Organizers for the 2012 LA Marathon were prepared for the worst of rain and inclement weather Los Angeles could serve up, but the Sunday morning sun shined and Randy Newman’s I Love LA played as elite marathon runners crossed the finish line on March 18th, 2012, in Santa Monica, California.

Misiker Mekonnin LA Marathon 2012With her left foot touching the finish line, Misiker Mekonnin takes 2nd place in the women’s division at the 2012 LA Marathon. Originally from Ethiopia, and currently living in Albuquerque New Mexico, Misiker Mekonnin completed the race with a time of 02:28:09 (2 hours 28 minutes and 9 seconds).

The first place finish in the women’s division was completed by Fatuma Sado of Ethiopia. In her 4th marathon event, 20-year-old Fatuma Sado busted through the tape at the finish line at 02:25:39. Fatuma shaved two minutes off of her previous personal best record, and ran fast enough to not only win the women’s division, but the $100,000 gender bonus as well.

Fatuma Sado LA Marathon 2012After breaking the orange tape, Fatuma Sado gestured in prayer and kneeled to her knees, kissing the asphalt of Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, California. The 2012 gender challenge handicap was 17 minutes and 31 seconds. Elite marathon runners from the male division battled to overcome the time handicap.

Simon Njoroge was not far behind, but his time wasn’t fast enough to win this year’s race overall. Simon did win the men’s division, which included a $25,000 prize and a 2012 Honda CR-V (MSRP around $30,000). At 31 years of age, Simon Njoroge shows us that it’s not always the youngest runners that win the race.

Simon Njoroge LA Marathon 2012One step a way from running 26.2 miles, Simon Njoroge raises his hands in the air, as he crosses the blue and red line, breaking the tape at the 2012 Los Angeles Marathon.

The rain was not falling like it did during the 2011 LA Marathon, but the coastal winds were beginning to pick up. Several elite runners later told me they felt increasing winds negatively affected their pace during the final few miles.

Yeshimebet Tadesse of Addis AbabaWearing Bib F4, 23-year-old Yeshimebet Tadesse of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia finished 3rd in the women’s division. Her 2012 LA Marathon time was 02:30:46. Her facial expression shows a look of discomfort as she walks beyond the finish line photography rigging. With an average pace of 05:45:10 per mile, for 26.2 miles, the look does not at all come as a surprise. In 2011, Amy Hastings of Mammoth Lakes had a similar look seconds after she crossed the finish line.

Weldon Kirui of Kericho2nd place in the men’s division went to Weldon Kirui of Kericho, Kenya. The 23-year-old distance runner from the highlands of Kenya finished the 2012 LA Marathon with a time of 02:13:40 (2 hours 13 minutes 40 seconds). In 2011, Weldon Kirui was first across the finish line in the San Diego America’s Finest City Half Marathon.

Stephen Muange of Ngong KenyaStephen Muange of Ngong, Kenya maintains his stride as he crosses the finish line in Santa Monica. The 30-year-old distance runner was a 4th place finisher in the men’s division for the 2012 Honda LA Marathon. His recorded time was 02:15:35. Stephen Muange was one of the few elite runners that I noticed not wearing a timing device on their wrist.

David Mandago of Kapsabet Kenya6th place in the men’s division went to David Mandago of Kapsabet, Kenya. David Mandago Kipkorir completed the LA Marathon with a time of 02:18:43. At 33 years of age, he has a history of top finishing running accomplishments. His personal best time to date is 02:06:53 in the 2009 Paris Marathon.

Hailu Seifu of Addis Ababa EthiopiaWith both feet in the air, Hailu Seifu of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia glides across the finish line and through the crosswalk intersection of California Street and Ocean Avenue. 25-year-old Hailu Seifu completed the 2012 LA Marathon in 2 hours 17 minutes and 49 seconds. It was fast enough for a fifth-place finish.

Dereje Yadete 2012 LA MarathonWearing running bib number 5, Dereje Yadete made a 7th place finish in the 2012 LA Marathon. Dereje Yadete completed the marathon with a time of 02:19:16. The Nike sponsored Ethiopian distance runner specializes in half marathon and marathon distances. In the 2010 Istanbul-Eurasia Marathon, Dereje debuted with a 2nd place finish time of 02:11:53.

