Tag: Honda LA Marathon

DEENA KASTOR RETURNS TO RACING WITH FULL SPRING SCHEDULE

Deena    American marathon record holder and 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Deena Kastor roared back into the news today.  Not only has Deena joined the Twitter Nation @DeenaKastor, but the St. Louis Sports Commission announced her participation in the USATF National Cross Country Championships on February 2nd – an event she has won eight times –  and the Los Angeles Marathon has also announced that they’ve signed Deena for its March 17th marathon. It’s arguably the biggest “get” in L.A.’s 28-year history.

“Deena is the most accomplished female American distance runner in history,” said LA Marathon Race Director Nick Curl in announcing Kastor’s participation.  “And to have her on the start line of the 2013 LA Marathon is tremendous. We believe that having an outstanding field of runners is part of creating a world-class race and delivering a top-tier experience for all participants.”

A number of factors worked in conjunction to lure Deena back to cross country and then to her first start at the marathon in LA.  First, LA is her hometown race.  She grew up in nearby Agoura Hills out along the Ventura Freeway.  Secondly, Deena has at least rudimentary experience on the Stadium-to-the-Sea LA course, as she ran as a mid-pack field reporter for the KTLA-TV5 coverage of the marathon last year. Also, her husband Andrew is the head of the LA RoadRunner’s Training program.  And finally, her shoe sponsor, Asics, is now the title sponsor of the Asics LA Marathon.

“With Andrew coaching the LA Marathon distance program, I got to know the whole team over the last year,” Deena told me from her home in Mammoth Lakes, California.  “The event has changed so much in the last few years. When I was growing up in Southern California, I remember watching the LA Marathon on TV, and seeing what a big deal it was. Mercedes was a sponsor, and my dad said, ‘maybe you can win me a car one day.’ But that was even before I started running.  So it will be fun to be able to run it now, though my mom and dad will be on a cruise that weekend, which is killing them now that they know I’ll be running.

“But last year I was involved with the TV coverage, and there was so much energy along the course, and I remember running down Hollywood Boulevard thinking, ‘I’d like to run this competitively sometime. The event really celebrates the city. And then Asics came in, too, and brought excitement and the level of involvement like in the New York City Marathon.”

But this won’t simply be a stroll down memory lane.  Kastor is in it to win it. That’s where the national cross country championship comes into play. (more…)

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PEGASUS SENSORS: HIGHLIGHTS FROM LA MARATHON COVERAGE

2012 KTLA LA Marathon coverage featuring Pegasus Sports Performance sensor technology.  At the Boston Marathon Dick Hoyt will wear Pegasus sensors as he and son Rick compete in their 30th Boston…A group of runners from Tufts University President’s Marathon Challenge will also be wearing the kit.  You can follow the Hoyts and Tufts runners progress next Monday at www.psp-run.com  Password for LA video below is    psprun.

http://vimeo.com/39935422

 

DODGER’S SALE POTENTIAL WINDFALL FOR LA MARATHON

     Now that the Los Angeles Dodgers sale from Frank McCourt to the Magic Johnson-Stan Kasten group has been consummated for a record $2 billion – the highest price ever paid for a sports franchise  – the fortunes of both the Dodgers and the Honda LA Marathon just took a turn for the better.

Why is the Dodger’s sale a good sign for the marathon? Well, until today they were owned by the same man, and with all the turmoil surrounding the McCourt ownership of the Dodgers over the last two years, and his concurrent divorce from wife Jamie, the marathon was put on something of a back burner.  Not unexpected considering the value of the Dodgers, the amount of the pending  divorce settlement, $131 million, and the approximate worth of the marathon, $20 million, at best.

Though the McCourt Group separated its holdings into different bins, even as recently as last November there was some interest in unloading the LA marathon at the same time as selling off the Dodgers. But after a cursory look-see by a few interested parties, McCourt pulled the marathon from the sales floor. Now with the Dodgers well-disposed and the divorce almost final, the marathon might finally become a more prominent asset for the McCourt Group.

“When all this (sale of Dodgers and the divorce) settles down, he will settle on the marathon and focus,” Howard Sunkin, senior VP of the McCourt Group told me over marathon weekend.  “What I want is when people talk about the sport (of marathoning), they will say ‘Boston, New York, Chicago and L.A.  We don’t have to be the first name on that list, but we want to be part of that conversation.” (more…)

KTLA’s 2012 L.A. Marathon Coverage Attains High Ratings!

From Countdown to the Marathon to Post Marathon coverage, KTLA triumphed with dominant rating ranks among other Los Angeles broadcast stations! 

