L.A. Marathon live updates: Kenya’s Weldon Kirui, Ethiopia’s Sule Utura Gedo take elite wins


About 24,000 people raced in the Los Angeles Marathon today, across a course stretching from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier.

For the second time in three years, Kenya’s Weldon Kirui won the men’s elite race. Ethiopia’s Sule Utura Gedo won the women’s elite with a final-mile push.

As the event winds down, we’ll continue to bring you live updates, photos and video footage, and everything you need to know to navigate your way around transit detours and road closures.

See scenes from the race>>

Here are all the streets that are closed>>

Video: Marathon participants tell us why they ran


Streets through mile 19 have reopened

More roads along the Los Angeles Marathon route have reopened.

All streets between Dodger Stadium and mile 19, at Santa Monica Boulevard and Westholme Avenue, are now open to traffic, the event’s multi-agency Joint Information Center announced about 1:30 p.m.


Weldon Kirui of Kenya finds redemption in familiar spot at L.A. Marathon

In a redemptive push near the exact spot where he faded a year earlier, Kenya’s Weldon Kirui won the Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday for the second time in three years.

Kirui, 29, collected the winner’s $25,000 purse after completing the 26.2-mile course that runs from Dodger Stadium to the Pacific Ocean’s shore in Santa Monica in 2 hours, 11 minutes, 48 seconds.

Ethiopia’s Gebresadik Adihanaas was runner-up despite a desperate final response, finishing nine seconds behind. Defending champion Elisha Barno of Kenya was third (2:12.14).

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Montana teacher enjoys hanging with top runners — and finishing among top Americans

After 14 miles, Heather Lieberg, 38, a mother of three from Montana, looked up to see no one in front of her Sunday at the Los Angeles Marathon.

Although others felt the 47-degree temperature at the race’s start was too cool, she considered the light snow and 20-degree conditions at home and thought, “Perfect.”

“I felt awesome, it was fun,” Lieberg said, turning to spot onetime L.A. Marathon champion Hellen Jepkurgat and Jane Kibii, both of Kenya, to each side, with elite American runner Joanna Reyes just behind.

“I just wanted to hang in as long as I could.”

What would be a story beyond fathoming for the second-grade class Lieberg will teach Monday back home in Helena, Mont., became something nevertheless inspiring.

By finishing ninth in the women’s marathon in 2 hours, 38 minutes, 30 seconds, Lieberg was one of five American women to finish in the top 10 in Los Angeles for the second consecutive year.

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Streets through mile 12 have reopened


So L.A./Not so L.A.

Lizzy Cooper serves avocado toast with corn and cotija cheese at Lululemon Athletica in Brentwood as part of its marathon cheer station.
(Andrea Chang / Los Angeles Times)


See the L.A. landmarks along the marathon route

Photo gallery: From Dodger Stadium to Beverly Hills, see iconic L.A.


Plenty of love shown for the Pablove volunteers who raised $60,000 for childhood cancer

Kerry Quakenbush, right, director of Team Pablove, hugs a runner with the Pablove Foundation team.
(Hailey Branson-Potts / Los Angeles Times)

Bert Champagne stood near Hollywood Boulevard and Whitley Avenue in a robe that looked like a penguin, giving a droll congratulations to passing runners.

“Welcome to Hollywood,” he said. “If this is your Hollywood dream, you’re living it.”

Champagne, a Hollywood resident, is a volunteer for the Pablove Foundation, which raises money for childhood cancer research. Thirty-five runners trained by Pablove are running today. They raised some $60,000.

Champagne stood with volunteer Kat Ferson and Kerry Quakenbush, director of Team Pablove, which trains athletes.

Quakenbush has run 60 marathons and cheered at many others. He said this year’s weather — clear, with just a slight chill in the air — is much better than the sweltering heat of years past.

“The weather’s perfect,” he said. “You can’t beat it.”

The three had energy gel, hugs and cheers to give their runners if they needed a boost. When the final Pablove runners passed, they ran out and hugged them.

