Friday, March 25, 2011

LA Marathon 2011 race report

so i did the Los Angeles Marathon 2011 this past Sunday. i've been a little slow in posting the usual post-race report, but today's been the first day i've been feeling up to writing a race review with my comments. hopefully nobody minds.

as some of you know, conditions were a little rough. it was cold, with temps eventually being around 55 degrees F (12 degrees C). it was wet, with the news reporting a downpour of around 1.5-4 inches (3.8-10 cm) during the day depending on the location along the race course. it was windy, with wind gusts reaching 20-30 mph (32-48 kph). the combination of all 3 made for a decided chill factor (medical science will tell you it's much harder for your body to retain heat when it's wet and windy), with the desultory cases of hypothermia.

you can read the LA Times comment here:
the LA Times also provided a good series of pictures, which you can check out here:
personally, i can say it was a pretty good experience. despite the conditions and despite the hypothermia (yes, i was among the many), i still finished. not well, not easily, not feeling good, but i finished--and with a positive attitude to share with everyone afterward.

as i mentioned in the pre-race report (reference: LA Marathon 2011 pre-race), i really had low expectations going into this race. courtesy of a sprained ankle and a business trip, i had nowhere near the recommended run training. and it didn't help that i was still sick on race day. as a result, i'd planned on walking significant portions of the course and just focusing on enjoying the sights and sounds. i figure i was doing this for the experience rather than time or glory.

to that end, i made it a point to carry a camera with me and record what i found to be some of the more notable scenes of race day. i figured it's a pretty reflection of Los Angeles and what you should expect from a race here. here's a selection of what i took:
regarding my opinion of the race overall, i'll make a distinction between the race course and the race conditions. while the conditions were not ideal, i think the course itself is. the course is mostly downhill, extremely well-marked, and very much fulfills its mission of providing a scenic tour of what most everyone has in mind when they think of Los Angeles: Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Boulevard, Rodeo Drive, Santa Monica Drive, Dodger Stadium, Griffith Park Observatory, the Hollywood sign, Mann's Chinese Theatre, Fox Theatre, Pantages Theatre, Santa Monica Beach. it's definitely probably one of the faster marathon race routes you'll ever run, although if you're like me you'll be stopping frequently to take pictures on the way.

the crowd itself is what you'd expect: a spectrum of the Southern California community and the tourists from the world who've come to see it. all ~25,000 of them. everyone i saw was in a good mood. ditto for the race volunteers and race spectators--which made a BIG difference as the weather deteriorated later in the day.

in terms of things to take away...well, that's a pretty personal thing, and so is pretty much on you, mate. for me, i've done a fair number of endurance events, so this wasn't anything profound. and i certainly still don't rank it on my list of accomplishments to the Ironmans i've done (and i certainly never will). having said that, i will say that this was a positive experience, and certainly something i could see as being fun (barring, of course, the weather...which was NOT typical for Southern California).

so yeah, of course, i'd recommend this marathon among your list of to-do endurance events.


Why said...

Hey man! Great effort in otherwise not-so-ideal conditions.

I have to cross that one to get my 50 states done but California has soo many options. Its like its own country. :)

Happy Running


Bob Almighty said...

Dude good job toughing it out on a wet and windy day. Looking at some of those photos I was having flash backs of 2008 in Taupo. (Granted they got pounded this year.)

I guess this is where the New Englander in me comes out but I've always loved running in wet and windy conditons, if your ever looking at racing on the East Coast let me know.

jonathan starlight said...

Taupo got pounded? what happened?