As he turned the corner and ran toward the finish-line tape, Peter Omae Ayieni knew he would become the men's champion of the eighth annual OC Marathon.
Ayieni, a 34-year-old from Kenya, believed he could win the race since the sixth-mile mark, when he said he felt comfortable. He went on to win his second straight men's overall title in 2 hours, 31 minutes, 18 seconds Sunday morning. He finished more than three minutes ahead of runner-up Nate Clayson, a 26-year-old from Murray, Utah, who came across in 2:34:50.
Ayieni wasn't the only repeat winner. Maika Carlsen, a 31-year-old exercise physiologist from Providence, Utah, won the women's title for the third straight year, this time in 2:53:13. Stephanie Kato, 23, of San Jose was second in 2:55:05.
A race record 18,000 runners were registered for the marathon, half-marathon, 5K and Kids Run the OC races. The marathoners began at Fashion Island and ran through Newport Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana and ended at the OC Fair & Events Center in Costa Mesa.