Champagne said he dresses silly every year. He’s dressed as the pope a few times, which always gets a laugh. He’s also been Santa Claus.

“Anything to make them smile,” he said. “It takes their mind off the race.”

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Longtime friends cheer on a first-timer

From left to right, Liz Guillen, Sam Guillen and Myrna Ramirez wait for their friend, Rina Padula, at the L.A. Marathon on March 18.
(Hailey Branson-Potts / Los Angeles Times)

Liz Guillen, 38, of Santa Ana, giggled with anticipation as she scanned the crowd of thousands of runners for her friend, Rina Padula.

Liz and her sister, Sam Guillen, 27, of Hollywood, and their friend Myrna Ramirez, 39, of San Gabriel, stood near Hollywood Boulevard and Argyle Avenue. They each consulted smartphone apps, trying to keep track of Padula so they wouldn’t miss her. All they knew was she was in a red hat, and she was getting close.

“There are so many red hats!” Ramirez said, laughing. They cheered on everyone in a red cap, just in case.

“I hope she sees us!” Liz Guillen said. “I feel so nervous for her. I feel like I just ran the marathon.”

Liz hopped on a train at 6 a.m. in Orange County to be there for Padula’s first marathon. She and Ramirez were college roommates at USC, and Padula was a close friend and a “designated roommate.” They’ve all been friends for about 20 years.

Padula has been training hard, Ramirez said, and they planned to celebrate afterward with champagne.

Finally, at around 9:15 a.m., they spotted Padula: red cap, long braided hair, a white tank top. They chanted her name and held up a pink poster board that said: “#RinaRocks LA Marathon, <3 your fans.”

She saw them, flashed a big smile, waved and kept running.

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Lacking motivation to run? How about a T. rex in pursuit?


Ethiopia’s Sule Utura Gedo wins women’s elite with final-mile push

Ethiopia’s Sule Utura Gedo wins the women's elite L.A. Marathon.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Thanks to a final-mile push, Ethiopia’s Sule Utura Gedo won the women’s portion of the Los Angeles Marathon in an official time of 2 hours, 33 minutes, 49 seconds.

Gedo ended a course-long pack race with countrywoman Tsehay Desalegn with her sprint toward the finish line, as Desalegn finished an official 8 seconds behind and defending champion Hellen Jepkurgat of Kenya was 13 seconds behind.

Las Vegas’ Christina Vergara-Aleshire rallied to finish 4th.


After 33 years, this marathon runner has left quite the legacy

Jim Blanck, 61, takes a break from the marathon to embrace his granddaughter, Eryn.
(Hailey Branson-Potts / Los Angeles Times)

When Tammy Blanck saw her husband, Jim, running toward her at Hollywood Boulevard and Cherokee Avenue, between miles 11 and 12 of the Los Angeles Marathon, she started jumping up and down, squealing.

“There he is!” she chirped to her 5-year-old grandson, Emory, who grinned from under a crocheted stocking cap that looked like a lion.

Emory and his 3-year-old sister, Eryn, ran toward Jim, and Jim clutched his grandchildren’s hands as he ran toward his family in a bright yellow shirt just after 8:30 a.m. He was still feeling good.

Jim Blanck is a legacy runner doing his 33rd L.A. Marathon.

“He just loves it,” Tammy said. “He doesn’t do any other marathons. I tell everybody, but he has such humility he doesn’t tell everybody. But he wants to do this forever.”

“We’re so proud of him,” said his daughter, Jessica Blanck, clutching a heart-shaped sign that read “WE LOVE LEGACY RUNNERS.”

The family, from Simi Valley, has come to watch him every year in about the same spot, near Nat King Cole’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. From there, , they said, they’ll pile into a car they parked nearby and rush to mile 22. They’ve got it down to a science, they joked.

They follow an app so they can see where Jim is on the course and know when he’s coming. Tammy kept checking her watch.

“He’s coming soon!” she told her grandkids. “Say, ‘Go, Grandpa!’”

