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LA Marathon warns runners of rainy conditions

March 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
For the second year in a row, organizers of the Los Angeles Marathon have had to make plans for winter weather, and they're cautioning runners to be prepared for frigid temperatures and wet conditions.

"We have something like 20,000 ponchos and believe it or not heavy duty trash bags, which are quite effective to keep our runners dry," said Dodgers Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Howard Sunkin.

The course starts at Dodger Stadium and ends at the Santa Monica pier. Organizers are going to be handing out ponchos at every mile marker to keep runners dry.

Last year, runners succumbed to cold, rain and 50 mile an hour winds, and some had to be treated for hypothermia or dropped out of the race altogether. UCLA volunteers, doctors and nurses set up a MASH unit in big blue buses on Santa Monica Boulevard. But runners say this year, they're prepared.

"I came a little bit prepared; I have like an alternate uniform, so it shouldn't be too bad I hope," Gary Thompson, a runner from Phoenix, Ariz.

But the one thing all these people have in common is a love of the race and a determination to finish while having fun.

"We had a 98 percent finish rate last year. And that just shows you the grit of our participants and it's awesome," Sunkin said.

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