Committee Moves 2010 Marathon Back to Sunday

Los Angeles City Council committee agreed today to hold the 2010 Los Angeles Marathon on a Sunday in March, instead of Memorial Day, because some athletes complained about the possibility of intense heat in late May.

Some runners complained that it would be impractical and too hot on Memorial Day.

The date of the 26.2-mile race has been changed twice since the race was acquired by Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt in September.

The City Council's Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee approved the motion to reopen the contract with LA Marathon LLC and change the date of future marathons to a Sunday in March. The motion will next be heard by the Budget and Finance Committee.

Traditionally, the race has been run on the first Sunday in March.

In a unanimous vote of the council in September, the race rights were transferred to McCourt's group, with the stipulation that the race be shifted to a Monday holiday to limit the impact on Sunday morning religious services.

The race was scheduled for Presidents Day in February. Then, in November, race organizers moved the marathon to Memorial Day. At the time, organizers said the new date would create fewer disruptions, as more people would have the day off from work.


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Runners have argued that holding a marathon in Los Angeles during the month of May is problematic because of the heat, which makes it difficult to compete.

During the Chicago Marathon in October 2007, a runner died, and several others collapsed and were hospitalized when temperatures soared to 88 degrees. That marathon was canceled mid-race.

Howard Sunkin of the Los Angeles Dodgers spoke on behalf of McCourt. He said scheduling the marathon for Memorial Day was "a wrong decision."

"I will take full responsibility for making that decision," Sunkin said.

The date change has had a significant impact on the number of marathoners participating in this year's race. While more than 17,000 runners crossed the finish line last year, so far only 9,162 runners have signed up this year.

"It's all because of the date change," Sunkin said.

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