I LOVE LA (MARATHON)…
This Sunday myself and 24,999 other runners will line up for the 30th Anniversary Los Angeles Marathon.
Say what you will about the “City of Angels”: stupid bad traffic, crazy real estate prices, the insanity that is the “biz”, earthquakes, smog, etc…
But when it comes to putting on a marathon, singer Randy Newman got it right. “I love LA!”
And yes, they do play Randy Newman’s anthem at the start of the LA Marathon.
This will be the sixth time I’ve run the LA Marathon (2009, 2010, 2012-2015)… and it is the half/full marathon I’ve completed more than any other.
For one reason, it’s my hometown marathon. That alone is reason enough.
But more importantly, it’s just a great race.
Now the race itself has had some overhauls and hiccups in years past.
In fact my first time running it (in 2009), it featured the older route which basically was a downtown loop course through some forgettable (and sometimes sketchy) neighborhoods. It also had the scheduling snafu (changed dates twice) and ended up being run on Memorial Day (a Monday). The less said about that, the better.
But in 2010, the Los Angeles Marathon was transformed into the shining race that it is today. All courtesy of a bit of a douche-nozzle.
Frank McCourt, the one time owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers (and who really helped put the team in dire straights for a while) also bought the rights to the Los Angeles Marathon and re-imagined its course as a “stadium to the sea” route.
The race would now start at Dodger Stadium, winding through historical parts of LA and ending at the Pacific Ocean.
Instead of going through areas that made you wonder if you should have pepper spray on your fuel belt, the new marathon course went past great landmarks like:
- Echo Park
- Disney Hall
- Los Feliz
- The Walk of Fame
- Grauman’s Chinese Theater
- The Sunset Strip
- Santa Monica Blvd.
- Rodeo Blvd.
- And winding up by the Santa Monica Pier.
Check out the map:
And did I mention that it’s overall a “downhill” course.
I always feel that a “big city” marathon should capture the heart and feel of that particular city. New York does it, as does Boston and Chicago (and a few others). And now Los Angeles has one it can be proud of as well.
Also, the weather is usually fantastic. I say “usually” because in 2011 (the one year I didn’t run LA) the entire race was held during a torrential downpour. And last year, it did get really hot (the “sauna marathon” as we refer to it). But more often than not, the weather for the race is nice and sunny.
Check out the forecast leading up to the race this year:
Looks like we might be dealing with another real hot one this year. Here’s hoping things cool off a bit before Sunday.
And whereas LA is known for having a sports fan base that isn’t as fanatical as some other major cities, the crowds do come out for the LA Marathon. You can expect to see people cheering, waving, cow-belling and holding up signs from step number “one” all the way through step number “I can’t count that high.”
For me personally, the LA Marathon also is the culmination of six months of team building and fundraising. It’s the race I run each year with Team To End AIDS, my charity running group. By the time the gun goes off on race day, my friends/family/peers have helped me raise over $1000 that goes directly to helping people in LA whose lives are impacted by HIV/AIDS. That’ll put some extra lift in your step.
Even though I may be out on the course in my own little space, I know that 75 members of my running family are nearby pounding the pavement as well… which gives me strength and makes me smile. And when we go by the T2 cheer section (around mile 15) we all get rockstar treatment. Not too shabby indeed.
So, as I prepare for the LA Marathon on Sunday, my mood is upbeat and getting “upbeatier” with each passing moment.
I’ve got a solid race strategy, that if things go well I should hopefully PR. But of course we all know how the best laid plans of mice and men can turn out.
Regardless of my finishing time, however, this is going to be a great race and one helluva way to spend a Sunday morning.
Yup, it’s safe to say. I love LA!
Posted on March 11, 2015, in General and tagged "I Love LA", Los Angeles Marathon, Team To End AIDS. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.
As someone who is considering running this race in the next 1-2 years, what are the logistics for the single out-of-towner with the point-to-point race. Hotel at start or finish line. Do the hotels jack runners amount (minimum 2 day stay, etc). How do I get to the start if the hotel is at the finish (or vice versa).
I’d recommend a hotel near the finish line (in Santa Monica). I’ve never stayed in a hotel for the race, but I don’t think there’s much in the way of price gauging (LA has plenty of hotels anyway). FYI, I pay for a parking spot (through the race) in Santa Monica. The race has courtesy buses that take everyone from Santa Monica to the start at Dodger Stadium. It’s a pretty well-run machine. And of course when the day comes that you want to run LA, I’ll gladly give you more info than you could possibly need.
Hoping your marathon is awesome! I will also have my fingers crossed for a cooler day, because that weather forecast looks daunting to me for 26.2. Yikes.
Thanks. There’s still a weather advisory out for the weekend. Weather channel has us at 90 and another has us at 84 (anyone want to take a wager). The good thing is we’re aware of the heat this year. And the race itself has really stepped up to help. They’re going to start the race 30 minutes early and they’ve ordered a whole bunch of additional supplies (water, gatorade, cooling ice towels and cooling buses. Still gonna be sticky and sweaty, so we’ll see how it goes.
Please take it easy. That is just too hot for running the marathon distance. I wouldn’t know if I would “run” it, probably just take it really easy. Stay hydrated, my friend!
Have a great race this weekend, best of luck! I don’t envy you running in that weather though, that sounds pretty awful. Fingers crossed that it cools off a bit!
Thanks very much. I really do prefer running in cooler weather (can always drop layers). I’m just hoping we can keep some cloud cover so we don’t bake. Depending on the heat my gameplan may go right out the window and I keep my expectations in check.
Stay hydrated and run safe my friend!
Thanks. Knowing it’s going to be hot ahead of time definitely helps. I always carry water and gatorade with me on race day (to help between the water stops). I’ll also be carrying salt packets as I tend to sweat like crazy.