San Diego native Josh Cox claimed the lead at 23 miles and went on to win Las Vegas Marathon going away, in an unofficial time of  2:25:06. And the women’s winner is Dorota Gruca of Poland, celebrating her 40th birthday today, in an unofficial time of 2:44:38.

In 2005, Gruca was part of one of the most exciting finishes in Las Vegas marathon history, as she took third, in part of a four-runner sprint to the finish. Now she’s got a victory to go with that third-place finish.

The marathon got off to a great start this morning under nearly ideal conditions. Under clear skies with no wind and temperatures in the mid-40s, approximately 30,000 runners, including dozens of Elvises, brides, grooms and world-class athletes, hit the start line this morning at 7 a.m.

As in years past, the Las Vegas Marathon was just as much of an event as a race. Many runners paused at the start, just long enough to snap a picture with the Elton John and Tina Turner lookalikes that were on hand to kick off the race.

The race started is in the northbound lanes of Las Vegas Boulevard, at the Dewey Street intersection.

The course headed downtown for the first six miles, hit a few side streets, then moved to the southbound lanes of Las Vegas Boulevard on the way to the finish line at Mandalay Bay. Half-marathoners went straight to the finish, while marathoners headed west on Hacienda and winded around southwest Las Vegas before returning to the Strip for the finish.