We enjoyed this post from Linda Eddy Vermeulen of Gymnotes and thought we’d re-post it:
This is not a race report. That will come later. Most people who know and tracked me, know that I had stellar training, but a crap race…involving lots of mile 19 drama with an ambulance ride not taken. But this post is not about that.
This is a letter to the LA Marathon organizers,
Peter. First of all to Peter, who got my mother and me to the Inspiration Dinner to meet Pete Carroll. This had to be the crowning event for us, and even though I was just one runner in 25000, you found it possible in your heart to get my mother to meet Pete himself, a most exciting moment for her…and for me, watching her throw her arms around a man she has rooted for, yelled at, talked to, supported, all these years for USC. It was truly the best moment of the weekend, even if I hadn’t run the race. Thank you. This event, as well as The Blessing of the Shoes, made the weekend a great success.
Being in Dodger Stadium at 6:30am was beautiful. Looking at the Dodger videos, and sitting in the very place where my parents had season’s tickets in 1988 was heartwarming. The organization of the checked baggage trucks was great, and the excitement in the crowd was palpable. We had a slight problem getting to the start corral after the race started, because we had to jump in from the porta-potty lines to get in the corral…meaning that we had to weave, Frogger style, through the 3:30 pace group. It was the fastest I had to run all day
The course was amazing. Even though it was a tough first four miles, I could tell it was beautiful. And hot. But, beautiful.
The bands were fun. A bit too loud for me, but I hit the wall at mile 8, so everything after that, you take with a grain of salt.
I don’t know how you engaged the communities to be a part of this race, but it was the Los Angelinos themselves, who made this event amazing. At mile 8, when the group of Down’s Syndrome ladies came out and held me, I knew I was home. In the town that I love. With it’s crazies, it’s diversity, the storefront signs, the random people who cut up oranges just for the hell of it, the people on the side who were still cheering even when they could have gone home. The transvestite drag-queen cheerleaders. The clappers and the horn blowers. It went on and on and on.
Your race tables were beautiful. Lots of drinks. Lots of people. But, it was the in-between, the non-stop support all the way. Yes, there were people at mile 5 saying, “You’re almost there”, and at 8, 12, 15…when we were nowhere near *there*. They didn’t know. They couldn’t know. They tried, and I recognize that there are a million other things people could have been doing on that beautiful morning, but they were there…on the course. Even in Beverly Hills, on Rodeo Drive, people had trays of food set out for us. Miles when I thought I should simply walk off the course, there was no way I could do it. I came upon a group of disabled boys, who were handing out water. And I said thank you to every one. And their smiles were worth the entry fee into your race.
San Vicente was beautiful, and I could finally move. Just a little bit. And still, families with signs and clackers, and bananas. THIS is the LA Marathon. The people, who have for years been given a bad rap. That Los Angeles is a pit, or just another big city…these neighborhoods created a feel of community, of “We are the World”, and gave to all of us at the end. We were the ones who knew our races were gone, out of contention. The ones who, like me, had high hopes of a PR, but lost it…your city, your people gave me just enough juice to get to the next block. When I would turn. And there would be another set of families.
Because. Because this race, this course, this event…without you even knowing it…and probably without the sense of planning it this way…THIS race made me remember growing up in LA, in the Valley. Remembering as a little girl, seeing the big skyscrapers and wondering…wondering who lived there. THIS race, with all the course support, the bands, the hydration, the medics…without you even knowing it, gave this native a sense of homecoming.
Because in LA. We don’t care where you went, we just care that you came back for a visit…even if only for a little while.
It was not a flat course. It was tough. It was a marathon course. I have much to grapple with in the coming days…what went wrong, what I need to do. IF I can come back, ever. IF I have it in me, in this 51 year old body to undertake the training and discipline that it takes to not only get on your course, but to conquer it.
But if anything is to be said about this race, it is this: LA, you did it. You rallied. You got us there. Thank you to all of the organizers, the volunteers, the locals. I couldn’t imagine a better place in which to bonk, which I did. And, if I know anything about LA, I know it will welcome me back with open arms…as if to say, “We’re here, if you want it again”.