When Jim approached holding his grandkids’ hands, Tammy ran out onto Hollywood Boulevard and gave him a kiss.

“Thanks for coming!” he told his wife, kids and grandkids with a grin. “But I’ve got to go!”

They cheered him off.

As hundreds of runners passed, viewers clanged cowbells and cheered.

Tammy Blanck and her grandson, Emory, wave to Jim Blanck as he approaches.
(Hailey Branson-Potts / Los Angeles Times)

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Hellen Jepkurgat in tight race to women’s elite finish

Defending women’s champion Hellen Jepkurgat of Kenya stayed barely in front of Ethiopia’s Sule Utura Gedo and Tsehay Desalegn as they run toward the Los Angeles Marathon finish line in Santa Monica.

Jepkurgat is hoping to join countryman Weldon Kirui in collecting winners’ purses in what has been a continued test of wills among a pack that left behind fourth-place runner Jane Kibii of Kenya a few miles back.


Kenya’s Weldon Kirui pulls away for second L.A. Marathon victory in three years

Kenya’s Weldon Kirui pulls away for second L.A. Marathon victory in three years.
Kenya’s Weldon Kirui pulls away for second L.A. Marathon victory in three years.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Kenya’s Weldon Kirui grabbed a bottle of water and pulled away from Ethiopia’s Gebresadik Adihana in the 24th mile, charging toward a second Los Angeles Marathon victory in the last three years.

Kirui won in an official time of 2 hours, 11 minutes, 48 seconds, followed about 10 seconds later by a late-charging Adihana.

Kirui bolted toward the finish line in Santa Monica with a 24-mile time of 4 minutes, 55 seconds, 16 seconds better than Adihana at a similar point where Kirui lost touch with last year’s winner, Elisha Barno.

Barno was left behind at the 20-mile mark, perhaps a result of his decision to run a marathon in Houston in January.


Kenya’s Weldon Kirui and Hellen Jepkurgat hold late leads in L.A. Marathon

Kenya’s Weldon Kirui grabbed a bottle of water and pulled away from Ethiopia’s Gebresadik Adihana in the 24th mile, a defining push as he charges toward a second Los Angeles Marathon victory in the last three years.

Adihana is an estimated 100 feet behind at the 25-mile marker.

Defending women’s champion Hellen Jepkurgat of Kenya leads a pack of four in her race.


A sprint to the finish

It’s a virtual sprint to the finish in the Los Angeles Marathon as leaders Weldon Kirui and Gebresadik Adihana posted their fastest two miles in the 22nd and 23rd miles of the race.

The two ran a mile time of 4 minutes, 38 seconds in mile 22, and then 4:44 in the 23rd mile, with Kirui leading by just a body length.


L.A. Marathon coming down to the wire

A firefighter runs in full gear after the start of the L.A. Marathon on March 18.
(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

“Way too close to call” was the way a race announcer at the Los Angeles Marathon called the two lead packs Sunday morning as the top competitors plotted for a deciding push toward the finish line in Santa Monica.

At the 20-mile mark, Kenya’s Weldon Kirui, the 2016 winner, and countrywoman Hellen Jepkurgat lead.

Defending men’s champion Elisha Barno dropped about 30 feet behind back-and-forth leaders Kirui and Ethiopia’s Gebresadik Adihanaas as they reached the two-hour mark.

Barno wasn’t fully rested after running a marathon in Houston in January.


Running the race in full gear

A firefighter runs in full gear after the start of the L.A. Marathon at Dodger Stadium on March 18.
(Patrick T. Fallon/ For The Times)


Ethiopia’s Gebresadik Adihana holds edge as L.A. Marathon hits 20-mile mark

(Patrick Fallon / For The Times)

Four women and three men lead a sea of more than 24,000 in the Los Angeles Marathon.

Former winners Weldon Kirui and Elisha Barno of Kenya slightly trailed Ethiopia’s Gebresadik Adihana more than 1 hour, 40 minutes into the race.

