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L.A. Marathon: Race begins with cheers from crowd

March 17, 2013 |  7:44 am

Photo: Runners begin the 26.2 mile race from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica.. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times
The 28th Asics L.A. Marathon got underway at Dodger Stadium early Sunday morning under a hazy sky, and with more than 20,000 runners participating. 

After a few words of encouragement from  Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the event's elite runners headed off to cheers from the crowd.

Shivering spectators roared as thousands of runner streamed by. Some climbed on trees to get a better vantage point. News helicopters hovered above.

PHOTOS: The 2013 Los Angeles Marathon

About 24,000 runners were expected to take to the streets in the 26.2-mile event that will wind through Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills before ending at the intersection of Ocean Avenue and California Avenue in Santa Monica.

In this year's men's field, Kenyan Simon Njoroge, winner of last year's men's race, is again a top contender.

Deena Kastor, the U.S. women's record holder, is among eight elite female runners.

FULL COVERAGE: 28th Los Angeles Marathon

Winners of the men's and women's races each receive $25,000.

There is also a $50,000 gender challenge bonus for the first runner to cross the finish line. The women started 18 minutes 35 seconds ahead of the men — the difference in time between event records in the men's and women's divisions.

Winners in the wheelchair divisions receive $2,500.

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-- Stephen Ceasar at Dodger Stadium

Photo: Runners begin the 26.2-mile race from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica.. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

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