Ask the Race Director – 42,195 Meters and things that make you go hummm!!

About the only person who has a stride a meter long is Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man.  But he usually only races for 100 meters and at 6’ 5” his stride just walking down the street is longer than you and me.    But, if you run the Honda LA Marathon this March you’re gonna make close to 50,000 steps.  That’s a lot of strides. 

So what can we do to make your strides better?  Here’s some things we’ve done in the past to make race day better, and a request to allof you on how we can make 2011 even better for everyone.

  1. Your bib:   We were the first marathon in the United States to put your name, or nickname on your bib.  Why all other races don’t do it, still confounds me.  We’ve heard from hundreds and hundreds of runners over the past ten years who tell us that having the spectators along the course scream their name in encouragement is worth so much to their race day experience.  So yes, we’ll do it again.  But, don’t forget the deadline to have your name or nickname on your bib is January 1.  And just to make legal happy, we reserve the right to edit any name or nickname.
  2. Timing:  What’s the first US Marathon to use Chip Timing?   The LA Marathon.  Next question on today’s show: what US marathon was the first to use the “B” tag timing system where the timing chip was imbedded in your bib and it was recyclable?  Yes, the 2010 LA Marathon.  So no more  weaving your chip through your shoelaces, and no stopping after the finish to have a volunteer clip off the timing chip.  I’ve seen a few tired runners take a tumble during that process.
  3. Entertainment:  Thanks to a couple of staffers who came up with the idea of placing all our high school cheerleaders in one continuous section (Cheer Alley in Century City) to yell and scream their support for your efforts.  We love ‘em and hope you do to.  And as much as I’ve heard from many of you who are not real enamored of the 1st Street Challenge, we must thank Ginger Williams for placing the Taiko Drummers at the top of the hill across from Disney Hall.  Many people said the energy of the drummers helped them crest that hill. 
  4. And, yes we’ve heard the comments that the Taiko performers remind folks of the tempo drummers in the slave ship segments from the award winning movie Ben Hur.  

  5. Mile marks:  We’ve always had course clocks at every mile, but this year we added big inflatable’s that we could erect at exactly the mile mark. No more looking for trees or street lights to hang mile mark banners that might be hundreds of feet away from the exact mile mark.   We built them really big so everyone could see them many blocks in advance of the mile mark.  We only put up 17 of the mile mark inflatable’s for 2010, but we’ll have them for all the mile marks in 2011.

In closing, we’d love to hear any ideas you have to improve on yours and everyone’s  race day experience.  So send them onto to and we’ll consider them for race day in 2011.    Thanks for listening.

Nick Curl

SUNDAY, MARCH 15, 2015