Kirui, the 2016 winner, has previously posted three top-four finishes.

As fatigue becomes an issue at the 20-mile mark, Barno briefly glanced at his competitors, receiving a stone-faced expression from Adihana.

Defending women’s champion Hellen Jepkurgat of Kenya paced a group that includes countrywoman Jane Kibii, with Ethiopia’s Sule Utura Gedo and Tsehay Desalegn nearby.


This tuba player will be jazzing up the route every 3 miles

Leo Hiroshi Kato from Nagoya, Japan. This is his first time at the L.A. Marathon and he plans to play a tune every 3 miles.


Elite men pick up the pace for fastest mile yet at 16

The four men in front of the Los Angeles Marathon produced their fastest mile yet in the 16th mile, each running around 4 minutes, 57 seconds as Kenya’s Daniel Limo maintained a bare advantage over two other former champions.

Meanwhile, the three American women who were in the lead pack have fallen behind a group of four that includes defending women’s champion Hellen Jepkurgat of Kenya.


Former champion Daniel Limo falls behind

The elite men start the L.A. Marathon at Dodger Stadium on March 18.
(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

Kenya’s Daniel Limo fell behind the lead pace set by countrymen and fellow former Los Angeles Marathon champions Elisha Barno and Weldon Kirui, who are alongside Ethiopia’s Gebresadik Adihana after 17 miles.

Limo was an estimated 100 feet behind after running with the lead group throughout the race.

Defending champion Hellen Jepkurgat of Kenya is in a pack of five in the women’s lead group.


Leaders starting to emerge as marathon crosses halfway point

Runners start the L.A. Marathon at Dodger Stadium on March 18.
(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

Defending women’s champion Hellen Jepkurgat of Kenya and a narrowing pack of four men led their respective fields as the Los Angeles Marathon reached its halfway point Sunday.

Kenyans Daniel Limo, Weldon Kirui (2016’s winner) and Elisha Barno (the defending champion) were accompanied by Ethiopia’s Gebresadik Adihana in the lead group, quickening their pace slightly.

A group of nine women stuck by each other in the front of their group, with mother of three Heather Lieberg of Montana occasionally seizing the lead before the 14th mile.


Heat not a factor so far in 33rd L.A. Marathon

Five men, led by Kenya’s Daniel Limo, were on a pace after 10 miles of the Los Angeles Marathon to finish about nine minutes shy of the record course time despite cool temperatures.

The men’s pace was 2 hours, 15 minutes, 57 seconds.

The addendum to the time is that the beginning of the course that stretches from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica is considered a more difficult portion.

Limo, the 2015 winner, stretched his lead slightly over Ethiopia’s Gebresadik Adihana while passing the women’s group that began 10 minutes earlier.

Defending women’s champion Hellen Jepkurgat, countrywoman Jane Kibii, American Heather Lieberg and Ethiopia’s Sule Utura Gedo were at the front of a group of nine bunched women.


Americans leading some packs early in L.A. Marathon

The elite women start the L.A. Marathon at Dodger Stadium on March 18.
(Patrick Fallon / For The Times)

Defending men’s champion Elisha Barno of Kenya and three Americans, Heather Lieberg, Joanna Reyes and Brittany Charboneau, were near the lead of their respective packs 40 minutes into the Los Angeles Marathon.

Lieberg, 38, was slightly ahead of defending champion Hellen Jepkurgat of Kenya, with Denver’s Charboneau leading at the seven-mile marker.

Lieberg, of Helena, Mont., finished in the top 10 last year. Just behind Lieberg before the eighth mile was San Jose’s Reyes. The event began just before 7 a.m. PDT with 144 “legacy” runners competing in this 33rd marathon.


After five miles, runners aren’t pushing for record times

A group of 10 men and 12 women raced to the lead of the Los Angeles Marathon Sunday from Dodger Stadium to the Pacific Ocean shoreline in Santa Monica.

Boosted by the cool temperature of 47 degrees after starting before 7 a.m., the runners began slowly, with the men on a pace of 2 hours, 13 minutes, and the women, after five miles, are striding at a 2:38 clip.

