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First Timers Win Rose Bowl Half Marathon

Pasadena local Adolfo Carvalho, Venice Beach’s Jenna Crawford take half-marathon titles

Published on Sunday, January 16, 2022 | 6:30 pm
Jenna Crawford wins the 2022 Rose Bowl Half Marathon. [Credit: Robert Laberge for TMF]

On a picture-perfect, Chamber of Commerce morning for running (blue skies, temperature in the high 50s) the 6th annual Rose Bowl Half Marathon and 5K produced some firsts for the 13.1-mile featured event.

More than 5,000 runners and walkers participated in the races that started and finished in the Rose Bowl. It was the first big race of the year in Southern California. Both the men’s and women’s winners celebrated their first wins at the distance on Sunday morning.

Adolfo Carvalho, who lives in Pasadena and trains daily on the course, won the men’s race in 1 hour, 12 minutes, 9 seconds. Jenna Crawford, who lives in Venice Beach and didn’t take up running seriously until after college, hit the tape first in the women’s race, finishing in 1:27:05.

Carvalho grew up in Maryland, raced track and cross country at Rice University but now calls Pasadena home.

“I run here literally almost every day,” said Carvalho, 24, who was running his first official half marathon. “I’m doing loops around the Rose Bowl and out toward the neighborhood on Arroyo Seco. It felt really good to sort of be on home turf.”

Like many runners, the discipline required to pound out miles carries over to success away from running for Carvalho. He’s a Fulbright Award winner and majored in Astrophysics and French Studies at Rice.

Of his first go at a 13.1-mile race, Carvalho said, “It felt amazing. I felt pretty smooth at the start. I thought I was pushing it a little bit ambitiously the first three miles. But then it got really smooth.

“Once I crossed the Colorado Bridge, I just knew I had to bring it home. It was a tough last loop, but it felt great to be out here.”

Defending champion Roy Furukawa of Los Angeles finished second in the men’s race (1:13:22) with Augustin Musa of Beverly Hills coming in third (1:16:58).

In the women’s half marathon, Crawford benefitted from liking to run long. She raced her first 100-kilometer event last fall and will tackle a marathon next month.

“I kind of went out here not knowing what my fitness would be like,” said Crawford, who has modeled for several fitness brands including ASICS. “I knew this course had some hills. I had a lot of friends out on the course cheering me on, telling me, ‘Hold the pace, hold the pace,’ and I came in strong.”

Before Sunday, Crawford’s most prestigious win came in a Thanksgiving Day 5K turkey trot. Elisa Polino of Rialto finished second in the women’s half in 1:28:13 with Carly Johann of Los Angeles taking third in 1:29:07.

Drew Polley of Seattle won the men’s 5K in 15:47, just 10 seconds ahead of Pasadena’s Wesley Reutimann. Teenager Angelina Vasquez of Barstow won the women’s 5K in 19:45, nearly one minute ahead of master Michelle Martinez of Pasadena (20:34).

After crossing the finish line on the field, runners joined family and friends at the stadium to celebrate their accomplishment at the finish line festival and Heineken 0.0 Beer Garden. All participants had the opportunity to take photos with the official 2022 Los Angeles Marathon all-electric lead vehicle in the end zone. The Volvo XC40 displayed each runner’s marathon goal time for March on the official race time clock.

Proceeds from the event support the McCourt Foundation’s mission to cure neurologic diseases and empower individuals and communities to build a healthier world through research, education, and events.  For complete results, photos and more, visit

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