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L.A. Marathon moved back to March

July 21, 2009 5:59:50 AM PDT
Bowing to pressure from several fronts, the Los Angeles City Council Tuesday agreed to move the L.A. Marathon back to a Sunday in March beginning next year.Runners had complained that this year's Memorial Day race had the potential for dangerous temperatures.

The marathon was moved to Memorial Day to placate religious leaders who complained that the Sunday race blocked access to churches. In response to those concerns the council called for a redesign of the marathon route to minimize disruption of Sunday services.

In addition to concerns over the heat, holding the race on Memorial Day posed other problems. A report from the city's Chief Legislative Analyst showed the police department had to cancel vacations and pay officers overtime to work the event.

The report indicated nonprofit organizations that provide volunteers for the marathon also had issues with holding the race on a Monday in late May. The report said those organizations depend on school-age youth for their volunteers and having the race near the end of the school year conflicts with SAT testing, proms, final exams and graduation functions.

The exact date for next year's race has not yet been determined.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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