins at Dodger Stadium and weaves past various Los Angeles landmarks on the way to Santa Monica, attracted 24,000 runners this year. The field consisted of runners from every state and 66 countries.

The L.A. Marathon attracted more than 24,000 runners from around the world.


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