The marathon record times are 2:06.35 and 2:25.38, respectively.

The men’s field includes the past three L.A. Marathon winners, Kenya’s Elisha Barno and countrymen Weldon Kirui and Daniel Limo.

Women’s defending champion Hellen Jepkurgat led her pack nearly one-third of the way through the course. U.S. entrant Joanna Reyes was on Jepkurgat’s heels early.

The race’s personality was seen when a woman carrying some mail nearly stepped in front of the men’s elite field while entering a downtown crosswalk.


See scenes from the stadium to the sea

(Patrick Fallon / For The Times)

Photo Gallery: And they’re off! L.A. Marathon begins from Dodger Stadium, heading to Santa Monica


Defending L.A. Marathon champion Hellen Jepkurgat looks to repeat as elite men and women take the course

The elite women take the L.A. Marathon course early Sunday morning.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The elite men’s and women’s portions of the Los Angeles Marathon are underway, with Kenya’s defending women’s champion, Hellen Jepkurgat, attempting to repeat and countryman Elisha Barno running as the men’s favorite. More than 24,000 runners are scheduled to participate in the marathon.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told KTLA at the race’s opening that he views the turnout of participants and spectators as “a reflection of L.A.”

Garcetti said he strives for Los Angeles to become the healthiest city in the U.S., pointing to Sunday’s gathering as the most vivid example of his aspiration.

Jepkurgat, saying she’s in better shape than last year, when she required navigating a frantic series of flight connections to reach Los Angeles, hopes to beat her personal-best marathon time of 2 hours, 31 minutes, 17 seconds.

Early on, the women were on pace for 2:39.

The Times will provide continued updates from the marathon throughout Sunday morning.


Hand-cycle racers and elite women begin their trek to the sea


L.A. Marathon kicks off with wheelchair racers


Last-minute warm-ups as race time nears


L.A. Marathon has found its way to one of its best fields yet

More than three decades have passed since the Los Angeles Marathon made its debut in the aftermath of the 1984 Summer Olympics.

That first race drew 10,000 runners amid talk of rivaling the likes of Boston, New York and Berlin.

Though L.A. hasn’t reached that level — and might never — it seems to be carving a niche for itself on the running scene.

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The Los Angeles Marathon is tomorrow. Here’s what you need to know

Thousands of people will take part in the Los Angeles Marathon tomorrow, racing along a 26.2-mile course from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica.

The event will force the closures of numerous streets and freeway ramps, as well as public transit detours.

Whether you’ll be competing, cheering on a friend or just trying to find a clear route to work in the morning, here’s everything you need to know.

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Interactive: Run the race without ever breaking a sweat

Even if you don’t plan on running in the L.A. Marathon, you can enjoy some competition with The Times’ interactive graphic.

Enter your mile pace or previous marathon time (and, if you’d like, find your friends’ times on the L.A. Marathon website) and see how you stack up against people you know, past winners and some unexpected participants (one is a Metro bus).

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Here are all the streets that will be closed for the L.A. Marathon

About 24,000 people are expected to race in the Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday, across a course that stretches from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier.

Road closures will begin as early as midnight and continue throughout the day along the course. Most roads should be open again by mid-afternoon.

Ramps will be closed along major freeways as well. Here is the complete list of those closures.

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Inspired by the L.A. Marathon? Here are 10 secrets veteran runners know all about

Prepare to get bit by the running bug.

The L.A. Marathon takes place on Sunday, which means you’re about to be bombarded with inspirational images of super-fit people giving it their all. Want to join in? You probably know you’ll need high-quality kicks, sun screen and a beginner’s training plan for getting up off the couch. (One of the most popular apps out there is Couch to 10K.) So here are 10 secrets to running a great race that only veteran runners know. They cover running gear, race-day strategy and even changes to your form that might help you actually enjoy pounding the pavement, and run your best race:

1. When in doubt, walk

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