A capacity field of more than 24,000 has entered Sunday’s 34th annual Los Angeles Marathon, the 10th to be run on the “Stadium to the Sea” course from Dodger Stadium to near the Santa Monica Pier.

The field is expected to be the fourth-largest among this year’s U.S. marathons for the fourth consecutive year and 10th worldwide, for the sixth consecutive year.

The race has drawn entrants from all 50 states and a record 66 nations, three more than the previous high, according to organizers.

There are no changes to the 26-mile, 385-yard course from last year.

When the bulk of the field starts the race at 6:55 a.m. at Dodger Stadium it is expected to be partly cloudy and 51 or 52 degrees, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Hall.

When the top runners cross the finish line about two hours, 10 minutes later near the Santa Monica Pier it is expected to be 64 or 65 degrees and partly cloudy, Hall said.

For the first time, the race will have two honorary starters — Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner and Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujlos.

Both Turner and Pujlos have foundations that are among the race’s 70 official charities.

The Justin Turner Foundation’s mission is to support homeless veterans, children (and their families) battling life-altering illnesses and diseases and youth baseball organizations.

The Pujlos Family Foundation seeks to meet the needs of children and families who live with Down syndrome; improve the quality of life for impoverished people in the Dominican Republic through education, medial relief and tangible goods; and provide “extraordinary experiences for children with disabilities and/or life-threatening illnesses.”

What organizers have designated as the race’s premier charities include Train 4 Autism, which raises awareness and funds for research and treatment of those living with autism and their families; Team World Vision, which provides clean water for children and families in Africa; and Angel City Pit Bulls, which is dedicated to creating a better future for pit bulls through education, public advocacy, adoptions and owner support.

More than half of the charities will be showcasing their programs on the course including the Catholic Education Foundation; Kitten Rescue; Guide Dogs of America; the Widows, Orphans and Disabled Firemen’s Fund; the Concern Foundation, which raises money for cancer research; and the Hirshberg Foundation, which supports pancreatic cancer research, patients with the disease and their families.

Organizers expect the race’s charities to raise more than $4 million.

There will be 50 entertainment areas, four featured entertainment centers and more than 50 charity cheer zones along the course.

The field will include up to 137 “Legacy Runners” who have run all 33 previous editions of the race along with approximately 3,200 at-risk middle and high school students from Los Angeles who participate in Students Run LA, an after-school mentoring and physical fitness program.

The men’s professional field includes Weldon Kirui, the 2016 and 2018 winner, and Juan Luis Barrios of Mexico, a two-time Olympic finalist and two-time Pan American Games gold medal-winner in the 5,000 meters.

The men’s race has been won by a Kenyan every year since 1999, except for 2011 and 2014, when it was won by Ethiopians.

A U.S. runner last won in 1994.

The women’s professional field is headlined by Ethiopians Belaynesh Fikadu and Askale Merachi and Lucy Karimi of Kenya.

African women have won seven of the last nine races, with runners from the former Soviet Union winning the other two times. A U.S. runner last won the women’s race in 1994.

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.

A separate prize purse of $9,000 is offered for the wheelchair competitors, with the men’s and women’s wheelchair winners each receiving $2,500.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *