25th Annual Los Angeles Marathon. Photo essay from a runner’s point of view.
Arriving at Dodger Stadium at 6am
Huge lines at the portable restrooms. Stood in line from 6:10 am to 7:20 am
Elvis... or Elvises....
Waiting to start. Marathon delayed because people were still arriving past 7:20 am due to traffic
Ready to start!!!!
While it's a good idea to use a water belt to stay hydrated, water and Powerade are always available on the course every other mile starting on mile 3.
Runners are as diverse as the habitants of L.A.
A "landmark every mile" in the new Stadium to Sea course is one of the big appeals of this year's run
There is a guy inside the "PedEx" box. He ran the entire marathon inside that box.
Finally, the Marathon starts. With 26,000 runners it can take a while to cross the start line. Each runner wears a chip (embedded on their bibs) that starts your time only after you actually cross the start line
It's barely mile 0.5!
Mile 1. One loop around the stadium equals one mile. If you think about it, we can just circle the stadium 26 times and make this much easier for everyone!
Finally leaving the stadium
Mile 2 already? Things sure go fast when you are excited. Hope it lasts.
Heading towards Downtown Los Angeles
On the first couple of miles is tough to pass people. The crowd sort of pulls you and you go with it.
Mile 3 through Chinatown and about to go into La Plazita Olvera.
First "official" water station at Mile 3. As the miles progress the amount of cups increases. Most water stations slow you down as everyone reduces their pace to pick some water and make sure not to slip
This is the worst hill of the entire run. You must psych yourself for it. Repeat to self: "HILLS ARE SEXY"
A landmark every mile. The Disney Concert Hall sits at the top of the hill.
The view from the top
Another mile, another landmark. The Music Center/Dorothy Chandler Pavillion/Ahmanson Theater.
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
When you reach miles that seem "symbolic" you start saying to yourself things like this: "I only have left to run 4 times what I already did + 1.2"
Another landmark: Echo Park
Mile 6 is the first on Sunset Boulevard.
If you can, hold it! Standing in line will slow you down for a good 10-15 minutes. As the race progresses lines are shorter and shorter.
Right after mile 7, is your first sight of the HOLLYWOOD sign and The Observatory
With a healing broken leg, this guy was moving faster than most runners. You could just tell he has done this a lot of times and a recent accident was not going to stop him this year.
Almost in Hollywood. A group from the Aids Marathon Group cheers for their runners.
Entering the Hollywood District. The Pantages Theater.
Mile 11: Hollywood & Highland
It's good to look back and know they are a lot of people behind you. At least you are not the last one!
Landmark: Chinese Theater
Mile 12. Back to Sunset and "The Rock Walk"
Also mile 12 marks the start of injury sightings...
Their other sign said "If you are reading this, you are going to slow"... Oops! I'm trying!
One of the most inspiring things of the Marathon is all the groups that run for different causes. So many of the runners fundraise, sometimes up to thousands of dollars, to support a cause that has affected them or they believe in. Sometimes a Marathon is more than just a Marathon.
Volunteers rock as much as runners!
No matter their age, they are there all day long. Some of the groups came from nearby churches that cancelled their Sunday morning masses due to traffic and instead organized "Marathon of Service", encouraging their members to volunteer at the Marathon (or other worthy causes on this day)
On this, my 3rd Marathon, I really noticed the importance of having a "Marathon buddy. You push me, I push you.
This mural is always there. I just thought it was neat that the route was in front of it.
"La bandera y el sombrero" Viva Mexico!
Another landmark. The Pacific Design Center. Now entering West Hollywood.
Representin' as well....
I think that guy is one of my friends but I'm not sure....
From Wikipedia: "The term Legacy runners is defined as runners that have completed all of the Los Angeles Marathons. Only runners that have toed the start line on each and every race day and completed the entire course on race day, qualify as official Legacy Runners. Their numbers decrease year by year but there remains a group that is approximately 10 times larger than that of any other major marathon."
Food supplies from the sidelines start to dwindle after the midpoint. The faster runners have taken most of it. A very sweet lady was waiting for her peeps with snacks. She just had a couple and was saving them for the people she was cheering for. She saw my eyes staring at a banana and she told me to come get one (thanks lady!)
Now entering Beverly Hills
Again, I can't say enough good things about volunteers. From all walks of life. If ever I'm in a city with a Marathon happening, and I'm not a runner, I will for sure volunteer. I feel like I owe that now.
If we decorate our cars engines, why not decorate our running engines as well?
These guys are barefoot!!! (and not the only ones I might add)
Next landmark: Rodeo Drive
Endeavor to persevere
It's easy to forget to let your body run as you trained it. You are so excited and there's so much going around.... you start thinking too much. Reminders are nice.
Less than 10 miles to go! Wilshire Blvd.
All the fluorescent green shirts you see on the photos are students. Students Run Los Angeles is one of many organizations that encourage students to run, be healthier, and stay out of trouble. Their fee is waived and they are provided with free shoes and running gear. An amazing organization. Look them up.
Lots of gents (and ladies) that have completed Ironman races use Marathon to train.
Turning to look back, just past Mile 18.
Dear Fireman, please don't spray me with water. I am holding a $3,000 camera. Thanks.
These little orange boxes is what keeps track of your timing
So you always want to make sure you don't skip any. Some are placed randomly throughout the course to make sure you don't cheat and skip any miles.
So close you can almost taste it!
Another landmark: The Mormon Temple on Santa Monica Blvd.
Your loved one. The ultimate running buddy.
You can't help but smile and honor those runners who are doing this for bigger reasons.
Mile 20. The Veteran's complex on Wilshire. That place is HUGE! You go through an entire mile in there.
I don't know the statistics but I would say about half of the runners are doing a full marathon for the first time.
Right now, I do too. Thanks to this amazing course!
While the 22 should be a sign of relief, sometimes is a sign of despair. 4 more miles? Seems not doable .
That helps too.
First sign of finishers coming back. We must be close!
This just seems impossible to me. But clearly it's not.
Different people. Different reasons. All valid.
Am I dreaming?
That hazy palm tree is the beach. Woo-hoo!!!!
For me, the last mile is the best and easiest mile. It's a religious experience. You have nothing left. No energy, no stamina, no nothing. So you talk to God, The Universe, or whatever higher power you believe in, and you make a pact. You are going to be helped. And it happens. Trust me.
Ocean Blvd. Straight line to the Finish Line!
Certainly, do not give up now!
.2 Miles to go
The finish line was crowded. And apparently a dog ran the marathon!
That's me, crossing! Dear God; THANK YOU.
That medal has my name written all over it. "Come to papa!"
Way to go dude!
There is another "mile" after the finish line that no one tells you about. Looks like a triage area and if you can still walk, people scream at you to "keep walking"
The whole thing actually does end at the Pier. I thought they were just saying that.
This is the area where I chose to collapse
And that's me with my medal.
About this photo essay:
This year marked my 3rd consecutive LA Marathon. The first time, the only goal was to finish. On the second and 3rd time, the goal was to improve my time from the previous year.
Around November I became a vegetarian. My body seems to only be able to run 13-16 miles on non-animal protein and about a quarter of the sugar I used to eat. Added to that, for some reason, the day before the marathon I wasn’t hungry at all. I knew all things were pointing to low energy and therefore my goal time wouldn’t be achieved. I decided to run/walk instead and document the run. This photo essay is the end result.