Culver City Edition Lead Story Sports

26,000 expected to enter 31st Los Angeles Marathon

LOS ANGELES — The 31st Los Angeles Marathon takes place Feb. 14, with more than 26,000 runners expected to take to the Stadium to the Sea Course from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier.

The race, staged by LA Marathon, a subsidiary of McCourt Global, has a new title sponsor this year with Skechers signing a multi-year contract with LA Marathon last August to fill that role.

This year, the L.A. Marathon is joining with the U.S. Olympic Committee to stage the trials for the 2016 U.S. Olympic marathon participants the day before the regular marathon.

An estimated 350 elite runners will take part in the time trials trying to earn a spot on the U.S. team that will travel to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil this summer.

The Olympic trials will not follow the Stadium to the Sea route of the next day’s race. Instead it will follow a route between Staples Center and the Coliseum that includes Exposition Park and the USC campus and a six-mile loop runners will run four times.

The L.A. Marathon begins at 6:30 a.m. Feb. 14 with wheelchair participants. Two minutes later, people riding handcycles start, followed by elite women runners at 6:45 and elite men and the rest of the participants at 6:55.

Daniel Kiprop Limo was the men’s winner of last year’s marathon, while fellow Kenyan Ogla Jerono Kimaiyo was the women’s winner.

Limo passed Kenyan Edwin Koech in the 22nd mile to retake his earlier lead, and remained ahead for the remaining four miles to the finish line in Santa Monica.

Limo, 31, won in two hours, 10 minutes, 36 seconds. Lani Rutto of Kenya ran 2:12:43 to finish second for the second consecutive year.

A U.S. runner last won the men’s race in 1994, and Africans have won every men’s race since 1997.

Kimaiyo was the fifth African woman to have won the race in the past six years. A U.S. woman last won in 1994.

To ensure the safety of the athletes and spectators, there will be several street closures West Hollywood from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 14. The closures are: Sunset Boulevard between Havenhurst Drive and Doheny Drive; San Vicente Boulevard from Melrose Avenue to Sunset Boulevard; Santa Monica Boulevard between La Cienega Boulevard and Doheny Drive; and Doheny Drive from Santa Monica to Beverly Boulevard.

Officials of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority are urging spectators to take MTA rail lines or buses to reach viewing areas. Roundtrip fare is only $3.50 and includes two hours of free transfers with a TAP card.

The MTA also will run free, non-stop bus shuttles beginning at 5 a.m. between the city of Santa Monica and the Culver City Expo Line Station. Customers can board Santa Monica-bound buses on Washington Boulevard just south of the Expo Culver City Station. Culver City-bound buses may be boarded at the temporary bus hub on Olympic Boulevard and 11thStreet in Santa Monica.

All MTA buses serving Santa Monica will be re-routed to the temporary bus hub to ensure convenient transfers during marathon street closures. The Santa Monica Big Blue Bus will operate free shuttles between the temporary bus hub and downtown Santa Monica, which is just a 10-minute walk to the finish line.

MTA officials report there will be bus service interruptions along the race route and urge customers to plan ahead and allow for extra time when taking the bus Feb. 14.