Thousands of runners took part in the third annual Los Angeles 13.1 Marathon from Venice to Playa del Rey Jan. 15.

The event, one of eight races in a national half marathon series in Southern California, took runners from the Venice Beach Boardwalk, through Marina del Rey and ended at Del Rey Lagoon Park in Playa del Rey.

The first place finisher, Moses Waweru, 33, completed the scenic course in 1:06:19. Risper Gesabwa, 22, was the first woman through the finish line in 1:14:37.

Other features of the race included the Karhu 5K, which challenged its racers to “beat the bear” and provided the first 10 runners who crossed the finish line before the Karhu bear their choice of Karhu specialty running shoes. The winning runner, Zachary Gomez, 16, from Camarillo, finished in 17 minutes, 55 seconds. The Karhu bear finished at 20:30, with 15 runners who beat him.

All 13.1 Marathon and Karhu 5K finishers received medals and post-race replenishment which featured gourmet food trucks.

The official benefiting charity, Team World Vision, led by Olympian Lopez Lomong, raced to raise funds for clean water projects in the African nations of Kenya and Malawi. Information,