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Sunday, March 17, 2013

L.A. Marathon: Live Coverage, Results, Street Closures - Beverly Hills, CA Patch

L.A. Marathon: Live Coverage, Results, Street Closures

Join Patch for live coverage of the 26.2-mile race from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier.

7:40 a.m.: The 24,000 runners in today's at-capacity race continue leaving the corrals at Dodger Stadium headed to the Santa Monica Pier, where it's cool and foggy.

7:27 a.m.: A larger pack of elite men runners, headed by Simon Njorge of Kenya, are off to catch the women. Whoever crosses the finish line first will earn a $50,000 bonus. An unidentified man in blue sprinted ahead of the fastest male racers when the horn sounded but quickly fell back.

7:08 a.m.: Elite women, whose field includes U.S. record holder Deena Kastor, have started with an 18-minute, 35-second head start over the men.

6:56 a.m.: The wheelchair racers push off from Dodger Stadium to officially start the 2013 Los Angeles Marathon.

Prerace by City News Service

A capacity field of 24,000 runners from all 50 states and 61 nations has entered the race with better conditions forecast following rain in 2011 and brisk wind last year.

Race director and chief operating officer Nick Curl credits the second sellout in race history to its communications strategy.

"Last August, when we started running full-page ads in running publications locally and nationally, we told our participants the race is capped" in advance for the first time, Curl told City News Service.

"We've been consistent in that messaging." Curl said he likely could have registered 2,000-3,000 additional runners after the race reached its capacity March 7, "but I'm not going to go back and take more registrants than I have finish medals. It's the wrong thing to do."

The 2010 race, the first run on the "Stadium to the Sea" course from Dodger Stadium to near the Santa Monica Pier, was also sold out, with registration ending at a record of 26,054 when Curl knew there would not be finisher medals for any additional runners.

The race also topped 24,000 entrants each year between 2004 and 2007.

The temperature at Dodger Stadium at 7:25 a.m., when the bulk of the field will start, is forecast by the National Weather Service to be 53 degrees, which race medical commissioner Dr. Glenn Ault called "pretty good."

At the 12th mile of the 26-mile, 385-yard course in Hollywood, temperatures are forecast to be 60 at 9 a.m., 65 at 10 a.m. 69 at 11 a.m., 71 at noon and remaining in the 70s the next four hours, leaving race medical officials "a little concerned," Ault said.

At the 19th mile in Westwood temperatures are forecast to be in the 60s from 10 a.m. on and in the low 60s at the finish in Santa Monica, which Ault called "phenomenal for us."

"We tell runners to pace themselves," Ault said. "Everybody wants to get out in their best time, but when you're running a race that's warmer than the ideal temperatures in the upper-50s to low-60s you tend to get dehydrated quicker."

Cooling buses will be at all 10 medical stations, 10,000 towels will be placed in barrels filled with ice and all fire hydrants along the course have been flushed so additional water will be available if needed, Ault said.

More than 200 medical professionals have volunteered for the medical stations, Ault said. "We're really prepared," Ault said.

Street closures will begin at 4 a.m. from the race's start at Dodger Stadium to Hollywood, 5 a.m. in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City, Westwood, Brentwood, West Los Angeles and Santa Monica. Streets will be re-opened on a rolling basis, with areas east of the finish line re-opened by 2:20 p.m.

Detailed information on street closures and alternate routes is available online at commuterama.com. The race, officially known as the ASICS LA Marathon, has drawn criticism from some people living near the course for the inconveniences caused by the street closures.

"It is an inconvenience for some," Curl said. "The other side of the coin is to see a major city marathon bring communities together, people together and charities together. It's pretty special."

The 81 marathon-recognized charities have pledged to raise $4 million, topping last year's record of $3,023,326, Curl said.

The race also increases business for restaurants and directly leads to more than 6,000 nights of hotel occupancy, Curl said. At the request of officials from a city Curl declined to identify, which was seeking more international visitors for its hotels, "we started an overseas program to try to get more people to come to that jurisdiction."

The marathon has also led to Southern Californians visiting attractions along the course they learned about because of the race, Curl said.

The male and female winners will each receive $25,000 and the second- place finishers $12,500.

The first overall finisher will earn an additional $50,000 in the ASICS LA Marathon Challenge. The elite women's field will receive a 18-minute, 35-second head start, based on a formula involving the lifetime bests of the elite male and female runners.

The bonus has been won by women runners five times and men runners four times. The expected 10-woman elite field will include American record holder Deena Kastor for the first time.

"I was on the L.A. Marathon course last year as part of the broadcast team and I was so impressed with the course and the energy of the event that I knew I needed to compete in 2013," Kastor said.

A U.S. runner last won the women's race in 1994. An African woman has won for three consecutive years following an 11-year streak of victories by women from the former Soviet Union.

Defending men's champion Simon Njoroge of Kenya is among the expected field of 17 elite male runners. The men's race has been won by Kenyans 13 of the past 14 years, a stretch interrupted by the 2011 victory by Markos Geneti of Ethiopia. A U.S. runner last won the men's race in 1994.

Related Topics: 2013 Los Angeles Marathon and l.a. marathon

L.A. Marathon: Live Coverage, Results, Street Closures - Beverly Hills, CA Patch

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