Peaking with a 4.9 rating/12 share as the Gender Challenge neared its completion, the 2012 Honda LA Marathon won the top spot in the LA media market in the 7a – 10a time slot.  It also ranked third for the day for all sports programming behind the two NCAA Tournament basketball games on KCBS, but easily bested both NASCAR and PGA Tour telecasts.

Station           Program                         HH/SH

KCBS NCAA  (StL & MI St) 12n-2:30p  3.2/7

KCBS NCAA  (Crght &UN-NC) 2:30-4:45p)  3.1/7

                                              KTLA L.A. Marathon 7-10a  2.8/9

KTTV Fox Sprint Cup 10a-1:15p  2.7/6

                                              KTLA L.A. Marathon Post Show 10-11a  2.5/6

KCBS NCAA (NC St& Geotwn)  9-11:45a  2.4/6

KABC BNP Paribus Open 11a-3p  1.6/4

KNBC PGA Tour Golf  Tampa 12n-4p  1.5/4

KCAL Dodgers (Angels&Dodg) 1-2:30p  1.3/3

                                             KTLA Countdown to Marathon 6-7a  0.8/5

KNBC NHL (Peng&Flyer)  9:30a-12:30p  0.3/1

PEGASUS WIRELESS ABOUT TO TAKE OFF IN L.A. 2012

    Though it is the most basic of all sports, running has always had a pretty high Geek factor, especially among its more serious adherents.   Whether it’s in shoe design, the latest moisture-wicking apparel, or the most sophisticated GPS or heart rate monitor, runners are always searching for that Holy Grail that might help get them from point A to point B even faster than before.

Over the years, the Los Angeles Marathon has ushered in a number of technological firsts for the sport.  In 1996, LA was the first major U.S. marathon to utilize a field-wide chip timing system. Then in 2009, LA became the first big city 26-miler to fully adopt social media outlets such as Facebook, YouTube, RSS, Flickr and Twitter.  Now again in 2012 L.A. will showcase another new technology. But this development, rather than being ancillary to the sport, is focused on directly on it. What’s more, it has the potential to unlock long hidden secret chambers that, once opened, could change the very nature of how runners train, avoid injury, while at the same time illuminate the competition for a television audience in a way never before possible.

This Sunday at the 27thHonda LA Marathon, wireless sensor technology will be utilized to monitor and analyze the stride characteristics of several runners, both elite and local, as they move from the start line at Dodger Stadium 26.2 miles to the finish line in Santa Monica.

Pegasus Sensors

Small motion-detecting sensors, weighing less than an ounce each, will be worn atop the shoe laces of the runners. Then, using a smartphone transmission, three distinct characteristics of their strides – Cadence, Ground Contact Time, and Kick Dynamic – will be uploaded to KTLA-TV which will then broadcast those metrics in real time via an on-screen dashboard for analysis and comparison.

“Through this technology, we can identify the changes in a runner’s stride dynamic over the course of the marathon,” explained Bill Kaiser, co-director of the UCLA Wireless Health Institute, and one of the inventors of the technology now licensed by Pegasus Sports Performance.“We can then analyze those changes to evaluate their efficiency as fatigue begins to take its toll, but which might yet be too subtle for the human eye, alone, to pick up.”

KTLA DASHBOARD

Cadence (strides per minute), Ground Contact Time, and Kick Dynamic (called distal leg lift) will be monitored on a continuous basis at a rate of 60-100Hz per second. These metrics will then be shown to the TV audience in real time on a graphic dashboard throughout the race – no different than how NASCAR illustrates the internal workings of their race cars on TV via dashboard displays.

Josh Cox Laces Up

Josh Laces up

“I’ve trained with the sensors several times, and competed in them once,” said Josh Cox, American 50K record holder who beta tested the sensors at last fall’s Rock `n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon. “The advantages for the athlete are twofold. One, you can analyze the data post-race or post-workout, and fine tune your workouts according to what you’ve learned about your stride mechanics. But it’s a real eye-in-the-sky for the coach, who is able to coordinate and monitor an athlete’s stride characteristics during the workout itself. And while an athlete might have previously given his coach feedback like ‘maybe I went out a little too hard, but I felt okay on that last interval’, now the coach can just look at his smartphone and say, ‘Hey, your heart rate is up, your stride is beginning to change. You’re doing more harm than good. You’re done for the day’.”

Perhaps more impressive is the ability to actually monitor a workout in real-time off site. Say Meb Keflezighi was in Mammoth, California doing a tempo run, but his coach Bob Larsen was back home L.A. Bob could still monitor Meb’s workout in real time via his smartphone or computer as he watches Meb’s heart rate, cadence, ground contact time, kick dynamic, pronation, and supination 300 miles to the north. Then, with an escort alongside in a car or on a bike – as Meb so often has – coach Larsen could communicate his observations and instructions to Meb on the fly. (more…)