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L.A. Marathon gets underway

March 18, 2012 |  8:35 am

Runners begin the 2012 L.A. Marathon at Dodger Stadium
The L.A. Marathon started just after 7 a.m. Sunday morning under cold and cloudy skies.

About 23,000 runners were scheduled to take part in the 26.2-mile race from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica.

The runners got a brief respite from the rain but could see showers before it ends. Rain was an issue for many runners during last year's marathon, when 2.36 inches fell.

PHOTOS: 2012 L.A. Marathon is off and running

In this year's men's field, Kenyans Elias Kemboi and David Mandago are expected to be top contenders. Elias has a personal best of 2:07:04, posted in the 2010 Frankfurt Marathon, and Mandago has a personal best of 2:06:53, in the 2009 Paris Marathon.

For the women, Ethiopia's Misiker Demissie, who set a personal best of 2:25:21 in the 2011 San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, is considered a favorite. She'll be challenged by fellow Ethiopians Salomie Gatnet and Belainesh Gebre.

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-- Anna Gorman and Baxter Holmes

Photo: Runners begin the 2012 L.A. Marathon at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

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