Last year our friends at Division of Labor created a set of nifty postcards highlighting different areas of the route. This year we’ve selected a new set of photos and landmarks. Look for these at local running shops and events. Does anyone have the complete set from last year and this year?
PeterJuly 30, 2010
This week we begin a new feature called Five Questions. We’ll use this space to interview not only our own staff but also other interesting personalities who have a relationship to marathons and our event. Who better to kick off this feature than our President, Russ Pillar.
1. Tell us about your role here at the LA Marathon.
I’m President of the Marathon, which means I’m responsible for hiring the smartest folks I can find, working with them to develop a strategy and plan that “inspires athletes and connects communities,” and then delivering on that plan.
2. I know you have an interesting background—what did you do before this?
I’ve spent most of the last twenty years running a bunch of consumer brands—Prodigy, Virgin, CBS’ online sites, Viacom’s digital businesses, and more—all of which used media (especially digital media) to connect folks with things they’re passionate about.
3. What’s been the most gratifying part of your job here?
Working with a smart and dedicated team to help tens of thousands of people change their lives through what my colleagues and I call “the transformative power of sport.”
4. What’s been the biggest surprise about managing this event?
That it takes 365 days of preparation and hard work to put on a one-day-a-year event.
5. Do you have any marathons on your running calendar in the next year?
I do—I’m planning to run the New York City Marathon for the second time in two years, and hope to set a PR there. After that, I’m flirting with my first ultramarathon (50K) in the Spring.
PeterJuly 26, 2010
Recently I was listening to KCRW interviewing author Barry Eisler about his latest book. During the interview it was revealed that Eisler is a stickler about authenticity and has created a mistakes page on his website that details any mistakes he and/or his readers identified. This started me thinking that I‘d like to do something similar. Being human we’re certainly capable of failing, and I have to admit I made some doozies in 2010. But, we’ve identified many of the areas that need improvement, and wanted you all to know what we’re working on.
Stadium to the Sea 2.0
Many years ago I worked on triathlons here in California and we were always trying to create a better way to allow both participants and spectators the ability to watch the start and see some of the different divisional front runners. The spectators could always see the athletes come into and out of the transitions, but not the participants. So I thought if I did a loop around the Stadium it would allow regular participants to witness the male and female elites run by them, the wheel chair and hand cycles, and so on.
It was a nice idea, but it didn’t work for a number of reasons. One, either you were inside or outside of the loop; two, by having the loop we eliminated all the parking inside the route, and three; it blocked access to folks wanting to go inside the Stadium and stretch on the outfield grass before the race started. It was a nice idea, but it didn’t work. We did review the road width and net gain and loss of the loop. Ironically it was about 25% less than the start of the NYC Marathon. Nonetheless, they’ll be no loop around the Stadium in 2011.
If you have a question or comment you’d like us to address, please click the ‘Leave a Comment’ link below. I won’t guarantee that we’ll post your comments, but we will read all of them.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll post these notes about once a week. Certainly no more, in my goal of sharing what we’re doing to fix the mistakes from 2010, and what we’re doing to make the 2011 race the best it can possibly be.
Nick CurlJuly 21, 2010
On Thursday, August 5th, Honda LA Marathon champion Edna Kiplagat will be in town to throw out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium. Come on out and enjoy a Dodger Dog with some of your fellow runners as the Dodgers take on division rival the San Diego Padres. We had men’s champion Wesley Korir out to do the honors in June, and it was a lot of fun. The Dodgers have set up discounted tickets just for friends and family of the LA Marathon. Let’s see if Edna can pitch anything like she runs.
See you there!