Linda Eddy Vermeulen
Here’s a note from Eric Barron, who coaches Track Club LA. I have known Eric for several years, and I train weekly with his club. He’s a pillar in the local running community and a very, very good coach. That’s why it was so gratifying to see the note that he wrote to the club after speaking with LA Marathon owner Frank McCourt at the finish line yesterday in Santa Monica:
No matter where your loyalties lie with regard to your baseball team of choice, you have to be grateful for Dodger owner Frank McCourt’s support of the Los Angeles Marathon. In its previous 24 incarnations, the Los Angeles Marathon covered many different routes, but nary one over ground that inspired anyone to participate in it. This year was a different story. By plotting out a Stadium-to-Sea course, McCourt and his organization gave thousands of runners renewed motivation to slog through 26.2 miles. Although the new route has a net elevation drop of several hundred feet, it is not necessarily an easy course thanks to many different grade changes. Still, the energy on the course was a world apart from prior years, and in a good way. Moreover, it seemed as if the gods decided to reward all with weather fit for marathoners and spectators alike. In the end, the course, the crowds, and the weather spurred on many in Track Club L.A., and the performances were generally strong.
Share your race day photos with us and everybody else by joining the Los Angeles Marathon Group on Flickr. If you join and add your photos to the group, they might also get featured on our homepage!
Pre-paid parking sales are closed, but before you head out, take a look at this information on Santa Monica’s current parking:
Parking Options for Spectators
Drivers’ best bet is to check www.smgov.net/parkingspacenow to see what’s available.
Repost from latimes.com:
The diverse landscape of Los Angeles will unfold for runners along the 26.2-mile route. The “Stadium to the Sea” course starts in Los Angeles, passes through West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, and finishes in Santa Monica. The race will take place Sunday.
Photos by Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times
There’s a great interactive tour of the course posted at latimes.com. Not only does it highlight the landmarks, but you can also click on the map for street view video and elevation info for any given spot in the course.
While Dave and Lauren were setting up the Expo outside centerfield, Maureen, Beth and I were inside Dodger Stadium finalizing our pre-race entertainment. Without giving too much away, we can tell you that it will definitely be worth your while to come have a seat inside the Stadium when you step off the shuttle bus. Grab some Don Francisco’s coffee, which we’re providing for free, and come on it. We’ve put together a highly entertaining program on the jumbotron, with lots of pre-race inspiration. Today we worked out many of the details and sound levels, and it’s looking good. It’s sort of eerie how quiet and calm it is here this evening, knowing that Friday at 11 am it’s game on with the start of 50,000 visitors over two days. Bring it!
This is what my office walls look like the week of the LA Marathon. Russ Pillar decked out the office we share with cork board on one side and white board on the other. At this point in the process the room looks like the inside of my brain: total chaos! Some of the things you can see include signage designs, the Studio Number One Manifesto, a communications calendar, SM Classic marketing plan (don’t forget we have that event coming up on Sunday, May 16th), an asset list and photo assignments.
Also in one of the photos is Beth Liberty, our creative coordinator and captain of the green program. She, like everyone in the office, has been working overtime to pull off the 25th Anniversary event. Beth keeps track of all the different creative projects we have going on: interactive, print, social media, signage, collateral, etc. Literally hundreds of things that are hovering, waiting for attention, at any given time. Thanks to her, and everyone else working so hard, the event is coming together in a really great way.
This is a photo of the 18 pallets of Runner and Spectator Guides for the 2010 Honda LA Marathon presented by K-Swiss. The scale of this publishing project hints at the enormity of our event this year. Special thanks go out to Ross, Daniel and all of their staff at the Santa Monica Daily Press for pulling this off in such a short time frame. The Guide is 40 pages long and features all sorts of LA Marathon-related content. You’re sure to find it both useful and entertaining. Look for the Guide at our official hotels, City Block Parties, the Expo, the Finish Line and at Farmer’s Markets in Santa Monica.
Re-posted from the K-Space.tv site:
Like my high school basketball coach implored, “Quit looking at your feet, you’ll never get anywhere!” This is true of almost anything, especially when it comes to running. Marathons are a competition, but they are also a celebration of city life, and in the case of the new and improved LA Marathon “urban life.” For Los Angelenos, it’s really one of the few days that makes for a good excuse to get out of your car and explore on two feet this wildly complex and eclectic city.
This piece, directed by local boys Rick and Buddy aka Six Stair, ‘Don’t Forget to Look Up’ is a reminder to take in the sights, sounds and people as runners traverse the wide expanse between hillsides and shoreline. Narrated by Peter Abraham, Creative Director for the LA Marathon (Sun March 21st), the film is witness to the myriad of signs and strange little monuments that we pass each and every day. His natural ability to voice the spirit of this event, turning 25 this year and uniquely revamped, as well as put into context the even playing-field that has become running’s involvement in LA history. Unlike any other urban city, running is part of the fabric that makes living here so great. Once upon a time the band Missing Persons sang that “Nobody walks in LA,” but time is certainly showing that almost everybody “runs in Los Angeles.” Take a peek at Six Stair’s vision of the new route from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica as they “ran” it, on skatedecks and in 4-cylinder beaters.