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L.A. Marathon: Runners prepare at Dodger Stadium for 26.2-mile trek

Runners

Thousands of runners stretched and warmed up before sunrise in the Dodger Stadium parking lot Sunday, preparing for the start of the L.A. Marathon.

About 24,000 runners were expected to take to the streets at 7:30 a.m. Sunday for the 28th Asics L.A. Marathon.

The 26.2-mile event begins at Dodger Stadium and winds through Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills before ending at the intersection of Ocean Avenue and California Avenue in Santa Monica.

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Runners sat along the third-base line in the stadium, eating breakfast under the glow of the stadium lights. Others jogged in place next to the ketchup and mustard carts.

In the parking lot, thousands of runners gathered, taking pictures and trying to keep warm as they awaited some warmth from the sun.

There, Euan Tan of Echo Park ate a sandwich and excitedly walked around with Caroline Tan, of Highland Park.

FULL COVERAGE: L.A. Marathon

The 17-year-olds are both students at Marshall High School in Silverlake and prepared for the race by running the hills of Griffith Park. They are members of Students Run L.A. An organization that had about 3,000 students they mentor and prepare for the race and in their academics.

Caroline, who is running her first marathon, was excited for the challenge.

"I'll be that way until probably mile 20," she said.

Avid runner Carissa Munder, 23, who lives in Austin, Texas, but is originally from Downey, inspired her friend Shavon Bates, 22, of Long Beach to give it a go.

"I'm so stoked," Bates said.  "It's been on my bucket list."

Munder, who was wearing a green flower bow in her hair and green and yellow argyle socks for St. Patrick's Day, helped Shavon prepare.

"I trained her," she said with a smile.

Munder awoke at 3:30 a.m. for a jog before heading to Dodger Stadium.

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.

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 will start 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: Rosa Cazares, 43, of Monterey Park and Daniel Sangiorgio, 45, of Fountain Valley warm up for the Los Angeles Marathon at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

 
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