Every March Los Angeles holds its annual marathon. The LA Marathon is a 26.219 mile race that has been held since 1986 and seems to be fully embraced by Angelenos East and West, North and South. It’s a real party that brings together the huge community of LA residents and runners from all over the county, the country and the world.
I happen to live just around the corner from San Vicente Boulevard, where marathoners reach the 22nd mile. That is just four miles away from the finish line on Ocean and California Avenues in Santa Monica. So I made sure I was up early to be at the corner of San Vicente and Montana around 9:00am, as the élite runners were expected to reach the 22nd mile by 9:12am (the women) and 9:17am (the men). I couldn’t believe how accurate this was! I arrived on San Vicente at 9:10 and already could see the helicopters, police escorts and TV trucks coming.
Soon after that, at exactly 9:12am, Belarus’ Aleksandra Duliba, the lead woman runner, appeared and the crowed went wild. She was far ahead of the other women and running beautifully, with no signs of fatigue. She went on to win the marathon. And this was her marathon début! Not bad for a first-timer.
Shortly after the women went by, a pack of élite male runners approached the corner of San Vicente and Montana. Among them were some of the usual Kenyans and Nigerians who dominate the marathon world. I could barely snap some photos of the leading two men as they went by fast. Erick Mose, from Kenya, ended up winning the Marathon. This was his first time running the LA marathon.
After the élite runners went by, the party went on with people cheering all runners. The girls from Lululemon were great cheerleaders, singing, dancing and holding signs with words of encouragement.
By 11:00am, while the winners were already enjoying a much-deserved rest, the number of runners started to grow along San Vicente. The cheers and music went on for another couple of hours. I could hear them from my house.
Although some people complain that marathon-related road closings mess up their plans, the LA marathon is a great event that both runners and residents fully enjoy. So what if traffic slows down a bit? It’s definitely worth relaxing and joining the fun!