Dominic Ngeno, Stacy Ndiwa celebrate after winning 2024 L.A. Marathon

Dominic Ngeno raises his arms as he crosses the finish line.
Dominic Ngeno crosses the finish line Sunday to win the elite male division of the 39th L.A. Marathon.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Upon breaking the tape on a pristine St. Patrick’s Day morning in the City of Angels, Dominic Ngeno dropped to his knees and kissed the ground in celebration of winning the 39th Los Angeles Marathon.

The 26-year-old Kenyan separated from countryman Cosmas Kiplimo with a little more than three miles to go on the 26.2-mile route that started at Dodger Stadium and ended on the Avenue of the Stars in Century City. Ngeno prevailed by five seconds in 2:10:20 — almost three minutes faster than last year’s winner, Jemal Yimer of Ethiopia.

“I watched the race the last couple of years and my coach gave me a plan in training,” Ngeno said. “I wanted to go 2:08 but it was a little humid the last three kilometers and that reduced our speed. In my mind it was about setting the right pace.”

Ngeno clocked a personal-best 2:07:26 to place third at the Eindhoven Marathon in the Netherlands in October and was ninth in 2:11:23 at the Milan Marathon in Italy in April. Ethiopian Markos Geneti set the L.A. Marathon men’s record of 2:06:35 in 2011, but Sunday was about the Kenyans — Ngeno, Kiplimo and Stacy Ndiwa, who repeated as the women’s winner in a personal-best 2:25:28.


Who were the top finishers in the L.A. Marathon staged Sunday in Los Angeles? Check out the list of the top male and female performances.

March 17, 2024

With their nation’s flag draped over their shoulders, the champions were seeing green — $6,000 of it apiece — and posed for pictures together after finishing minutes apart.

“Last year I didn’t know the course but this year I prepared well for the hills and the weather was better,” said the 31-year-old Ndiwa, who pulled away from runner-up Volha “Olga” Mazuronak in the last mile to win by 20 seconds and shave 5:32 off last year’s effort. Ndiwa received an additional $10,000 for winning the Marathon Chase.

“People cheered us from the start until the last minute,” she said. “At 40 kilometers I increased my pace. I was worried [Mazuronak] would catch me.”

Askale Merachi of Ethiopia set the women’s record of 2:24:11 in 2019.

Stacy Ndiwa raises her arms at the L.A. Marathon finish line.
Stacy Ndiwa celebrates after winning the women’s open division of the 39th L.A. Marathon on Sunday.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

The elite women started on time at 6:43 a.m. and were supposed to have a 17-minute head start in the Marathon Chase, a feature unique to the L.A. Marathon in which the first runner to reach the finish line, either male or female, is awarded a $10,000 bonus. Due to a miscommunication, however, the men were sent off at 6:55, only 12 minutes behind the women, lessening the drama of the “battle of the sexes.”

In 13 previous Chase competitions the women won the race-within-a-race nine times, but their “early” start enabled Ngeno and Kiplimo to overtake the top three women in Mile 22. However, Ndiwa was still declared the winner because the men would not have caught her had they started on schedule.


“When the men passed us and I saw who they were I thought ’no problem!’ ” Ndiwa said.

“She trains not far away and we see each other on the track a lot,” Ngeno said of his fellow winner. “Last week, we wished each other the best. We’re proud to have won.”

The L.A. Marathon debuted in 1986 and a Kenyan has won the men’s race eight times and the women’s race six times since 2015.

Mazuronak, who finished fifth in the Olympics twice, was running her first marathon in three years. In September, the 34-year-old from Belarus relocated to Irvine with her son and gained membership in USA Track & Field after not being able compete as a result of her protesting election fraud in her native country.

Over 25,000 runners competed this year in Sunday’s L.A. Marathon. Check out The Times’ photographers view of the race.

March 17, 2024

Makena Morley, a 27-year-old from Montana who helped the University of Colorado win the NCAA cross-country title in 2018 and won the USA 25K championships in 2021, finished fifth in 2:30.24. She was competing for the first time since suffering an anterior tibialis injury that kept her out of the Olympic trials Feb. 3.

“It’s wonderful to see Angelenos come together with thousands running and thousands more cheering them on,” Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said before blowing the horn to start the race and send the field of 26,000 entrants representing all 50 states and 70 countries on their way. “This is a great unity day!”