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L.A. MARATHON | NOTES

Faster Race Remains a Priority

March 30, 1998|JIM HODGES

The Los Angeles Marathon course, twice changed in recent years to, first, move the start and finish lines from the Coliseum to downtown and, second, to reverse the course in an effort to make it faster, is going to get another look.

Race President Bill Burke said Sunday that he will ask Ann Roberts, who recruits the elite field, and operations people to take a look at the course, with particular attention to the miles 16-20. It is at that point that the course rises in elevation, from 253 feet at mile 15 to 401 feet at mile 20, and that rise was reflected in slow times during Sunday's race.

"Everybody knows I want a sub-2:10 marathon," Burke said. "I think if you put this same field we had today on a different course, you're talking about a 2:08 or 2:07."

Burke added that he expected the study to take about two months, after which an assessment will be made of the course.

*

Zebedayo Bayo, Sunday's men's winner, was ready to run in Los Angeles for transportation, lodging, per diem and a chance at the prize money until he ran a strong race in the Lisbon half-marathon, finishing third.

At that point, to keep him interested, a clause was inserted in his contract guaranteeing him appearance money, much as others in the elite field received.

Though the amount of the appearance money was not released, it was believed to be about $3,000.

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