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LA Marathon Runners Transported to SM Hospital for Hypothermia; Winner Breaks Record

Meanwhile, one of the top men's finishers says, "It's the roughest race I've ever run in the rain."

(Updated on Monday at 4:33 a.m.): American sumo wrestler Kelly Gneiting notched a new Guinness record at the marathon, as he had hoped to do. The 400-pound Gneiting became the heaviest person to ever finish a marathon. He did it in 9:48:52, jogging the first eight miles and walking the rest.

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(Updated at 6:12 p.m.): "It was fascinating to hear from the wheelchair and handchair athletes about how the weather presented challenges for them," Mayor Pro Tempore Gleam Davis wrote on Santa Monica Patch's Facebook wall on Sunday. "Each and every one of them is amazing."

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(Updated at 4:26 p.m.): The distributed hundreds of thermal and cotton blankets to runners at the LA Marathon finish line on Sunday after being called to provide aid.

The City of Santa Monica Emergency Preparedness Office assisted the SMFD with the makeshift shelter in the Fairmont-Miramar ballroom, helping hundreds of runners who were suffering from hypothermia and exhaustion.

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(Updated at 4:08 p.m.): According to LA Marathon Press Officer Rich Perelman, it was actually safer to run in Sunday's 50 degree weather as opposed to extreme heat.

"We've had years where it's been 85 or 90 degrees and hundreds of people needed to be given IVs and treated for dehydration," he told Santa Monica Patch. "Given the weather, the number of people receiving treatment is astonishingly low."

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(Updated at 2:05 p.m.): As of 1:50 p.m., 48 percent of all runners have finished the race, according to the SMFD. The department says 12 people have been transported to local hospitals, all of them complaining of hypothermia.

By 1 p.m. on Sunday, an estimated one inch of rain had fallen in Santa Monica and 0.8 inches downtown, which would make this year's race unofficially the "rainiest" on record.

There have only been four years in which the LA Marathon has been met with rain. The 2000 race faced a downpour, with 1.6 inches of rain.

The field included runners from 57 countries and all 50 states. The largest representation among foreign countries was Japan with 201 entrants, followed by Mexico (107), Canada (91), Britain (43) and Australia (22). Besides California, New York led all states with 186 runners. Men constituted 59.6 percent of the field, women 40.4 percent.

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(Updated at 1:20 p.m.): One of the LA Marathon runners who was treated for hypothermia spoke with Santa Monica Patch on Sunday afternoon.

[Go here for a slew of photographs from the 2011 LA Marathon.]

"At the finish line, there were people there to walk with you and see if you need tending to," said Fenske, a 38-year-old from Dallas. He was one of those taken to the Fairmont after the race and was treated for a mild case of hypothermia.

"The course is great but the weather is so bad that people are all wet and cold. They were telling people to take off their shoes and socks to get their feet warm."

Fairmont employees provided runners with hot chocolate, tea, hot packs and blankets as they arrived.

"They are not even affiliated with the marathon, but they were great," said Fenske, who finished in approximately three hours and 16 minutes. "They said I had glassy eyes and slurred speech and that I needed to be stabilized, so they brought me inside."

By noon, MTA buses with police escorts were stationed near the finish line to pick up runners and drive them to parking areas or medical facilities. "They've brought in a dozen blue Santa Monica city buses with heaters for runners to sit in and get dry," race press officer Rich Perelman said.

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(Updated at 1:12 p.m.): Mitchell says eight to 10 runners have been transported to a local hospital for hypothermia.

He also said the SMFD has gotten permission from the , and to use their ballrooms as warming rooms for runners who are suffering from the cold temperatures. In the Fairmont ballroom, there were 200 runners warming up and rehydrating, when he spoke with Santa Monica Patch for a second time.

"We were prepared [for the marathon], but the rain threw us a curve in terms of the hypothermia," he said. "We started noticing [runners suffering from hypothermia] when the wheelchair riders came through. They were exhibiting signs. Then we noticed it again with the elite runners too."

He said that reports from other cities have indicated that buses have been picking up runners along the marathon route, to help them get warm.

Meanwhile, the LA Marathon's top finishers spoke to the press following the race.

"I'm very happy to win," Geneti said. "When I saw the course, I thought it was going to be very fast. I ran by myself with my pace and after 24 miles it was hard for me a little bit. I had a cramping in my stomach that hurt a little bit."

