Kota grew up on the island of Alameda in the San Francisco Bay. After competing collegiately for UC San Diego and the University of Puget Sound, he began pursuing the marathon distance. He raced the Boston Marathon in 2009, finishing a few steps in front of Kevin Pierpoint (KP) and ending up on a massage table next to Reed Lyon. Four weeks later, KP convinced him to run with the Bay to Breakers Aggie centipede team. For the next few years, the Aggies inspired him to run 100+ mile weeks and hang out for beers afterwards. Now, he runs mostly to keep up with his wife Liza. And for the beers.

Kota holds a doctorate in Physical Therapy and a Masters in Business Administration from Berkeley Haas.

Fun Fact: As an official pace-setter at the 2014 and 2015 Cal International Marathons, Kota helped 25 women qualify for the 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials. 

Favorite Aggie: Liza Reichert

Personal Bests

  • Half Marathon - 1:07:24

  • Marathon - 2:26:51


  • 1st place, 2016 Seattle Marathon

  • 2nd place, 2015 Eugene Marathon