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Kenyans Win Big At L.A. Marathon
The 32nd Annual Los Angeles Marathon occurred Sunday morning, with Elisha Barno and Hellen Jepkurgat emerging victorious for the Men's and Women's Elite Division races, according to the LA Times. Barno and Jepkurgat both hail from Kenya and finished the race at 2:11:53 and 2:34:23, respectively. The men's record holder is Markus Geneti of Ethiopia, who finished in 2:06:35 in 2011. The record holder for the women's race is Edna Kipligat, also of Kenya, who finished in 2:25:38 in 2010. Over 24,000 runners participated in this year's race. It's known as the "Stadium to Sea" race because it starts at Dodger Stadium and traverses the entire city before ending in Santa Monica.
The L.A. Marathon is the fourth largest race in the country and the 10th largest race in the world. Its path from East to West roughly follows Sunset Blvd, Hollywood Blvd, and Santa Monica Blvd, with a few diverging paths along the way (even a 26-mile route can only cover a fraction of what actually constitutes Los Angeles). On its website, the race illuminates the history of its route in an attempt to ingrain it in the culture of L.A., but it doesn't do much to offset the real reason Angelenos pay attention: street closures and heavy traffic. How many winners can you name, whereas how many times can you remember spending an extra hour driving home because you forgot about the blocked-off route? It doesn't help that the reason for traffic is semi-professional athletes competing for a $100,000 grand prize who run 5 minute miles and can say they've actually used their feet to get around L.A.