L.A. Marathon 2023: Thousands hit the streets for annual trek

Undeterred by cloudy skies and cool temperatures, more than 20,000 participants took to the streets early Sunday as part of the 38th annual Los Angeles Marathon.

The marathon kicked off at Dodger Stadium, with wheelchair participants starting at 6:30 a.m., followed by elite female runners at 6:45 a.m., elite men at 6:55 a.m. and the full field at 7 a.m.

“This is so exciting,” said Mayor Karen Bass, who was on hand for the kickoff of the marathon. “This is an international event. Everybody coming together to celebrate Los Angeles.”

The 26.2-mile course spans some of the city’s most iconic neighborhoods, including Chinatown, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Century City. The majority of the route includes large sections of Sunset, Hollywood and Santa Monica boulevards.

Most participants in the marathon — which draws people from around the world — were expected to take three to five hours to complete the course. But the elite runners typically finish the race in a little more than two hours.

The day will be mostly cloudy, with a high of 65 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. The race will be televised by KTLA-TV Channel 5 and streamed live on the L.A. Marathon’s Facebook page.

The trek toward the coast will mean dozens of street closures along the way. Much of downtown and Century City will be effectively closed off to vehicles for the race. In addition, several freeway ramps on the northbound lanes of the 110, the 101 and the southbound 405 freeways will be closed.

Streets will be reopened as runners stream through the area toward the finish line. For example, streets around downtown should be reopened by 10 a.m. and in Hollywood, by noon. Near the finish line in Century City, portions of Santa Monica Boulevard, Century Park East and Avenue of the Stars will remain closed until 8 p.m.

Started in 1986, the Los Angeles Marathon had been a race from downtown to the coast in Santa Monica, but in 2021 organizers unveiled a new “Stadium to the Stars” course, with runners turning around before reaching Santa Monica and heading back toward Santa Monica Boulevard in Century City instead.

A cash price of $6,000 is offered to the winner of the men‘s and women’s races. A prize of $2,500 is also given to the winner of the wheelchair division.

Last year, John Korir of Kenya won the men’s division in 2:09:07. Devline Meringor of Kenya won the women’s division in 2:25:03.

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