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The Los Angeles Marathon: take the kids

Are you running? No? Those putting on the 26.2 mile race tomorrow, beginning at approximately 7am, would suggest that you come out and cheer on the 25,000 participants or stay home and watch on KTLA channel 5 or radio, KLAC AM 570. You see, the marathon starts at Dodger Stadium, takes a quick loop through downtown, and then snakes its way through Echo Park, Silver Lake, Thai Town, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Westwood, Brentwood and Santa Monica, finishing up on Ocean Blvd. just near the pier. Streets will be closed off and and getting around will be dismal between 3am near the stadium and 3pm near the beach. In other words, if you can’t beat 'em, join ‘em. Take the kids to the race route and let them see what people look like who have practiced some sort of discipline, maybe a lot, to prepare themselves for what ultimately becomes a test of will.

Today, at the packet pick-up and marathon expo at Dodger Stadium, runners looked relaxed until they found out T-shirts were no longer available unless you were a Women’s size small (so they’re working out some kinks.) Participants browsed through the merchandise, picked up last minute items like GU packets, and occasionally chatted with strangers with whom they shared a common bond. Many didn’t appear to be in marathon shape: lean and mean – but all appeared healthy and happy with their decision to tackle something as grueling as running 26.2 miles. Tomorrow, every single one of them will look remarkably different at miles 21 and 22, about the distance it takes to separate the wheat from the chafe. Some will be walking, while others will run through discomfort that can only be described by someone who’s been there. Unlike, for example, giving birth, hitting the wall is not acute, stabbing pain but more of a sustained dull ache, both in the legs and the brain. And if the temperature hovers around 70 as the runners approach San Vicente, you can bet not everyone will finish.

More than anything, it’s a spectacle worth coming out for, whether you know someone running or not. For Los Angeles, it’s the first time in twenty years or so that we have a marathon route to really be proud of. From the Stadium to the Sea, be a part of the day, because sitting in traffic won’t be much fun at all.

For street closure, go to: trafficinfo.lacity.org

Other marathon details, including the route, check out the LA Marathon official website.

And don’t forget to check out DailyCupofJo.com. Tomorrow, if you visit, I’ll tell you how I did.

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