Now in its 18th year, the Life Time Miami Marathon & Half Marathon attracts many international elite runners vying for the $25,000 prize purse winnings across categories. Below, you can find a list of our confirmed Elite Athletes for the 2020 edition of the Miami Marathon & Half Marathon, as well as short biographies of each athlete and a link to their social media accounts, if applicable.
2020 Elite Field – Summary
|Saidi Juma Makuala||KENYA||2:11:11|
|Mwobi Cyprian Kiogora||KENYA||2:14:13|
|Abdulmenan Kasim Gelatgo||ETHIOPIA||2:25:31|
|Alvaro Isrrael Vazquez Gonzalez||NICARAGUA||Debut|
|Meseret Ali Basa||ETHIOPIA||2:40:41|
|Leah Jebiwot Kigen||KENYA||2:40:46|
|Aydee Loayza Huaman||PERU||Debut|
MEN’S HALF MARATHON
|Luis Carlos Rivero Gonzalez||GUATEMALA||1:06:03|
|Sandro Ezeta Chaves||COSTA RICA||1:09:08|
WOMEN’S HALF MARATHON
|Lineida Mateus Rojas||COLOMBIA||1:17:16|
|Margarita Quintero Petris||MEXICO||1:19:41|
Men’s Marathon Field
Current Residence: Minneapolis, Minnesota
The 2017 Dublin Marathon & Belfast Marathon Champion, Bernard Rotich also has world-class 5,000m and 10,000m PRs of 13:18.41 and 27:09.8, respectively. Rotich won his debut marathon in Estonia in 2010, the Tallin SEB Marathon, and he is now married with two young daughters.
Current Residence: Arusha, Tanzania
A 2016 Rio Olympian in the marathon for his home country of Tanzania, where he placed 43rd in 2:17:49, Makula says his greatest inspiration in his running is Eliud Kipchoge, and that if he was not running professionally he would be coaching other distance runners to accomplish their own goals.
Mwobi Cyprian Kiogora, KENYA
Personal Best Marathon – 2:14:13
Current Residence: Eldoret, Kenya
The 2009 and 2010 Hong Kong Marathon Champion, Mwobi Cyprian Kiogora joins us from Eldoret, Kenya after most recently finishing 5th in the Jakarta Milo 10K in Indonesia. In terms of racing in the United States, Cyprian placed 9th at the 2008 Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota.
Current Residence: Cambridge, Massachusetts
A graduate of Tufts University, Tyler Andrews is a 2-time U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier, the 2019 USATF 50 Mile National Champion and 2-time Rock N Roll Washington DC Marathon Champion. When asked what he would be doing if he wasn’t running, Tyler says “playing guitar in a rock band”. Rock on, Tyler!
Hillary Too, KENYA
Personal Best Marathon – 2:17:01
Current Residence: Coon Rapids, Minnesota
Our 2017 Miami Marathon Runner-Up and 2018 Miami Marathon Champion, Hillary Too was also the 2017 Quad Cities Marathon Champion and 2017 Steamtown Marathon Champion as well. When asked what he is looking forward to most about this year’s race, Hillary says “Won here before and excited to win here again!”.
Bryan Morseman, USA
Personal Best Marathon – 2:19:57
Current Residence: Bath, New York
Bryan Morseman joins us from the great state of New York after recently winning the PwC Bermuda Marathon on January 19th, 2020 – just a few weeks ago. In 2018, Morseman won the Tallahasse Marathon, Knoxville Marathon as well as the Roanoake Island OBX Marathon and followed those wins up by finishing as runner-up in the Mercedes Marathon, Maine Marathon and Mohawk Hudson River Marathon in 2019.
Abdulmenan Kasim Gelato, ETHIOPIA
Personal Best Half Marathon – 1:07:42
Current Residence: Bronx, New York
Jonatas Freitas, Brazil
Personal Best Marathon – 2:26:29
Current Residence: Suzano, Brazil
Jonatas Freitas most recently finished 3rd at the Floripa Uninter International Marathon in Brazil. Freitas also finished on the podium (3rd) of our Elite Field when asked “How many pairs of running shoes do you own?” with 16.
Current Residence: Van Whert, Ohio
Originally hailing from Kenya, Francis Miaraho finished 4th in the 2019 Cleveland Marathon. When asked what he would be doing if not pursuing professional distance running, Francis says he would be a rally driver!
