Running Icon Joan Benoit Samelson welcomes McCourt Foundation Marathon Chase Champion Stacy Ndeewa of Kenya across the finish line in 2:25:28; Kenyan Doninic Ngewno wins men’s marathon 2:11:00 on a St. Patrick’s Day Sunday

LOS ANGELES – March 17, 2024 – It was appropriate that there was a smiling Joan Benoit Samuelson holding the finishing tape as defending champ Stacy Ndiwa and fellow Kenyan Dominic Ngeno won the 39th annual Los Angeles Marathon presented by ASICS on Sunday.

“It was Joanie who put us on the map here in Los Angeles,” McCourt Foundation President Brian McCourt said as the first of the 26,000 entrants began streaming across the Century City finish area.

Benoit’s courageous front-running performance in winning the gold medal in the first women’s Olympic marathon 40 years ago in Los Angeles shattered barriers and helped spur the explosive growth of marathoning worldwide—especially for women. There was courageous racing all through the sold-out field on Sunday in Los Angeles, from the elite front runners to the first-time marathoners, who comprised some 40 percent of the field and helped raise $3 million for the 92 charities the Los Angeles Marathon benefits.

Start with Ndiwa (2:25:28) and Ngeno (2:11:00), who dedicated their wins to their late countryman Kelvin Kiptum, the marathon world record holder who died on Feb. 11 in a traffic accident in Kenya. Ndiwa waited patiently as two-time Olympic fifth-place finisher Olga Mazuronak (2:25:48), a Belarus native now living in Irvine, Calif, joined American fifth-place finisher Makena Morley (2:30:24) at the front of a six-women pack that clicked off steady 5K splits right at 17:17.

After Morley dropped back near mile 16, Mazuronak, 34, led nearly every step of the way until a patient Ndiwa, 31, accelerated at mile 25 along Santa Monica Boulevard to seal her second consecutive win. Mazuronak finished 20 seconds back, followed by Boston marathon and two-time Chicago marathon winner Atsede Bayisa of Ethiopia in 2:25:57.

Ngeno was part of a five-man pack that rolled through some torrid early miles, perhaps spurred by the downhill start from Dodger Stadium and the unique Marathon Chase, in which the women start before the men, and which awards $10,000 to the first person, female or male, crossing the line. (The men started earlier than planned, but Ndiwa won the Marathon Chase for the second time). For much of the race, it was five men chasing four women, the gap between them diminishing each mile.

Ngeno used a 4:48 mile to break up the men’s pack past mile 20, with only fellow Kenyan Cosmas Kiplimo able to match the move. The two matched strides until Ngeno took the lead after the turn onto San Vicente Boulevard, grimacing the rest of the way through the Brentwood neighborhood and continuously glancing over his shoulder on his way to winning in 2:10:20, five seconds in front of Kiplimo.

Morley, who missed the U.S. Olympic marathon trials because of an injury, was running just her second marathon. It was a learning experience, as the more experienced marathoners let her set the pace with Mazuronak.

“It was awesome. I mean, it was really great energy with that lead pack, said Morley, 27. “I feel like we were all kind of trading off leads and just really taking good energy from each other. They put in a big surge at 15 or 16 miles and I kind of got dropped off at that point. I tried to kind of hang in there, but those hills were definitely getting to me. I just tried to kind of hang on and, the last six were pretty tough, but I was happy to be able to finish as strong as I could.”

Colombia’s Francisco Sanclemente (1:37:14) won his second straight title in the wheelchair division, while Hannah Babaloa, of Champaign, Illinois, was the women’s wheelchair champion in 2:19:23.

As for the 66-year-old Benoit Samuelson, who just ran a 3:38:37 at the Tokyo Marathon on March 3, she loves how running has grown and evolved over the past 40 years.

“I’m just delighted to be back here 40 years later,” Benoit Samuelson said. “I’m not sure where those 40 years went, but they went and, we just have to keep running forward and looking forward. The sport’s in great hands now with all the up and coming athletes. The fact that I can still put one foot in front of the other and burn with the same passion that I did 40 years ago to me is a real gift.”

The 40th running of the Los Angeles Marathon presented by ASICS is set for Sunday, March 16, 2025 and runners can take advantage of a special presale registration while supplies last. For complete results, photos and more, visit