February heat wave may make LA Marathon even more challenging

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- This unusual winter heat wave could pose some unexpected hurdles for those running in the Los Angeles Marathon this weekend.

More than 25,000 runners are expected to take part in the Sunday event.

Organizers were hoping for cooler temperatures. After all, February is supposed to be a cool month for the Southland. But we're seeing unusually warm conditions so far this year.

Temperatures on the day of the race will climb to the low 80s, so organizers are moving up the start time to 6:55 a.m. to take advantage of cooler morning conditions.

Runners said they're taking steps to beat the heat.

"Hydration is the big key and that should have started a week ago. It's not the hydration that you do on the day. It's the hydration that you do leading up to the race," said Gerard Deegan, who coaches the marathon training group, LA Road Runners.

Middle and high school students with a program called, Students Run LA will be taking part in the race. They not only want to make good time, they also want to make friends and family proud.

"I usually think about all the people that are supporting me, like my parents, my siblings and my friends, also my coach, too," said Brian Portillo, a runner with the program.

Organizers are taking extra precautions in the heat. There will be extra cooling and medical stations, and runners will have access to cool towels and plenty of water.

To get more information about the marathon, including the race route and important road closures, visit www.lamarthon.com.
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