LA Marathon Held Despite Coronavirus Concerns, Winners Announced

Bayelign Teshager of Ethiopia was the men's winner and Kenyan Margaret Muriuki the women's winner.


First-time marathoner Bayelign Teshager of Ethiopia was the men's winner of Sunday's 35th annual Los Angeles Marathon while Kenyan Margaret Muriuki was the women's winner.

The 20-year-old Teshager, who lives in Boston, won in two hours, eight minutes, 27 seconds. This was the third time since 1999 a non-Kenyan won the men's race. Ethiopians also won in 2011 and 2014.

John Langat was second in 2:08:44 while fellow Kenyan Wilson Chebet was third in 2:09:17.

Muriuki was the women's winner in 2:29:28 in her second marathon. The 33-year-old won the 2019 Honolulu Marathon in December in her debut at the

Almaz Negede of Ethiopia was second in 2:32:29. Jane Kibll, a Kenyan who lives in Auburn in the Sacramento area, was third in 2:36:05.

African women have won nine of the last 11 races, with runners from the former Soviet Union winning the other two times.

A field estimated by organizers at more than 25,000 started the race shortly before 7 a.m. at Dodger Stadium. Runners and wheelchair and handcycle
racers then headed through downtown Los Angeles, Echo Park, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City, Westwood, Brentwood and Santa Monica.


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The race drew a record 27,150 entrants from all 50 states and a record 78 nations. The previous record for entries was 26,054 in 2010.

The previous high for nations with runners entered was 66, set last year.

The 2020 entrants included 131 runners who competed in all 34 previous editions of the race.

There is traditionally about a 10% dropoff from the number of entrants to the number of runners, Dan Cruz, the marathon's head of communications,
told City News Service.

The race has a purse of $100,000, with equal prize money for men and women.

The top five male and female finishers will receive prize money.

The winners will each receive $23,000, the runners-up $12,000 and third-place finishers $7,000. The top American man and woman will each receive
a $2,000 bonus.

There were 25,500 entrants and 20,608 finishers in 2019. The race has had the fourth-largest field among U.S. marathons each year from 2016-19.

Runners among the record field of 27,150 from all 50 states and a record 78 nations who entered the race were asked by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to not participate if they felt sick even with mild illness.

Public Health also recommend runners wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before the start of the race, not to shake hands with other participants or the public along the course, not to share water or food with other runners and frequently use hand sanitizer provided along the course.

Race organizers increased the number of hand sanitizer stations at the starting line at Dodger Stadium, along the 26.2-mile, 385-yard course and the finish festival in Santa Monica.

The health department also recommended that spectators who were sick with even mild illness remain at home. Spectators were advised to engage in "social distancing," keeping at least six feet away from other people who are not family members or friends.

Public Health also advised spectators not to share food or water bottles, avoid shaking hands, and frequently wash hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, particularly before eating, after using the restroom and after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing.

Public Health is not recommending the suspension of any large public events, including the marathon, director Barbara Ferrer said. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said "There's no reason to cancel it."

One serious medical condition was reported among the participants. A 30-year-old male runner was discovered on the ground near Main and Forth Street, just after Mile Marker 3, suffering from an "altered level of consciousness," Capt. Erik Scott, public information officer for the Los
Angeles Fire Department, told City News Service.

Scott said the man was found by an LADOT worker, treated at the scene by paramedics and taken to local hospital in serious condition. No further
information was available.

Entries from runners with a mailing address in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Italy, South Korea and Iran were deferred to the 2021 race, about 0.06% of the field, according to Murphy Reinschreiber, chief operating officer of the McCourt Foundation, which organizes the race.

The U.S. State Department has issued a "do not travel to" advisory to those nations.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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