Kamakya, who finished second with a time of 2:09:26, told press that he didn't mind the weather. "I like when it's raining," he said. "The course was so nice, and I hope to come next year."

After winning the past two LA Marathons, Korir came in fourth with a time of 2:13:23.

"First, I want to thank God," Korir said. "I crossed the finish line and thought it was the end of my life. It's the roughest race I've ever run in the rain. I was dying out there, I was really struggling, but people were telling me, 'I love you. I love you.' At mile 21, my legs just gave out."

On the women's-elite side, winner Deba said, "The course was good but it was hard because my legs were tight and I don't like running in the rain. I prepared very, very well."

Hastings, who finished second, said, "The first 18 or 19 miles, I took it, and they started surging after that. I tried to stay with them. I was hoping to run 2:28:30 but a lot of my splits, I missed. I kind of went by feel and went as hard as I could the whole way."

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(Updated at 12:41 p.m.): Some of the runners who are being treated are resting and then leaving the emergency station that has been temporarily set up at Second and Wilshire, SMFD Capt. Judah Mitchell tells Santa Monica Patch. The department has established four temporary emergency areas for marathon runners.

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(Updated at 12:16 p.m.): The paramedics are treating runners for hypothermia, SMPD spokesman Sgt. Jay Trisler tells Santa Monica Patch.

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(Updated at 12:03 p.m.): A representative for the said they do not have information regarding the paramedic ambulances that have reportedly been dispatched. Santa Monica Patch's attempts to establish contact with representatives for the have been unsuccessful.

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(Updated at 11:52 a.m.): Paramedic ambulances are at Second St. and Wilshire Blvd. attending to marathon runners, according to City News Service.

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(Updated at 11:32 a.m.): Go here for the full results of the 26th annual LA Marathon.

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(Updated at 10:13 a.m.): Geneti and Deba just received their gold medals—and keys to new Honda cars—from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Tetsuo Iwamura, president of the American division of LA Marathon sponsor Honda; and LA Marathon owner Frank McCourt. Geneti also received a $100,000 check for being the top elite runner among both genders.

Iwamura thanked Americans who have contributed to in Japan, where Honda is based.

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(Updated at 9:58 a.m.): Hastings' time was 2:27:03.

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(Updated at 9:58 a.m.): Hastings, who ran her first marathon, finished second among women's elite runners.

"It was really painful," she told KTLA, adding that she started hurting around mile 19.5. "It was a different kind of pain than I've felt before."

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(Updated at 9:53 a.m.): Deba is the winning women's elite runner with a time of 2:26:35.

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(Updated at 9:52 a.m.): Geneti broke the LA Marathon record by almost two full minutes.

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(Updated at 9:51 a.m.): Geneti wins the LA Marathon in 2:06:35, breaking the LA Marathon record and getting the second-fastest debut ever in marathon history.

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(Updated at 9:48 a.m.): Geneti and Deba are on track to win the men's elite and women's elite brackets, respectively. Geneti, 26, would be the first non-Kenyan male to win the LA Marathon in 13 years. Deba, 23, would be the first Ethiopian woman to ever win the LA Marathon.

This is Geneti's first marathon. Deba's previous personal record was 2:27:24.

Also, LA Marathon Web site has been down for much of the race, making it difficult for marathoners' family and friends to track them.

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(Updated at 9:41 a.m.): The rain is coming down heavy again in Santa Monica.

Geneti could have the faster-ever marathon debut. The standing record is 2:05:50 (Chicago Marathon, 2003).

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(Updated at 9:40 a.m.): Geneti just crossed the 24th mile marker, in Santa Monica. His last mile was 4:57.

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(Updated at 9:37 a.m.): Deba is leading the elite women runners, with Hastings in second and pre-race favorite Dibaba falling to third.

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(Updated at 9:34 a.m.): The top men's and women's elite runners are in mile 22. Hastings has fallen behind in the lead pack, while Geneti is still far ahead of his runner-up.

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(Updated at 9:30 a.m.): Hastings has retaken the lead.

Some parts of the course, including spots near the Veterans Affairs building in West Los Angeles, are flooded.

