[UPDATED] Two Pasadenans became the top American finishers in Sunday’s 36th annual Los Angeles Marathon, with residents Bijan Mazaheri and Kayla Grahn taking the honors.
Mazaheri, a Pasadena resident who is a doctoral student in computing and mathematical sciences and volunteer assistant cross-country coach at Caltech, finished fourth in 2:21:42.
For Pasadenan Grahn, the marathon was her debut marathon. She finished also fourth in 2:48:26. A U.S. runner last won the women’s race in 1994.
Kenyan John Korir was the men’s winner of the 26-mile, 385-yard “Stadium to the Stars” course in two hours, 12 minutes, 47 seconds. Fellow Kenyan Edwin Kimutai was second in 2:18:01, while Amanuel Mesel of Eritrea was third in 2:18:17.
The women’s title was taken by 28-year-old Natasha Cockram of Wales, who won in 2:33:16. Kenyan Antonina Kwamba was second in 2:37:35. Russian Nina Zarina, who lives in the Los Angeles area, was third in 2:37:36.
Mazaheri is in his third year working with the cross country and track and field programs at Caltech, according to the Caltech Beavers athletics website.
— Caltech (@Caltech) November 8, 2021
He came to Caltech after a highly-decorated cross country/track and field career at Williams College that saw him earn 8 NCAA All-American honors.
At the 2019 Chicago Marathon, Mazaheri placed 28th in a time of 2:15:26 which qualified him for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.
Grahan attended Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy where she ran track and was accepted by and ran for Georgetown University.
A field estimated by organizers at more than 13,000 runners, from 50 nations, all 50 states and 127 runners who have run all 35 previous editions of the race, left from Dodger Stadium, then ran through downtown Los Angeles, Echo Park, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City, Westwood and Brentwood then back through Westwood to Century City.
The “Stadium to the Stars” course was used for the first time, with Brentwood its westernmost point, with runners then doubling back on San Vicente, Sepulveda and Santa Monica boulevards, ending at Avenue of the Stars in Century City.
The race was run under near-ideal conditions, with an overcast sky and temperatures in the 60s.