February 27, 2017
LOS ANGELES – Conqur Endurance Group today announced the professional field for the 2017 Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon, taking place on Sunday, March 19th. More than 50 professional runners from 11 countries will run the iconic “Stadium to the Sea” course, including a deep men’s field that features 2016 defending champion Weldon Kirui (Kenya) and 2015 titleholder Daniel Limo (Kenya).
“We look forward to welcoming such a talented and accomplished group of professionals at this year’s race,” said Tracey Russell, Chief Executive of Conqur Endurance Group. “After hosting the 2015 USA Track & Field Marathon Championships and the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon, we’re thrilled to keep the momentum going with a strong professional field.”
Leading the men’s professional field is reigning champion Kirui, who will look to hold onto his title. With a personal best of 2:09:06, Kirui will be rivaled by fellow Kenyan Limo, who finished in third place at last year’s race and boasts a personal best of 2:08:39. Close on the heels of Kirui and Limo will be Peruvian marathon national record holder and 2016 Peru Olympic Team member Raul Pacheco. Top runners from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Spain and New Zealand will also join the men’s international professional field.
Defending champion Weldon Kirui stated: “In 2012, I came in second place in Los Angeles and bought two cows with my prize money, one for my family and one for my parents. When I won last year, I built them a house. The people of Los Angeles have been nice and cheerful to me, and now I want to be a two-time champion.”
Nine U.S. men will round out the professional field, including two-time U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier Jake Schmitt, three-time National Junior College Athletic Association indoor and outdoor athlete of the year Benson Langat, and Jose Madera, who finished seventh overall and first among Americans at the 2016 Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon.
The women’s professional field is comprised of a talented group of athletes, headlined by former Olympian Mestawet Tufa of Ethiopia, with a lifetime best of 2:24:30 under her belt. Three Kenyan competitors will look to hold off Tufa, including Sarah Kiptoo, Jane Kibii and Hellen Jepkurgat, all with personal best times under 2:32:08. The international field will also include 2016 Olympian Angela Orjuela of Columbia, Kavita Tungar of India, Gabriela Tranaof Costa Rica and Maria Megina Yamin Morales of Mexico.
An accomplished group of U.S. women will challenge the international competitors. Lindsey Scherf is coming off of a second place finish in December 2016 at the Honolulu Marathon, and is the American junior record holder in the 10km. She recorded her personal best of 2:32:19 at Grandma’s Marathon in 2015. Heither Lieberg will return to the “Stadium to the Sea” course in 2017 after a fifth place finish in 2015. Tori Tyler and Joanna Reyes placed first and second, respectively, in last year’s San Francisco Marathon, and are looking to add a Los Angeles podium finish to their records.
“This will be my first ever marathon race in the US, and I’m looking forward to making the trip to Los Angeles,” said Mestawet Tufa. “I am fully recovered after running the Dubai Marathon in 2016 next to my personal best in China; my training has been going very well and I hope the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon will change my marathon career. I’ve heard many good things about the race and I look forward to competing in California.”
For the complete list of the 2017 Skechers Performance Los Angeles marathon professional field and additional information about the race, please visit www.lamarathon.com.