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(Updated at 9:25 a.m.): Geneti is on track to beat the LA Marathon race record of 2:08:24 by about three and a half minutes.

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(Updated at 9:21 a.m.): Geneti and the leading women's elite runners are on mile 20.

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(Updated at 9:20 a.m.): Dibaba has overtaken Hastings.

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(Updated at 9:19 a.m.): Geneti, 26, just passed the leading women's elite runners.

Meanwhile, the rain has returned in Santa Monica.

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(Updated at 9:12 a.m.): After 16 miles, Geneti has a time of 1:16:06. He ran his last mile in 4:50.

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(Updated at 9:08 a.m.): Geneti ran a 4:36 in his 15th mile, according to KTLA.

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(Updated at 9:07 a.m.): After 16 miles, Hastings had a time of 1:29:40.

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(Updated at 9:06 a.m.): Geneti is running at a 2:04 marathon pace, according to KTLA.

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(Updated at 9:03 a.m.): The elite women are in mile 17, while the elite men are in the 16th mile.

The rain has stopped, for the time being, in Santa Monica.

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(Updated at 9 a.m.): Geneti, who is still leading the men's elite bracket, has a time of 1:11:16 after 16 miles. Hastings ran 1:24:16 through mile 14.

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(Updated at 8:53 a.m.): South African Krige Schabort, who won last year's men's wheelchair race, just won again. His time was 1:33:11.

The elite women have just entered mile 15, with Hastings—of Leavenworth, Kan.—still in the lead. At the 13.1 mile mark, she had a time of 1:14:06.

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(Updated at 8:47 a.m.): Geneti is in the lead among the elite men.

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(Updated at 8:43 a.m.): The elite women are now on mile 13.

Hats off to the volunteers who are braving the rain.

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(Updated at 8:41 a.m.): Hastings was a 10-time All-American in cross country, and track and field, at Arizona State. This is her first marathon.

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(Updated at 8:35 a.m.): Among those in the men's lead pack is Markos Geneti, who is running his first marathon.

The final headcount for the 26th edition of the LA Marathon is 23,542 registered runners, the race's sixth-highest total.

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(Updated at 8:33 a.m.): Korir has dropped farther back in the pack. Kamakya is in the lead with a time of 38:57 through the first eight miles. He ran mile 8 in 4:37.

Hastings is still leading the elite women.

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(Updated at 8:27 a.m.): Korir dropped his water bottle and fell behind 30 meters after going back to retrieve it, according to KTLA.

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(Updated at 8:24 a.m.): It appears that the rain has let up in some parts of Los Angeles where the LA Marathon is taking place. But in Santa Monica, the downpour has become torrential.

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(Updated at 8:23 a.m.): The latest men's split was 4:42.

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(Updated at 8:20 a.m.): Hastings' latest mile split was 4:43. On the men's side, six male runners are far in the lead of the rest of the runners.

Also, as , the post-race party will be held in the parking lot.

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(Updated at 8:12 a.m.): American Amy Hastings is leading the Women's Elite runners. She clocked 34:49 after the first 6 miles.

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The 26th annual LAs Marathon got off to a soggy start on Sunday morning, as rain fell on the runners leaving Dodger Stadium. Rain is projected to accompany the marathoners throughout the race, all the way to the .

In the Men's Elite bracket, 28-year-old Wesley Korir is attempting to become the first-ever three-time winner of the LA Marathon. At roughly 8 a.m., the men were pacing at 5:03 per mile, with Kenya's Nicolas Kamakya—whose 2:08:42 was the fourth-fastest time for a man entering the race—following closely behind.

On the women's side, Russian Olympian Albina Mayorova is trying to outdo Ethiopian Mare Dibaba, the female who had the fastest time entering the race (2:25:27). After the first mile, Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba was in the lead on the women's side.

The first runner to cross the finish line, regardless of gender, will win a $100,000 purse.

Other highlights in the race include 410-pound sumo wrestler Kelly Gneiting, who is attempting to break the world record for heaviest person to finish a marathon; and the 220 LA Marathon Legacy runners, each of whom has run all 25 previous editions. Actor Chris O'Donnell is among the celebrities participating in the race.

Additional LA Marathon coverage on Santa Monica Patch:

UPDATED: A Guide to LA Marathon Street Closures, Detours, Parking, Biking in SM

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