Ethiopians win LA Marathon, heat biggest challenge

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Amane Gobena of Ethiopia was the overall winner of the Los Angeles Marathon, with a time of  2 hours 27 minutes and 40 seconds, winning the $75,000 prize.

“I knew I was better prepared,” Gobena told City News Service through an interpreter.

Her compatriot, Gebo Burka, was the first man to cross the finish line, at a time of 2 hours 10 minutes 37 seconds. The elite women started the race 17 minutes before the men.

Gobena is the third Ethiopian to win the race in the last five years. Four Africans have won the L.A. Marathon in the last five years. Tigist Tufa was the women's runner up and Lauren Kleppin of Mammoth Lakes came in third.

Highs of 88 degrees made the race a lot tougher for the roughly 25,000 runners who wound their way  through the 26 miles and 385 yards course from Dodger Stadium to the finish line a few blocks from the Santa Monica Pier. About 1,000 runners sought medical attention along the route.

Firefighters transported nearly two-dozen runners to area hospitals most with some form of exhaustion. Officials said one person suffered a seizure and a 28-year-old man suffered a heart attack while running.

Organizers limited how close spectators could be to the finish line and instituted security and screening checkpoints at the start and finish of the race in response to last year’s bombing at the Boston Marathon.

“Safety is our number one priority,” L.A. Marathon CEO Tracey Russell told City News Service.

More than 26,000 people registered for the race, a sellout for only the third time in the marathon’s 29-year history.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story mistaked Tigist Tufa's name with Gebo Burka's. KPCC regrets the error.

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