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The Los Angeles Marathon will begin soon

March 20, 2011 |  7:22 am


It's 53 degrees and drizzling at Dodger Stadium, the start of the Los Angeles Marathon. The 26.2-mile route ends at Ocean Ave. and California Ave. in Santa Monica, where it's currently pouring.

The average starting tempurature of the past 25 marathons has been 54.2 degrees.

The wheelchair race was supposed to begin at 6:53 a.m. but was delayed while the Los Angeles Police Department cleared the course. The athletes took off at 7:16 a.m.

The elite women were scheduled to begin running at about 7:11 and the elite men at about 7:28 a.m., but they will experience a delay as well. The first runner to cross the finish line -- man or woman -- will receive a $100,000 bonus.

Wesley Korir, a 28-year-old Kenyan, is trying to become the first runner in marathon history to win three races. He won in 2009 in 2 hours 8 minutes and 24 seconds and last year in 2:09:19.

On the women's side, Ethiopia's Mare Dibaba is favored to win. The 21-year-old has the fastest time in the field at 2:25:27.

-- Melissa Rohlin

Photo: A marathon competitor in a wheelchair warms up on the course minutes before the start of the race. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times