Kenyan athletes ruled at the Los Angeles Marathon March 2, taking the top-three places at the 42-kilometer race in southern California.

Mark Yatich scored his first marathon victory, clocking 2:09:52. He overtook two-time defending champion Stephen Ndungu in the final stages. Stephen crossed the finish line in 2:09:54. And Benson Mbithi, the 2000 Los Angeles Marathon champion, finished third, with a time of 2:11:52. All three Kenyans set career-best times.

The 30-year-old Yatich earned a first-place prize of $25,000 and a Honda Accord automobile valued at more than $25,000. In addition, Mark pocketed a $10,000 bonus for breaking 2:10. In a post-race interview with English-to-Africa reporter Nnamdi "Hollywood" Moweta, Yatich said he plans to invest his money to help support his farm, family and training in Kenya.