Korir, Cockram finish first in Los Angeles Marathon, which also honors late council member

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John Korir of Kenya made a break with 7 miles remaining to win the 36th Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday.

Natasha Cockram of Wales won the women’s race with a similar strategy.

The 24-year-old Korir, who was second here two years ago, finished in 2 hours, 12 minutes, 48 seconds, nearly six minutes better than countryman Edwin Kimutai (2:18:01). Eritrea’s Amanuel Mesel Tikue finished third in 2:18:17.

Korir’s older brother, Wesley Korir, is a two-time Los Angeles champion.

“Now our family is so happy today,” John Korir said. “This is three times our family winning this race. We are happy now.”

Cockram won after placing 13th in the London Marathon on Oct. 3. She ran the 26.2-mile Stadium to Stars course in 2:33:17.

“I wasn’t sure how my body was going to be feeling after London,” Cockram said. “About halfway, I felt sure and comfortable. I kind of wish I’d gone earlier.”

The race, which traditionally takes place in March and returns to that spot next year, also honored local leader Tom LaBonge, who served on the City Council for 14 years. LaBonge died in January.

Mile 11 was dedicated to LaBonge, also known as “Mr. Los Angeles,” who was not present for the first time in the marathon’s history.

“His DNA is really all over this place,” said Laurence Cohen, spokesperson for the marathon.

LaBonge’s wife, Brigid, and daughter, Mary-Cate, set up pictures of LaBonge along the route in Hollywood.

“It’s like he’s here, which is goofy, but it’s really important that people see his face and remember the joy he felt living here,” Brigid LaBonge said.

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