Alvaro Isrrael Vazquez Gonzalez, NICARAGUA
Personal Best Marathon – Debut (1:16:06 for Half Marathon)
Current Residence: Hialeah, Florida
Our reigning 2018 and 2019 Tropical 5K Champion, Alvaro Isrrael Vazquez Gonzalez is one of the few local Floridians (originally hailing from Nicaragua) in this year’s Elite Field, and he also currently trains with Fit Zone.
Women’s Marathon Field
Meseret Ali Basa, ETHIOPIA
Personal Best Marathon – 2:40:41
Current Residence: New York City, New York
Meseret Ali Basa joins us from the Big Apple where she trains with and competes for the Westchester Track Club under Coach Bill Staab. Basa was the 2014 Jacksonville Marathon Champion and was 4th at the 2018 Ted Corbitt 15K in New York. More recently, she won the 2019 SHAPE Women’s Half Marathon in New York, placed 18th at the 2019 United Airlines NYC Half and placed 3rd in the Bermuda Half Marathon just a few weeks ago in January 2020.
Leah Jebiwot Kigen, KENYA
Personal Best Marathon – 2:40:46
Current Residence: Davenport, Iowa
Racing mostly in Mexico, Leah Jebiwot Kigen is the 2017 Culiacán Half Marathon Champion, the 2019 Powerade Monterrey Marathon Runner-Up and most recently finished 4th at the Mérida Banorte Marathon in January 2020. Like many of her Kenyan compatriots, Kigen derives the inspiration for her running from fellow Kenyan and current Marathon world record holder, Eliud Kipchoge.
Current Residence: Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Adams State University alumnus and mother of three, Rebekah Mayer was a six-time NCAA Division II All-American while at Adams State and was also a member of their 2003 NCAA Cross Country National Championship team. Mayer finished 22nd at the 2013 Grandma’s Marathon, 3rd at the 2017 Fargo Half Marathon and more recently finished 2oth at the 2019 Medtronic TC 10 Mile in Minneapolis, MN.
Aydee Loayza Huaman, PERU
Personal Best Marathon – Debut (1:19:01 for Half Marathon)
Current Residence: Lima, Peru
Aydee Loayza Huaman, an established world-class trail runner, joins us from her home country of Peru after finishing 9th in the 2019 Trail Running World Championships that was held in Coimbra, Portugal – the first female athlete from South America to complete the 44K distance race. Aydee also finished 4th in the Lima Half Marathon in May 2019, and says that the most interesting thing she has seen during a race is: “Running in the snow in a race in Argentina and seeing all the athletes (including myself) bouncing around and falling all over the place”.
Current Residence: Mexico City, Mexico
Alex Roudayna joins us as the 3rd place finisher of the 2014 Mexico City Half Marathon, 2nd place finisher of the 2015 San Francisco Half Marathon and 3rd place finisher of the 2016 and 2017 Mexico Ultra Trail 100K. If she weren’t running, Alex says she would be a Criminal Psychologist, and when asked what the most interesting thing she has seen in a race was, Alex said: “I rescued a puppy and carried him the last 30K of a 100K race. I got 2nd place, but most importantly got a best friend!”.
MEN’S HALF MARATHON FIELD
Dominic Korir, KENYA
Personal Best Half Marathon – 1:01:45
Current Residence: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Coming off a 17th place finish at the 2020 Houston Half Marathon where he ran his current PR, Dominic Korir joins us as our defending runner-up of the Miami Half Marathon. After his 2nd place finish in Miami last year, Dominic went on to place 3rd in the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K and 4th in the B.A.A. Boston Half Marathon – among other races he ran in 2019. Korir, who says his two daughters are his inspiration, also finished 6th at both Grandma’s Marathon (where he ran his marathon PR of 2:16:26) and Twin Cities Marathon in 2018 before finishing 3rd at the Pittsburgh 10 Miler later that same year.
Current Residence: Van Wert, Ohio
James Ngandu, a graduate of Tiffin University where he was a NCAA Division II Champion in cross country as well as the 10,000 meters on the track, joins us for the 2019 Miami Marathon & Half Marathon weekend after placing 18th at the 2020 Houston Half Marathon in new personal best time. A 13-time All-American while at Tiffin, Ngandu placed 9th in the 2019 edition of the Houston Half Marathon and then won the 2019 Austin Half Marathon a few weeks later. When asked what he’d be doing if he was not running professionally, James answered: “Garbage truck driver”.
