Guest Blog: LA Marathon Race Report

Posted: March 18, 2015 in Race Reports, Travel
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So excited to have Lucy back for her second guest blog post on the LA Marathon! Be sure to visit her first post about the Chicago Marathon.

LA Marathon

I’m back writing another guest blog for Bradley on the Run. This week, I will be covering the LA Marathon, which took place on March 15th, 2015.

Pre-Race

In the weeks leading up to the race, there was much talk about how LA was going to be experiencing “record heat” on race day, with highs inland reaching up to 30 degrees C. In fact, there was so much worry about the heat from race officials that they moved up the start time by 30 minutes to 6:55am. They also removed all timing clocks from the race course (except at the finish) to discourage runners from running too fast.

Both ideas were well-intentioned in theory. However, their one misstep was that they failed to move up the times of the shuttle buses out to the start line in accordance with the amended start times. The combination of the earlier start time along with LA’s infamous traffic resulted in many people not reaching their corrals on time. Booo…

Race Day

On race day, my friend and I left our apartment at approximately 4:30am to catch the 5am shuttle. Good thing we left when we did as the lineups for the shuttle were LONG. To the organizer’s credit, there were fleets and fleets of buses, so the lineups moved at a good pace and we got on after 30 minutes in line.

The temperature was nice and cool still when we arrived at Dodger Stadium. There was loud, energetic music playing as bus loads of runners arrived. One of the neat sights was seeing thousands of youth from “Students Run LA” sporting neon jerseys. Students Run LA is a program that challenges at-risk students to train for and complete the LA Marathon.  The concept being that the students will build character and confidence while improving their health along the way. It would be great to see something like this in Vancouver one day.

LA Marathon

The Course

The race started as the sun was rising. According the race day temperatures, it was already 18C, but I have to say it felt cooler than that. As the race proceeded, the temperatures did rise, especially inland. I have to say that the residents of LA were so supportive, much more than I anticipated in fact, as many spectators came out and offered up cold water, ice cubes, freeze pops, spray hoses, you name it – anything to help keep the runners cool. It was quite touching, especially considering that water is not exactly a plentiful resource in this state.

What I will say about the course is that it is incredibly hilly. In fact, the high temperatures were secondary to the endless hills we had to climb up until the last 5k of the race. To be clear, it really felt that we were climbing up some sort of the hill for about 80 % of the race.

The last 5k was through a tree-lined residential area and eventually along Ocean Drive at Santa Monica beach. The energy at the finish line was pretty amazing as it was lined with spectators on both sides, cheering all of the runners through.  Even though my pace was slower than usual during the race, the crowds at the finish line got me pretty pumped and I finished strong. In the end, my time was just under 3:57, not my best but not my worst. Given the conditions, I will take it.

The combination of the heat and hills really sucked the life out of my legs early on. Not an excuse I know, but hey, I need to make myself feel a little bit better! Since it was the 30th anniversary of the LA marathon, the finisher’s medal is quite large and heavy. I was quite happy to see this given all of the toil that finishing runners like me went through to reach that finish line.

Despite not achieving a PB, I still had fun during the race. The silver lining to not running a PB is that you naturally pay more attention to your surroundings. Although the course was mostly in the city, the energy of LA residents was quite rousing. This is what I will remember the most – plus the fact that I was far less sore the next day than usual, probably as result of my slower pace.

On to the next race!

LA Marathon

Congratulations, Lucy! Sounds like you had a challenging race – but you did it! Thanks for sharing your experiences with everyone!

 

Comments
  1. Ima Mosier says:

    Great race report and guest post. I have never heard of the program Students Run LA, but it sounds like a great concept and definitely promising that there were so many participants at the LA Marathon. Congratulations on both getting to the start on time, which sounds like it was a challenge all on its on and completing another marathon on a tough course. Kudos.