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24,000 runners to take part in 2019 L.A. Marathon

LOS ANGELES — More than 24,000 runners will gather at Dodger Stadium March 24 for the 34th running of the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon.

Two-time Los Angeles Marathon champion Weldon Kirui of Kenya returns to defend his title over the 26-plus-mile that extends to the beach in Santa Monica and runs through many of Los Angeles’s neighborhoods. Kirui will race against a deep international field, including 2008 and 2012 Olympian Juan Luis Barrios of Mexico.

The women’s professional field is headlined by Taylor Ward, who finished seventh and was the second American at the 2018 Chicago Marathon, and the bronze medalist at the 2018 Xterra World Trail Half Marathon Championship.

“Each year, we aim to continue providing our runners with empowering and memorable experiences that extend beyond the iconic Stadium to the Sea race course,” said Tracey Russell, chief executive of Conqur Endurance Group, which stages the marathon. “The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon is a fixture within the Los Angeles community providing participants of all ages the opportunity to experience a great Los Angeles event while also enabling them to contribute to a host of amazing charitable causes.”

The build up to the race begins March 22 when Conqur holds a ceremonial race weekend kickoff event at Griffith Park. Russell will cut the ceremonial ribbon, which will be held on one end by the elite runners and on the other end by Los Angeles County students currently participating in the Students Run LA program. Representatives of Students Run LA will receive a commemorative plaque congratulating them on 30 years of forever changing the lives of more than 63,000 Greater Los Angeles area students.

More than 3,200 students will take part in the Marathon as part of the program.

Also as part of the Marathon activities will be the two-day Health and Fitness Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center March 22 and March 23.

More than 120 vendors and may world-class brands will have booths at the expo, which is free to the public. Expo hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 22 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 23.

Also on March 23, Dodger Stadium will be the site of the 2019 LA Big 5 5-kilometer run. About 4,500 runners of all ages will participate in the run that begins at Dodger Stadium and winds through Elysian Park before returning to Dodger Stadium.

A few spots remain for the LA 1/2K Kids Run, a quarter-mile run for kids between 3 and 8. Participating children will receive a race bib, T-shirt, medal (made from rubber to be kids’ safe) and goody bag provided by Big 5.

The entry fee is $15 and walk-up registration is available on until the race reaches capacity.

For this first time in the 34-year marathon race history, this year’s Marathon will welcome two honorary race starters. Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star third baseman Justin Turner will be joined by Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols at the starting line at Dodger Stadium.

Serving as honorary starters and race ambassadors, Turner and Pujols will sound the horn and send the 24,000 registered participants in this year’s Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon on their 26.2-mile journey to the finish line in Santa Monica.

The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon is among the largest marathons in the country with 24,000 participants, thousands of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of spectators.

The “Stadium to the Sea” course, starting at Dodger Stadium and finishing near the Santa Monica Pier, is one of the most scenic in the world, taking runners on a tour of many of the major landmarks in Los Angeles, including Hollywood’s many theaters, West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, including the Whisky A Go Go, and part of Route 66.