Kevin Kochei, KENYA
Personal Best Half Marathon – 1:01:56
Current Residence: Colorado Springs, Colorado
The 2019 Mercedes Half Marathon Champion in Birmingham, Alabama, Kevin Kochei also placed 12th at the 2017 Cherry Blossom 10 Mile and 7th at the 2016 edition of the iconic Peachtree Road Race. Additionally, Kochei won the 2015 America’s Finest City Half Marathon in San Diego, California.
Current Residence: Boulder, Colorado
Coming in as the top American in the field, Daniel Nestor recently won the 2019 Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon in a new PR for the distance. Nestor also won the 2017 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships team title as a part of Tinman Elite – he finished 14th individually in the race. A graduate of Columbia University and current rabbit ELITE team member, Nestor also stated that the most interesting thing he has ever seen while running in a race is: “1,000 people dressed up like Batman”. Hmm.
Current Residence: Broomfield, Colorado
One of the few former Olympians in this year’s field, Luis Orta joins us as an alumnus of the University of Kentucky where he was a two-time South Eastern Conference (SEC) Champion. A 2016 Rio Olympian in the marathon for his home country of Venezuela, Orta has also represented his country five times at IAAF (World Athletics) World Championship events. Orta is also the Venezuelan National Record Holder in the 10K and Half Marathon, and more recently finished 21st at the Berlin Marathon in September 2018 and 7th in the 2019 South American Marathon Championships, hosted by the Buenos Aires Marathon in Brazil. When asked what he would be doing if he was not running, Orta said he would be a Farmer.
Current Residence: Richfield, Minnesota
A graduate of Loyola University Chicago and current Minnesota Distance Elite (formerly known as Team USA Minnesota) athlete, Danny Docherty was an All-Conference honoree in college and has really found his stride competing on the roads. Docherty recently finished 3rd at the 2019 Twin Cities Marathon in new PR of 2:15:55 and he was also 6th at the 2019 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota. Also the 7th place finisher at the 2019 USATF 25K Championships, when asked what the most interest thing he has seen during a race is, Danny answered: “An astronaut leading the beginning of the 2018 Peachtree 10k”.
Current Residence: Guatemala
Mario Pacay has represented Guatemala on the international stage several times, his first being at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada where he placed 11th and 7th, respectively, in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters. Pacay also finished 4th and 6th in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters, respectively, at the 2015 Mt. SAC Relays in California as well. Other top finishes include 11th and 14th place finishes in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland as well as 9th and 10th place finishes in the 2019 Pan American Games 5,000 and 10,000 meters, respectively, in Lima, Peru. Most recently, Pacay finished 23rd overall at the 2019 Houston Half Marathon.
Daniel Kirwa, UGANDA
Personal Best Half Marathon – 1:04:22
Current Residence: Gibsonton, Florida
Harding University graduate and current Airman 1st Class in the United States Air Force, Daniel Kirwa was a four-time NCAA Division II Champion in cross country and track & field as well as a 15-time All-American while at Harding. After earning his degree in political science, Kirwa enlisted in the Air Force and he is currently serving at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida as a medical technician assigned to the 6th Healthcare Operations Squadron. As the fastest distance runner in the Air Force, Kirwa placed 3rd overall in the 2019 Air Force Marathon. Kirwa was also the 2011 Huntsville Rocket City Marathon Champion in Huntsville, Alabama.
Current Residence: San Marcos, Guatemala
A frequent participant in the Miami Marathon & Half Marathon, Luis Carlos Rivero Gonzalez has ran either the Miami Marathon or Half Marathon six of the last seven years – finishing in the top five of the marathon four different times, once as champion, and in the top five of the half marathon the other two times, most recently in 2018. Luis also won the 2019 Munich Half Marathon and finished 18th at the 2017 Rotterdam Marathon in a time of 2:1631, qualifying him to represent Guatemala at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in the marathon where he went on to finish 69th. Gonzalez also says the weirdest thing he has seen while running a race is “seeing Snoop Dogg sing live”.
Joe Farrand, USA
Personal Best Half Marathon – 1:08:52
Current Residence: Orlando, Florida
An elementary school music teacher, Joe Farrand joins us after competing collegiately for Simpson College and qualifying for the NCAA Division III Championships as well as gathering multiple conference titles and All-Conference honors. Post-collegiately, Joe won the 2019 Silicon Valley Half Marathon and finished as runner-up in the 2019 OUC Half Marathon. When asked who his inspiration is, Joe says: “Frank Shorter – trained in the heat of Florida and my mustache hero”.
