14,000 participants tour scenic Pasadena in support of the McCourt Foundation’s mission to cure neurological diseases while empowering communities to build a healthier world


Pasadena, CA – January 21, 2024 – On New Year’s Day, 96,371 college football fans squeezed into the Rose Bowl to watch an epic college football playoff game, Michigan’s 27-20 overtime win against Alabama.

Twenty days later, athletes of a different sort, dressed in shorts and singlets, again filled the Rose Bowl floor as nearly 14,000 racers competed in the 8th annual Rose Bowl Half Marathon and 5K on Sunday.

The scenic race crosses the Coronado Street Bridge and passes Caltech University, but saves the best for last: a run through the stadium tunnel before finishing at the 50-yard line.

“The finish, coming through that tunnel, was insane,” said women’s 5K winner Stephanie Harris, who grew up in Pasadena and now lives in Brooklyn. “You can’t help but go fast down that hill. This is so cool. You finish on the grass, and the sky opens up in the huge stadium. It is beautiful.”

Forty states and 18 countries were represented in the field, but locals dominated the podium. Pasadenans hit the tape first in the half marathon, with Adolfo Carvalho winning the men’s race in 1 hour, 11 minutes, 26 seconds, a 5:28-per-mile pace. Elizabeth Ben-Ishai won the women’s event in 1:23:02, a 6:21 pace.

“I’m a big college football fan,” said Carvalho. “You can’t beat finishing in the Rose Bowl. It’s an amazing stadium. It’s particularly special being on the turf.

Adam Wilkinson, a 2022 Claremont McKenna graduate who lives in Santa Monica, won the men’s 5K in 15:33, a 5:07-mile pace.

Wilkinson watched Michigan’s dramatic football playoff win over Alabama on New Year’s Day and was psyched for the race.

“I was just jonesing to get to the finish line and see what it looks like in real life,” said Wilkinson, who is training to run the Los Angeles Marathon presented by ASICS in March.

The race is organized by The McCourt Foundation (TMF), which strives to cure neurological diseases while empowering communities to build a healthier world. One hundred forty runners ran and raised over $70,000 for Team TMF.

More than 3,400 participated in the Students Run LA program, which annually trains thousands of students for the Los Angeles Marathon in March as part of its life changing program.

One of the highlights of Sunday’s Rose Bowl Half Marathon and 5K was the convergence of so many local running clubs, creating an uplifting celebration of health and distance running.

Included in that group was Ben-Ishai, the women’s half marathon winner. She runs with both the Pasadena Pacers and the Friday Donut Run Club, which meets at 6 a.m., knocks out three or five miles, then enjoys a sweet morning treat at Randy’s Donuts.

Regarding Sunday’s Rose Bowl party vibe, Ben-Ishai said, “It was fun racing and having so many friends and family on the course.”

For complete results, photos, and more, visit RoseBowlHalf.com.