Los Angeles MarathonLos Angeles RoadrunnersRunning

Los Angeles Marathon 2012: Race Report


At the end of the last post, my wife, Alice, and I had just returned from San Diego after visiting my daughter, Allison, her husband, Nathan and my new baby grandson, James Phillip. Here is another photo of him:

As you can tell, I am a delighted grandfather.

Alice and I did not eat our regular dinner because of the lateness of the travel. We normally have turkey burgers and this fits real well into bathroom voiding in the early AM. But, we did not get home in time and went to bed.

The weather report was 40% chance of showers with wind. Temperatures were to be in the low 40’s to start at Los Angeles Dodger Stadium in Elysian Park and mid-50’s by the finish in Santa Monica.

We arose around 2 AM, showered, dressed, gathered our gear and drove to Santa Monica. In Santa Monica, there are the shuttle buses that ferry us to Dodger Stadium. We parked in the Santa Monica Civic Parking Structure, went to the porta potties and were bussed to the stadium. I never ususally get car sick, but the bus was very stuffy and full of runners. I was a little nauseated and wondered.

After arriving around 5:20 AM, we walked up the long flights of stairs to the special Los Angeles Roadrunner section at the Club Level. We took our seats and waited for the marathon start at 7:30 AM.

The Run/Walk 5 gang was there:

Maria Elena and Tara

The time passed quickly and after a few trips to the bathrooms, we lined up and Walt our Run/Walk 5 leader led a pep talk and a prayer. We headed out to our starting corrals:

Walt is in the center and the sun had not yet risen at 6:30 AM or so

One last view of Dodger Stadium

After the usual pushing and shoving in the crowds of runners, we found the corral and proudly displayed our wrist band. We went in behind the gates:

The sun was now up and there was NO rain. It was a miracle. Everyone checked their phonez for the weather report and looked West. There were clouds but the weather did not look ominous, like last year. Although I had placed my rain pancho, I was too soon find out that it was not needed and soon removed after a few miles of the race.

The Run/Walk 5 running gang was set to go:

Maria Elena, Alice, Nancy, Tara and Mary

I was ready to go as well:

Walt had us line up, but Tara and I went far to the right since we would be running at a different pace and run/walk interval than the group. We did not wish to be trampled by the eager fast runners that were behind us in the open runner area.

I took off my spiffy, Canuck jacket and hung it on the wall next to the corral. I reached for my Bloggie Video camera and discovered that when starting to video the beginning of the marathon I had run out of storage space. Good job, Greg!

Making our way to the start line

I did capture this brief video before the camera shut down:

The race started uneventfully. The rest of run/Walk 5 went at their 15 minute per mile pace and soon became a distant image.

Tara and I stuck to our 30 second run and 45 second walk interval. Our early pace was to be around 17 minutes per mile which would be re-evaluated after the first 20 miles. The first four miles went well and we were a little fast. then we came upon First Street.

We had decided in training that we would walk up the early, steep hills and we did. Our time was not affected that much and we saved a whole lot of glycogen. First Street actually seemed shorter this year. I suppose all of that training pays off!

Tara and I had long discarded our rain panchos and there was NO rain. The sun came out and I think I swore a little about the heat. This was funny, since we both thought that we would have to endure torrential rains like we did last year.

I wished I had my sunglasses and my visor since I was now carrying my hat. Oh well, the best laid plans…

Around mile ten, I could hold it no longer and went to pee. I thought I felt something else, but nooooo that could not be happening.

Remember how the previous night, I did not have my usual meal because of our visit to see my grandson in San Diego. I thought everything was fine and that a race dilemma was not going to happen.


By mile 12, I was looking for a toilet. Unfortunately, along this stretch of the course, there were none for about 3 miles. Finally, at mile 13, relief was obtained.

Of course, there was no toilet paper in the porta potty. But, I was prepared! Thanks to Walt, who had a similar occurrence at the Chicago Marathon in a past year. Now, I always carry Wet Ones with me and I used them!

5 and one half minutes lost to my dilemma. But, at least my hands were clean. Thanks again, Walt!

I called Tara and raced ahead to catch up to her.

I caught up to her in a few miles and then came the biggest disappointment of the race.

In West Hollywood at the 4 and one half hour mark (around noon), they started closing the streets and ushered us off onto small, crowded sidewalks. The race rules said at the 6 hour mark and the two previous years, these streets were never closed. This slowed us down measurably and really pissed me off.

The street closures in Beverly Hills continued and the cops were down right rude. I was going to say something, but I figured that they would make my marathon race shorter by placing my in handcuffs and escorting me to a holding cell, before escorting to the Los Angeles County Lock-Up. The LA County jail is not in Santa Monica.

I, also, knew that Alice would not bail me out and that the vaseline that was being distributed by volunteers along the marathon course would be put to good use by Bubba, if I bent over or otherwise. I kept my mouth shut, except to fellow runners who I harassed unmercifully until we exited Beverly Hills and the streets were open again. I, especially bothered a Legacy Runner who kept repeating what I said, that I would write about the closures. He would say “write about it”. Well, sir, here it is!

Tara and I were walking by about mile 17 or so. Run/Walking was difficult on cramped sidewalks and by the time we reached Santa Monica Blvd and Century City, her hip was bothering her. I just kept walking, turned off the timer and figured I would just finish the race with Tara and forget about the time.

We reached mile 20 at Sepulveda and then right into the Veterans Administration. The course now is a slow uphill grade and so we slowed down some. I knew that Santa Monica and a long downhill beckoned.

The last 6.2 miles were fairly uneventful. I was a little nauseated around 26th Street, but drank tons of water. I got better.

Yes, the streets and water stations were open in Santa Monica! Thanks a lot Beverly Hills.

Soon, we made it on to Ocean Avenue and we saw the finish. I teared up a little, but it was probably due to the torrential wind that we endured since San Vicente and 26th Street. The wind, someone told me, was about 60 miles per hour. Sometimes, I felt I was going backwards. In fact, the 24 mile marker almost collapsed and blew down on us.


I asked Tara if she had anything left after passing 26 miles and she said NO, but that she would now run across the finish line.


We finished, received our medals, I gathered up a bagel and banana.

Alice met us about one half of a mile down Ocean and we walked back to our cars.

Another Los Angeles Marathon was finished.

Here is my Garmin data:

And, the official finish:

Will I run the Los Angeles Marathon next year?

Of course, and I will be in Los Angeles Roadrunners, as well.

Next on the agenda is the spring/summer Los Angeles Running Club season and training for the Disneyland Half Marathon in September.