Tue, 08 Mar 2005

From: Jawawa

Saina wins LA Marathon

LOS ANGELES: Mark Saina beat fellow Kenyan Ben Maiyo in the closing stretch to win the Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday.

Saina earned a US$75,000 bonus for his winning time of 2 hours, 9:35 minutes as part of "The Challenge," a battle-of-the- sexes format started last year that allows the women to start ahead of the men.

Saina and Russian Lyubov Denisova, who set a course record for the women, both received $25,000 and a new car for winning the men's and women's divisions. Denisova won in 2:26:10.

"I never expected to sprint away from him," Saina said. "I try to go with the pain, but it was real hard."

The women were given a 15:50 head start as a way to keep the top men and women close at the finish line. The time differential last year was 20:30.

-- AP