|2009 Los Angeles Marathon Elite Runners
By Michael Dorausch, DC
There is expected to be more than 15,000 people running through the streets of Los Angeles on Monday morning, as the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon gets underway just after 7am on the Memorial Day holiday. Beginning and ending in the heart of downtown, thousands will make their way through city and residential streets, striving to accomplish personal goals, and run a race they'll remember for a lifetime. While for many, finishing the marathon signifies a great personal achievement, for one, it also means $100,000 in bonus prize money. There's a good chance the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon winner is one of these 6 elite athletes.
(photo: Tatyana Petrova & Lyubov Morgunova)
Tatyana Valeriyevna Petrova (left), the 26 year old from Cheboksary, Russia, has conquered both the marathon and the 3,000-meter steeplechase. She won the silver medal in the 2006 European Championships and 2007 World Track & Field Championships in the steeple and finished 4th in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Tatyana's marathon time lifetime best was at the 2009 Dubai Marathon, where she finished with a time of 2:25:53 (5:34 per mile avg.).
Lyubov Morgunova, the 38 year old from Moscow, Russia, is ranked as one of the favorites in Los Angeles, having been running marathons since 1996, and credited with 22 races. She has 12 top three marathon finishes and has been in the top 10 eight times. Morgunova is no stranger to running marathons in Southern California, taking third place in the 2006 San Diego Rock 'n Roll Marathon. At age 37, she set her lifetime best run, winning the 2008 Rotterdam Marathon with a time of 2:25:12 (5:32 per mile avg.).
(photo: Nuta Olaru of Romania)
Nuta Olaru, the 38-year-old from Craiova, Romania has returned for her fourth Los Angeles Marathon. She placed second in the 2000 Los Angeles Marathon (2:35:14) and also placed second in the 2001 LA Marathon (2:37:22), and she had a fourth-place finish in the 2006 LA Marathon (2:30:30). A veteran marathon runner, Olaru won the 2008 San Antonio Marathon, and she recently took second place in the 2009 Houston Marathon. Her best time to date is 2:24:33 which she ran in the 2004 Chicago Marathon.
The elite women will begin the LA Marathon about 7:07am, with a 16 minute and 57 second lead on the men, and whether you're leading or following, everyone agreed that there is pressure regardless if you're trying to catch up, or not to be caught. If you're watching the event live on NBC or online, expect the race to really heat up around mile 16, when the elite men and women should be running real close to one another.
(photo: Tariku Jufar of Ethiopia)
Tariku Jufar, the 24-year-old from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, enters this year's race with the fastest time in the field, a 2:08:10 third-place finish (4:53 per
mile average) in the 2008 Hamburg Marathon. He broke through to world-class Marathon status in 2007, taking third place in the 2007 Istanbul Marathon, and running a lifetime best of 2:11:05. Never having run the LA Marathon before, Jufar may be in for a surprising treat as he runs through a place in Los Angeles known as Little Ethiopia, a neighborhood in the Pico Fairfax area.
As a reminder to those of you in Los Angeles, be sure to check for street closures before Monday morning, as the LA Marathon requires the shutting down of quite a few streets in the downtown Los Angeles area. Being that Monday is a federal holiday, most businesses the downtown area will be closed, and traffic aside from those participating in the marathon is expected to be light.
(photo: Laban Kipkemboi of Kenya)
Laban Kipkemboi, the 31-year-old from Kapcherop, Kenya, is no stranger to Los Angeles Marathon, having finished third in 2005, with a time of 2:10:51, and a second-place finish in 2006, with a time of 2:10:08. What could be to his advantage, the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon course is the very same course that was followed in 2006, a race where he averaged five minute miles. However, Kipkemboi's lifetime best is his third place finish for the 2007 Seoul International Marathon, which he completed with a time of 2:08:38 (an average of 4:55 per mile). Some people would say it's a lifetime achievement to even finish 4 marathons, Kipkemboi has finished four with times under 2:10:00.
(photo: Fred Mogaka of Kenya)
Fred Mogaka, the 30-year-old from Ngong, Kenya, was the 2007 Los Angeles Marathon champion, with a completion time of 2:17:14 (only 4 seconds better than Moses Kororia, who is also in the field this year). Mogaka was a 2006 silver medalist for the Commonwealth Games marathon in Melbourne Australia, with a lifetime best time of 2:12:03 (5:02 per mile average). He managed to run two marathons within five weeks at the end of 2008 in the beginning of 2009, the White Rock Marathon Dallas Texas on December 14, and the Rock 'n Roll Marathon Tempe Arizona January 18.
Regarding the weather for Monday's race, Mogaka says it is looking very very good, and he hopes everyone will run really well. More LA Marathon Excitement is to come, with photos and results from Monday's race. although I love to run, I won't be quitting my chiropractic day job to challenge any of these six, they are seriously quick on their feet.
For those seeking past stories, you can search Planet Chiropractic http://www.planetc1.com/search/index.php?search=Marathon article archives.