Fatumo Sado of Ethiopia won the women's division of the Los Angeles Marathon today, with an unofficial time of 2:25:28 -- within one second of the course record.
Sado, 20, also won $100,000 and a new Honda in the match race against the fastest man, Simon Njoroge.
They were among the more than 20,000 long-distance runners taking part in the annual event.
It was dry at dawn as runners massed outside Dodger Stadium for start of what is traditionally one of the most grueling athletic events known to man.
The starter's gun for the main pack fired about 7:25 a.m.
Ethiopian Markos Geneti won last year with a record-setting time of 2:03:35.
The top woman, Buzanesh Deba of Ethiopian, finished in 2:26:35.
Forecasters had predicted on-and-off showers through the day.
But the dawn broke with bright sunshine and scattered clouds.
The race has been held annually since 1986. For the third year in a row, the race was run on the “Stadium to the Sea” course, billed by organizers as having a landmark every mile.
From Dodger Stadium, the course headed toward downtown, passing Chinatown, Olvera Street, City Hall, Little Tokyo, the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
After the downtown leg, the course headed west through Echo Park and Silver Lake into Hollywood, passing the Hollywood & Highland Center, home of the Academy Awards, and Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
The field jogged south onto Sunset Boulevard, entering West Hollywood, then Beverly Hills, where the runners swarmed Rodeo Drive.
The latter parts of the race, officially known as the Honda LA Marathon, included Century City, the Veterans Administration grounds and Brentwood's broad San Vicente Boulevard, concluding near the Santa Monica Pier.
The elite women's field received a 17-minute, 31-second head start, based on a formula involving the lifetime bests of the elite male and female runners.
The bonus has been won by male runners four times and women runners four times.
Last year, a drenching 2.42 inches of rain fell over the marathon course, and dozens of runners got dangerously cold.
Today, race organizers had about 5,000 plastic trash bags for keeping warm and stay dry at the start, and some 23,000 Mylar blankets to help runners guard against hypothermia were divided among 10 medical stations along the course and at the finish line, according to marathon Chief Operating Officer Nick Curl.
Heating buses stood by at the medical stations and the finish line.
More than 300 marathon runners were evaluated for hypothermia and 20 were hospitalized last year.