F10 Salomie Getnet of Addis AbabaSalomie Getnet finished the 2012 LA Marathon in 6th place in the women’s division. Finishing 2nd in P.F. Chang’s 2009 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon, Salomie Getnet remains a serious marathon contender. Her posted finish time for the 2012 LA Marathon was 02:41:50.

Wearing a Bucks County Running Company running shirt and a bandaid across his nose, 28 year old Jeffrey McCabe (from Pennsylvania) finished the race with a clock time of 02:29:22.

Jeffrey McCabe LA MarathonJeffrey McCabe can be seen stopping the timer on his left wrist as he crosses the finish line. Most of the elite runners wore a timekeeping device on their left wrist. Jeffrey McCabe’s finish time was fast enough to put him on the top 10 leaderboard for male finishers in the 2012 race.

Tlaloc Venancio Mancilla 2012 LA MarathonIn a yellow Adidas running shirt, and a cap featuring the colors of Mexico, Tlaloc Venancio Mancilla points a finger in the air as he crosses the finish line during the 2012 LA Marathon. Living in Flagstaff Arizona, Tlaloc Venancio Mancilla completed the 26.2 mile course with a time of 02:30:55. On January 29, Tlaloc Venancio Mancilla won 2nd place in the men’s division of the 2012 3M Half Marathon.

Justin Patananan LA MarathonA local from Palmdale California, Justin Patananan (wearing bib number nine) ran the 2012 LA Marathon with a finishing clock time of 02:13:49. Patananan maintained an average pace of 5:06 per mile for 26.2 miles, from inside Dodger Stadium to the corner of Ocean Avenue and California Street in Santa Monica. A graduate of UCLA, Justin Patananan was a 2008 USA Men’s Marathon Olympic Trials Qualifier and Participant.

Owen Kiely 2012 LA MarathonDressed in all black running gear and a pair of turquoise colored running shoes, Owen Kiely steps over the finish line at the 2012 LA Marathon. With an official clock time of 02:32:35 and marathon pace of 5:49 per mile, the 27-year-old Redondo Beach resident was another local Southern California to complete the marathon with an impressive time.

4850 Jonathan Garcia Fort Collins ColoradoWearing black sunglasses, black gloves, and a St. Patrick’s weekend green Mile High Track Club running shirt, Colorado resident Jonathan Garcia completes the 2012 Los Angeles Marathon with a clock time of 02:32:42. 30-year-old Jonathan Garcia is from Fort Collins Colorado, he finished an impressive 13th overall. When he’s not distance running, Jonathan Garcia works as an athletic coach at the Athletic Improvement Center in Colorado.

18410 Adam Nevens of ChicagoFrom Chicago Illinois, and running through the streets of Los Angeles, Adam Nevens (wearing Bib 18410 and a King’s Athletics running shirt) crossed the California Street finish line with a time of 2:33:41. Adam completed the 2009 New York Marathon with a 02:32:14 finish time and the 2009 Austin Marathon with a 02:33:48 finish time.

1697 Thaddeus Reichley Los AngelesA 37-year-old elite marathon runner from Los Angeles California, Thaddeus Reichley crossed over the blue and red line at 02:33:45. Thaddeus was only 4 seconds behind Chicago’s Adam Nevens, an impressive finish. The local SoCal runner had a 02:36:07 2011 LA Marathon finish time, and a 02:40:51 2009 LA Marathon finish time (Wesley Korir won that race).

18513 Ryo Ota Inzai JapanRyo Ota from Inzai, Japan is the final finisher for the elite marathoners featured in this photo post. The 20-year-old Ryo Ota wore bib number 18513 and completed the race with a clock time of 02:33:51. At 20 years of age, Ryo has plenty of opportunity to improve on his personal best marathon running times.

Continuing the Planet Chiropractic tradition of covering marathon running in the US, I was honored to be again among a group of photographers and journalists to photograph runners crossing the finish line at California Street and Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, California. Sunday, March 18, 2012.

Check out 2012 Los Angeles Marathon Winner Photos along with my LA Marathon 2012 Flickr photo set. The photo set features hundreds of runners crossing the finish line, receiving medals, and celebrating their accomplishments.