Current Residence: San Carlos, Costa Rica
Runner-up at the 2019 Mt. Charleston Half Marathon, Sandro Ezeta Chaves joins us from Costa Rica. Chaves was also the 2019 Clasica San Ramon Half Marathon Champion, and says that if he wasn’t running he would be a Computer Engineer. Chaves also, according to our polling, owns the most number of running shoes out of our 2020 Elite Field at 25 pairs.
Kyle Phillips, USA
Personal Best Half Marathon – 1:10:17
Current Residence: Waynesboro, Pennsylvannia
A graduate of Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvannia, Phillips placed 4th at the 2019 Oasis Rock N Roll Half Marathon in Montreal, 3rd at the 2018 Green Bay Half Marathon and 8th at the 2019 Buffalo Half Marathon. When asked who his biggest inspiration for running is, Kyle also said “My father for initially getting me in to running and coming to all my races with me”.
Current Residence: Bucaramanga, Colombia
Victor Leon finished 5th at the 2012 South American U18 Championships in the 3,000 meters, 11th in the 5,000 meters at the 2013 Pan American Junior Championships and 3rd in the 2016 Colombian U23 Championships in the 3,000 meter Steeplechase. More recently, Victor finished 6th at the 2019 Half Marathon of the Sea in Colombia.
Current Residence: Odessa, Texas
An elite Triathlon first and foremost, Daniel Rodriguez is based in Texas and is the Head Coach of Wolves Factory, and international coaching business and training group. Dani finished 20th at the 2019 Getafe Half Marathon and says that his inspiration to improve is seeing “people working hard day by day trying to get better. Never give up”.
Mitchell Hayes, USA
Personal Best Half Marathon – 1:15:00
Current Residence: New York, New York
Mitch Hayes, joining us from New York, placed 17th at the 2019 Rock N Roll New Orleans Half Marathon and also competed in the 2019 New York City Marathon, running 2:42.
Current Residence: Durham, North Carolina
A graduate of Campbell University where he was a 9-time NCAA Division I All-American and multiple time Big South Conference Champion, Lawrence Kipkoech is making his half marathon debut at the Miami Half Marathon. Kipkoech has impressive personal best times at 5,000 and 10,000 meters, running 13:42 in the 2019 Duke Invitational for 5,000 meters and 28:41 at the 2019 Raleigh Relays for 10,000 meters.
Women’s Half Marathon Field
Current Residence: Brighton, Massachusetts
A graduate of Cornell University, Katie Kellner was a two-time NCAA Division I All-American (once in cross country, once in outdoor track in the 10K) while competing for the Big Red. Now a member of the Boston Athletic Association’s (B.A.A.) Elite Team, Katie placed 28th in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and has qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials as well, which she will compete in on February 29th, 2020. When asked what the most interesting thing she has seen in a race is, Katie said: “An adorable berne-doodle giving out “high paws”.
Current Residence: Neve Michael, Washington
Less than three years after she started competitively running, Beatie Deutsch won the 2019 Tiberias Marathon in a time of 2:42:18. Later in the year, Beatie would go on to win the Riga Half Marathon, the Tel Aviv Half Marathon and the Israeli Half Marathon Championships, place 3rd in the Israeli 15K Championships, and place 8th in the Cape Town Marathon in a new PR of 2:36:41. As a mother of five children, Beatie is hoping to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Current Residence: New York, New York
As a cross country and track & field athlete at the University of Oregon, Waverly Neer was a PAC-12 Champion and 8-time NCAA Division I All-American. Now working in commercial real estate in New York City, Waverly placed 9th in the 2019 Philadelphia Half Marathon, and says that the most interesting thing she has seen during a race is “Hayward Field lit up with ‘Go Ducks’ signs”.
Lineida Mateus Rojas, COLOMBIA
Personal Best Half Marathon – 1:17:16
Current Residence: Bucaramanga, Colombia
Lineida Mateus Rojas returns to Miami after finishing 5th in the 2018 Miami Half Marathon. In 2013, she won the San Cristobal Half Marathon in what is still her half marathon PR. More recently, she placed 5th in the 2018 Medellin Half Marathon in Colombia and 9th in the 2019 Dusseldorf Marathon in Germany.
Current Residence: Jacksonville, Florida
Currently training with Shott Performance, Alli Gregg is an alumnus of the University of Alabama where she competed in cross country and track & field. Gregg won the 2019 Des Moines Women’s Half Marathon and also ran 2:49 at the California International Marathon in December 2019.
