Southern California has been deluged by rain the past week but, on a cool Sunday morning, Mother Nature cooperated. The sky remained clear and more than 11,500 runners took over the scenic streets of downtown Pasadena for the 7th annual Rose Bowl Half Marathon & 5K.
With temperatures in the low 50s, no female was faster than Margaux Curcuru, who won the women’s Rose Bowl Half Marathon in 1 hour, 19 minutes, 10 seconds, a 6:04 per-mile pace.
“It was gorgeous,” said Curcuru, raving about the course after crossing the finish line on the football field. “The weather was really good. I was worried that it was going to rain, but it was great. I loved going up under the bridge the first couple of miles. It was a big climb but the views made it more comfortable.”
Curcuru runs with The Janes, an elite running group that empowers women to reach their goals athletically and professionally.
“They’ve supported me,” said Curcuru. “I just keep getting better and better thanks to them. I learn so much thanks to them. It’s amazing.”
Shin “Rosie” Young from the Korea Town Run Club finished second in 1:24:59.
In the men’s half-marathon, 27-year-old Jonathan Martin of North Carolina intended to treat the day as a simple workout. Instead, Martin found himself in the lead and was the first runner across the finish line inside the Rose Bowl, winning in 1:12:11, a 5:31 per-mile pace.
It proved to be a close men’s race with Christopher Reid of La Habra Heights second in 1:12:47 and Valentin Gonzalez of Newhall another six seconds back in third.
“I said if people went out fast, I’d go with them and try to help guys along,” said Martin. “I started feeling good and it was the crowd energy that pulled me through.”
With the event unfolding in the Los Angeles area, the stars turned out. Actor Matt Jones and comedian Erik Riviera finished the 13.1-mile half-marathon. Actor Ashton Kutcher and former Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner ran the 5K. It was the second year in a row that Turner tackled the 5K.
“It’s just nice to get out there, throw the headphones on and go jogging with a couple thousand people,” said Turner, who signed with the Boston Red Sox in the offseason.
Turner’s wife, Kourtney, ran the half-marathon and is preparing to run her fifth Los Angeles Marathon. Kourtney began running the Los Angeles Marathon to raise money for the Justin Turner Foundation.
Like the other runners who toured Pasadena on Sunday, Turner was appreciative the morning was dry.
“Last night we talked about that if we woke up and it was raining, are we going to do this,” said Turner. “Luckily, we woke up and it actually turned out to be a pretty beautiful day.”
After crossing the finish line on the field, runners joined family and friends at the stadium to celebrate their accomplishment at the post race festival. The race also included 100 participants on Team TMF, the fundraising team for the McCourt Foundation and 3,200 Students Run LA participants who are training for the Los Angeles Marathon.
The 2024 Rose Bowl Half Marathon & 5k is scheduled for Sunday, January 21 and runners can take advantage of a special presale registration through next weekend.
For complete results, photos and more, visit www.RoseBowlHalf.com.
• North Carolina’s Jonathan Martin, Military Lawyer Margaux Curcuru earn half-marathon victories at 7th annual event;
• Actor Matt Jones, Comedian Erik Riviera finish 13.1 mile race; Actor Ashton Kutcher and former Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner run the 5K;
• Pasadena events support the McCourt Foundation’s mission to find cures for Neurologic diseases and empower individuals and communities to build a healthier world