Los Angeles, CA -There’s a wonderful marination to the marathon. It gets the juices flowing. And when done in communion with enough people, there’s a special energy that’s created. And occasionally there’s magic.
The 34th SketchersPerformanceLosAngelesMarathon celebrates several hallmarks in 2019. It’s the 10th year for the iconic stadium to sea course, which has proven such a success over its first decade showcasing Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. Like a running tour through the back lot of Los Angeles.
It’s also the 30th anniversary of the StudentsRunLA program. If the Los Angeles Marathon did nothing else but spawn the SRLA program, it would have been a major success. 3500 students from at-risk high schools in the area will run the race again this year. Over 60,000 have participated in the program’s initial three decades.
The ripple effect on those lives and their families have been profound. 95% of the kids who run the marathon through SRLA go on to college. Congratulations to MarshaCharney and her team for first the three decades of what is one of the legacy jewels of this event.
From a competitive standpoint, this year’s Los Angeles Marathon on paper looks to be very competitive on both the men’s and women’s side.
Two-time champion WeldonKirui of Kenya returns looking to become the first man or woman runner to win three LA titles.To date, there have been four men who have won twice including Weldon, and five women beginning with NancyDitz the inaugural first two years champion in 1986 and ‘87.
But Weldon will have his hands full as he has two other former champions in the field, as well as some other very closely matched contenders thanks to the yeoman work of Elite Athlete coordinator MattTurnbull.(more…)
Yesterday, some 24,000 runners from all 50 states and a score of foreign nations ran the 33rd Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon under ideal conditions – 47F at the Dodger Stadium start near downtown, to just over 50F at the Santa Monica seaside finish. Though the men’s and women’s pro races weren’t the burners one might have expected under such clement conditions, both gender leaders did stage dramatic late-race competitions worthy of a Hollywood script. Behind them came thousands upon thousands of stories of desire, redemption, and the life-affirming embrace of a personal challenge met and overcome.
It has been said, “there is no pain that empowers like that of childbirth.” Perhaps that is so, but under current species regulations, it remains beyond men’s capability to take on that task, and accordingly, we must accept the truth of it from the mouths of our mothers, wives, and daughters.
Beyond passing a kidney stone, then, perhaps the closest we men can come to the experience of childbirth is the pain of the marathon. For it has also been said, “you don’t run a marathon, you give birth to one”. (more…)
Los Angeles, CA – The forecast for tomorrow’s 33rd Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon looks excellent, 46F (8C) at the 7 am start at Dodger Stadium near downtown, only creeping up to 50F (10C) by the time the leaders turn onto Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica 26 miles later, all under partly sunny skies. The high for the day will only be 64F (18C). That is good news for all concerned, runners, officials, medical team, and spectators.
33 is an impressive number, what numerologists call an angel number, as it resonates with inspiration, honesty, discipline, bravery, and courage. Very apropos, don’t you think, for the marathon in the City of Angels.
In 2018 threes are wild in LA. The last three men’s champions return, Skechers Performance is back for its third year as title sponsor, the Students Run LA program (SRLA) is in its 30th year, and 3 × 3 = 9, with this being our ninth year on the iconic “Stadium to Sea” course flowing through LA, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. (more…)
When the 33rd Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon goes off this Sunday morning, among the 24,000+ lining up outside Dodger Stadium for the 26.2 mile jaunt to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica will144 running for the 33rd time – just as I will be broadcasting the race for the 33rd straight year (locally on KTLA-TV, from 6 – 11 a.m., and nationally on WGN America, 7 – 10 a.m. Pacific time).
This Friday at the pre-race press conference I will be joined on stage by one of those 144 LA Legacy Runners, Johnnie Jameson of Inglewood, California, Having just turned 70 , Johnnie still works at the Bicentennial Postal station at Beverly & Curson Streets in West Hollywood.
Last week I called Johnnie to discuss what we might talk about this Friday, and soon found out that we had a lot more in common than 32 previous marathons in Los Angeles. (more…)
So we got ourselves another big marathon coming up this weekend in New York City, 50,000 strong going the distance through all five boroughs.
Ok, maybe it is perverse, but through fire comes cleansing. And the marathon is fire enough for most. Strange as it may sound, bizarre though it may look, through all the discomfort of running 26.2 miles comes a healing that marks the marathon like no other sporting event. Through its winding miles and colorful crowds, the event has proven to be a unifying thread that ties a city together that all too often is famed for its impersonal diversity.
Time and time again, the simple act of stripping thousands of people down to a pair of shorts and a singlet, pinning a race number on their chest, and channeling them 26.2 miles from point A to point B has simultaneously stripped away all the biases and differences that heretofore had come to define them. Amidst the rollicking throngs that annually meet to run through the most diverse marathon course in America, neither a Democrat nor Republican could you identify, Christian or Jew, Muslim or heathen.
Instead the marathon in New York, like every major city marathon before it, has discovered that by challenging people with a task at the far end of their capability, yet still within their grasp, it could help them transcend the hard lines of religion, politics, and economic station that differentiate them on every other day, and in so doing, set the once-vaunted American melting pot back to boil.
That is quite a trick to pull off in today’s world of identity politics and hardline Us-versus-Them encampments. But the very simple act of running has proven capable of this assimilation, while the city and its people have responded enthusiastically as if in answer to a call from their own better angels.
Let me ask you a question: Tell me why? That’s right, why do people still run marathons?
People, if a salesman knocked on your door and offered to sell you something that would make your toenails fall off and your nipples bleed for $375, what would you do? You’d kick him in the ass with your good toenails, that’s what!
But somehow if folks put up an expo and fill it full of running crap, close city streets and hand you water, all of a sudden people turn into masochists with disposable incomes.
“Is this where I go to pay $375 so I can run till I deplete all my bodily fluids, and make the skin fall off my feet? Here? Cool. I can’t wait.”
How did this begin? Where did this catch on? The first guy who tried it in 492 B.C. died! It made the news! Became kinda legendary. Most sensible people took it as a warning. And that worked for about 2400 years. But somehow they decided to try it again at the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896, and it became a thing.
Weren’t you people punished enough as kids?
It’s one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated! Let me see, I exhaust myself, I am blistered, I’m experiencing a full body cramp, I’m on the verge of being worthy of a guest-shot on the Jerry Springer Show – “how much is that gonna cost me?”
Jesus, people, isn’t life tough enough? This is what you do for fun?! Honest. Have you been to a finish line lately? It’s like an open casting call for a remake of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and you people are trying out for the role of zombies. I’m not kidding. Do you see what’s left after 26.2 miles? It’s a horror show.
Might I suggest a laxative? You need to pass some stuff, cause you’re evidently all clenched up. I’m just sayin’.
(But if you are going to do it anyway, good luck, and have a blast!)
Twice in recent men’s U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials history the weather has been a significant factor. This coming Saturday in Los Angeles that number will jump to three as temperatures in LA have been forecast for the low-70sF (21C) at the 10 a.m. start, going up to 80F (27C) at noon. Not ideal, by any measure, but consider that the average daily range in Rio de Janeiro in August for the Olympic Marathon will be a low of 66F (19C) and a high of 78F (25C), fairly similar to LA this Saturday. (more…)