Race Report: LA Marathon 2016

Crank up the Beach Boys, baby. Don’t let the music stop, We’re gonna RUN til we just can’t RUN it no more.. I love LA! -Randy Newman, I Love LA (paraphrased!)

On February 14, 2016, after NO TRAINING for me (sprankle!), my hubby and I arrived in Los Angeles for the LA Marathon. We picked up the rental car, and headed to the Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center! It was pretty fun, and there was a DJ to pump up the energy!

expo DJ

We wandered around for about an hour, and I purchased a Sketchers LA Marathon Tee, a Spark bracelet that reads ‘Live Joyfully,’ and a mini Addaday roller, just in case my IT band decided to get zesty. Afterwards, we headed to our vacation rental, and hit the beach!

BRUCE BEACH

On Saturday, we watched the Olympic Marathon Trials in downtown LA. It was so exciting watching the best of the USA, racing to make the Olympic Marathon Team.

There were actually quite a few people from Colorado there, and it was fun to see them too.

FRIENDS OLY TRIALS

After the trials, we tried to get over to a church in downtown LA that offers a Blessing of the Shoes for marathoners, but there was a huge celebration at nearby Chinatown, making for nightmarish traffic. It was a bummer to miss it, I felt like I needed my shoes blessed!

Later we met some friends for dinner at Gracias Madre, (Happy Birthday, Dan!), a wonderful vegan restaurant in West Hollywood, and had a great time celebrating! The food was wonderful, and the company was outstanding!

gracias madre.jpg

Race Day was Sunday, February 14, and we were up at 3:15. I wore my ‘vintage’ Runner’s Roost Race Team Colorado singlet, and my fave bright orange Skirt Sports Gym Girl Ultra skirt. We left the house at 4:30 a.m. to catch the Marathon Shuttle 2-miles away. Thinking there wouldn’t be a ton of traffic at that time, we decided to drive. Bad move! Traffic was a nightmare, and spent too much time trying to park. We ended up parking at the beach, paying $25. I was so glad I had cash with me; California is expensive!

After standing in another super-long line for the shuttle, we finally arrived at Dodger Stadium for the start.

B L STARTING LINE

We didn’t have much time at the start, so we dropped off our bags at the very-hard-to-locate Bag Drop, found some out-of-the-way port-a-potties (no line!!), and got into a corral (too crowded to get into our assigned corral, so we were at the back.) Moments later, the starting gun went off.

START LINE CROWD

The vibe felt pretty good, and it was a fun start. Since I had not trained for this race, (sprankle!), I started out nice and slow. My race plan was to try to hold a 13-minute mile pace for the first 13 miles, and walk/run the remainder.

Out of the stadium, and at mile-2ish, we went through Chinatown. Great to see, but the water station there was already OUT OF WATER! I was super glad I was carrying my own!

We then headed into downtown LA. My sweet hubby stayed with me for the first four miles, then went on ahead to run his own race. At one point I looked up and saw the Hollywood Sign, I was so excited! You can just barely see it in this photo, (white dot on the hill, center).

HWOOD SIGN

I missed a lot of the other great sites I wanted to see, such as the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, Chateau Marmont, and others, but I did spot Grauman’s Chinese Theater, and had a great time in West Hollywood. It was so colorful and peppy!

One of the best points in the race was mile 17, on Rodeo Drive. My friend Dan was there and encouraged me, ran with me for a few minutes, and cheered me on. It was such a boost!! Thanks, Dan!

After that, things got tough, the mileage started to wear on me, and my feet were killing me! But, on the upside; there was still a lot to see along the way; the course was PACKED with people, and folks cheering for us!

VOLUNTEERS

So, on I slogged, now clocking 14-minute miles, but still running! I put Bonnie Tyler’s song ‘I Need a Hero‘ on repeat. It’s a peppy song, and has a good beat. I finally made it to the finish line, and was able to run across, and find my hubby!

This one is a ‘run-and-done’ for me, while I really liked the race, I probably won’t run it again, so I’m glad I was able to check it off the ‘to-do list.’

RECAP: The LA Marathon is a tough one, but it’s a lot of fun. It offers a beautiful course, lots of great landmarks, and tons of crowd support; from the volunteers to the communities, there was never an empty sidewalk. As Randy Newman sang, “It’s just another perfect day.. I Love LA!

Outfit for this race: Skirt Sports Gym Girl Ultra skirt, ‘vintage’ Runner’s Roost team shirt, Sketchers LA Marathon Visor.

 

 

 

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