October 26, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Assessing the Aftermath of the LA Marathon:

The preliminary assessment of LA Marathon was presented to City Council at its March 23 meeting. Many of the heads of various City departments praised the coordinating success of inter-department cooperation.

But all this planning and execution required many hours of work, from many taxpayer-paid employees in a time of tight-budgets. For waste and landscape maintenance alone, it took 393 labor hours, including planning, to care for the areas around the marathon route. In Santa Monica about 11,200 pounds of total waste was generated.

“It cost a lot of money to make this happen,” said Councilmember Richard Bloom. But he was quick to point out that the LA Marathon allocated $420,000 for compensation of City time and services. “We feel we struck a very fair bargain with them.”

Traffic and parking were major issues of the day. Phillip Sanchez, deputy chief of police recommended relocating the finish line further north to mitigate the bottleneck at Santa Monica Boulevard and Ocean Avenue. Sanchez said that the increased police presence required at the Marathon did not affect routine patrols throughout the other areas of the City.

Sam Morrissey, of Planning and Community Development, said that in future large-scale events in the same area as the marathon finish line, the City should cordon off large portions of downtown for people and pedestrians only.

“We would like to thank everybody who plaid a role in this. It was an awesome effort of coordination,” said Alison Best of the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Best said the hotel business was, “Jam-packed in a really great way.”  Hotels were sold out from the east border of Santa Monica to the beach, marking a 25 percent increase from the same time last year. But that wasn’t just for Saturday night going into Sunday morning. Hotel rates for the whole weekend saw that same steady 25 percent increase.

“Which means people came for the race, but made a weekend of it and stayed in the City,” said Best.

The 25th Honda LA Marathon presented by K-Swiss is the first run with the sightseeing tour of Los Angeles. The 26.2 mile-run started at Dodger Stadium and ended at the Santa Monica Pier. Runners and spectators alike viewed some of most famous landmarks in Los Angeles and travelled down historic roadways.

“I really got to take in everything I saw in the race today,” said Wesley Korir, winner of the men’s race. “Hollywood was crowded, but Beverly Hills was breezy and nice. Everything was just amazing.”

Korir, from Louisville, KY, the men’s leader for the second consecutive year, finished at 2:09:19 and women’s leader Edna Kiplagat from Kenya, finished at 2:25:38 respectively. Korir won a $20,000 first prize and a Honda Insight EX sedan. Kiplagat won the Honda LA Marathon Challenge, worth a bonus of $100,000 in addition to the first place prize money of $20,000.

Korir became only the second man to win the L.A. Marathon back-to-back and the 12th-straight Kenyan to win this race. His time is the third-fastest ever in the race’s history, beat only by his 2009 record at 2:09:34 and Benson Cherono’s record of 2:08:40. Korir held the lead for most of the race with 12 to 15 runners in tow.

In the women’s race, Kiplagat was not figured in the expected contenders.

“I was lucky when I decided to increase the speed and I saw the spectators on that part of the course,” Kiplagat said. “I heard music on the course and tried to run to the rhythm.”

She trailed behind Russian Silvia Skvortsova in a pack of six for the first 20 miles. She took the lead in the 21st mile and pulled away during the Brentwood section of San Vicente Boulevard. Ethiopian Teyba Naser took second with Silvia Skvortsova settling for third.

The wheelchair race saw South African Krige Schabort become the first person to complete the Stadium to the Sea course in 1:31:51. Amanda McGrory won the women’s division in 1:56:35. Both wheelchair winners received $2,500 for first place.

Overall, 21,600 finished race with the last runner crossing the finish line at 9 p.m. Out of the 740 Santa Monica residents who ran, 612 finished the race.

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