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International runners shake off COVID-19 to dominate Los Angeles Marathon

By Craig Weston for Blowing Rock News. March 8, 2020. LOS ANGELES, CA — Tens of thousands of people shook off concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and either ran or watched the 35th running of the Los Angeles Marathon up close and personal. In an international field of elite runners, Ethiopia’s Bayelign Teshager won the men’s top division in 2:08:27, while Margaret Muriuki of Kenya captured the women’s elite title.

Bayelign Teshager, left, and Margaret Muriuki celebrate their victories in the Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday.

COVER IMAGE: Bayelign Teshager of Ethiopia crosses the finish line of the 35th Annual Los Angeles Marathon. All photographic images by Craig Weston for Blowing Rock News

The race started at Dodger Stadium and finished on Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica. Teshager pulled away from Kenya’s John Lagat with roughly a mile to go to capture the elite men’s division.

In the women’s elite division, Muriuki’s winning time was 2:29:57, more than three minutes ahead of second-place finisher Almaz Negede of Ethiopia.

The top U.S. runners were absent in Los Angeles, having run the U.S. Olympic Trials in Atlanta last weekend (CLICK HERE for Blowing Rock News’ exclusive coverage of the U.S. Olympic Trials’ marathon races in Atlanta).

After training for months and even years, many runners refused to let the threat of catching the coronavirus ruin their competitive plans, but the post-race celebrations were relatively muted with not so many athletes high-fiving and hugging, or even shaking hands.

More than 23,000 runners participated in the 35th running of the Los Angeles Marathon.

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