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L.A. Marathon kicks off a half hour early Sunday

Because of a heat wave, extra precautions are being taken for today's Los Angeles Marathon

The Los Angeles Marathon is set to begin at 6:55 a.m. Sunday, 30 minutes earlier than planned.

Those participating in the 26-mile run that extends from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier will also have access along the way to air-conditioned buses and misting stations stocked with ice and cold towels to help them cool off.

The extra precautions are being taken to help the estimated 26,000 runners cope with what weather forecasters are predicting will be record breaking heat for the annual event, with temperatures reaching the upper-80s by noon.

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Participants were advised to run at a slower pace than usual and to wear light clothing. Organizers have set up 24 fully-staffed water and aid stations along with medical tents along the route.

There will also be entertainment centers set up along the course to help inspire runners to keep going. They will include cheerleaders, live music and even a Japanese taiko drum ensemble. '

Stretches of Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard as well as numerous feeder streets will be closed to traffic as early as 4 a.m. and reopened after runners pass. Nearby freeway ramps will also be closed.

The annual event, which attracts people from all over the world, helps raise money for local nonprofit organizations that serve the community. So far, more than $2 million has been raised from this year’s event.

carlos.lozano@latimes.com

 

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