Current Residence: Zapopan, Mexico
Our reigning 3rd place finisher from last year’s Miami Half Marathon, Margarita Quintero Petris is back to defend her spot on the podium. When asked who her biggest inspirations are, Margarita – who also has a 2:48 marathon personal best – said “Eliud Kipchoge, Jordan Hasay and Alicia Keys”.
Current Residence: New York, New York
A graduate of the University of Kansas and current school teacher in New York, Rebekah Stowe was an NCAA Division I All-American and Big 12 Conference Champion, and she was also a finalist in the 3,000 meter Steeplechase at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
Current Residence: Delray Beach, Florida
A graduate of Brown University and current Public Relations Executive, Melissa Perlman recently ran 2:49 in the marathon at the California International Marathon in December 2019, and she also competed at the Boston Marathon earlier in the same year. A former Florida High School State Champion, Melissa says that her Dad is her biggest inspiration for her running.
|Men’s Marathon||2:12:22 – David Ruto (2003)|
|Women’s Marathon||2:34:11 – Hiromi Ominami (2006)|
|Men’s Half Marathon||1:03:46 – Brian Sell (2008)|
|Women’s Half Marathon||1:13:53 – Santa Ines Melchor (2016)|
Miami Marathon Champions
|2020||Saidi Juma Makula||2:22:01|
|2015||Luis Carlos Rivero Gonzalez||2:20:47|
|2013||Luis Rivero Gonzalez||2:26:14|
|2006||Ruben Garcia Gomez||2:18:15|
|2005||Elias Rodrigues Bastos||2:17:24|
|2004||William Gomez Amori||2:14:42|
|2020||Aydee Loayza Huaman||2:46:54|
|2015||Alemnesh Eshetu Habtemikael||2:39:31|
|2005||Sandra Ruales Mosquera||2:37:00|
Miami Half Marathon Champions
|2016||Santa Ines Melchor||1:13:53|
|2013||Risper Biyaki Gesabwa||1:14:00|
|2012||Lilian Moraa Mariita||1:16:04|
Top 10 Times in Event History
Marathon – Men
- David Ruto (2003) – 2:12:22
- Otavio Dos Santos P. (2003) – 2:12:23
- Kiplimo Rono (2003) – 2:12:40
- Tesfaye Alemayehu (2011) – 2:12:57
- William Gomez Amori (2004) – 2:14:42
- Genilson Junio Da S. (2003) – 2:15:17
- Ezekiel Kipsang (2019) – 2:16:36
- Benazzouz Slimani (2009) – 2:16:49
- Samuel Malakwen (2012) – 2:16:55
- Teferi Bacha (2012) – 2:16:55
Half Marathon – Men
- Brian Sell (2008) – 1:03:46
- Dominic Korir (2020) – 1:03:52
- Daniel Kemoi (2020) – 1:03:55
- Panuel Mkungo (2017) – 1:04:12
- Stephen Njoroge (2016) – 1:05:09
- Joseph Sitienei (2008) – 1:05:14
- Mike Morgan (2008) – 1:05:16
- Mariano Mastromarino (2015) – 1:05:24
- Benson Cheruiyot (2016) – 1:05:26
- Robert Mbithi (2013) – 1:05:44
Marathon – Female
- Hiromi Ominami (2006) – 2:34:11
- Sandra Ruales Mosquera (2005) – 2:37:00
- Sandra Ruales Mosquera (2006) – 2:37:18
- Kate Landau (2019) – 2:37:48
- Wioletta Kryza (2006) – 2:39:10
- Alemnesh Eshetu Habtemikael (2015) – 2:39:31
- Maria De Los Angeles Peralta (2015) – 2:39:33
- Volga Yudziankova (2003) – 2:40:22
- Ramilla Burangulova (2007) – 2:40:22
- Alena Vinitskaya (2003) – 2:40:42
Half Marathon – Female
- Santa Ines Melchor (2016) – 1:13:53
- Risper Biyaki Gesabwa (2013) – 1:14:00
- Malika Mejdoub Camacho (2013) – 1:14:14
- Rocio Cantara Rojas (2016) – 1:14:17
- Aziza Abate (2011) – 1:15:05
- Fiona Docherty (2011) – 1:15:07
- Yolanda Fernandez (2008) – 1:16:01
- Lilian Moraa Mariita (2012) – 1:16:04
- Lindsey Scherf (2016) – 1:16:12
- Firegenet Mandefiro (2018) – 1:16:35