On the Run: LA Marathon and US Olympic Trials
Few things are more compelling than a high-stakes athletic event; and this weekend, Los Angeles will be treated to two. On Saturday, February 13th, approximately 250 women and 200 men will vie for a spot on the U.S. Marathon team by running a 26.2 mile course beginning and ending at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The top three finishers in each gender division will be appointed to the U.S. Olympic team for 2016’s Rio De Janeiro. On Sunday, February 14th, runners will take on the 31st Los Angeles Marathon.
Olympic Proportions: The Facts
The course of the Olympic trials is a completely separate course from the marathon. It begins with a 2.2 mile loop, continues into downtown LA, then proceeds through four 6 miles loops. The course is designed to be both runner and spectator friendly.
Men and women will run the course simultaneously with the men starting at 10:06 AM and the women twenty minutes later at 10:22 AM.
A long straightaway is planned in the course on South Figueroa street. This is a great place from which to watch the runners as spectators standing here will have eight opportunities to see the runners during the race.
The top women are expected to finish around the 2:30 mark while the top men will finish closer to 2:10.
More than a Netflix Marathon: The Facts
The Los Angeles Marathon was inspired by the 1984 Olympic games hosted by Los Angeles and the spirit of goodwill this fostered through the city. It took two years to acquire the correct permissions and permits, and the first LA Marathon was held on March 9, 1986.
The current Marathon course, which begins at Dodger Stadium and concludes near the iconic Santa Monica Pier, is fondly dubbed the “Stadium to the Sea” course. Its prototype was instated during the 2010 race, and minor tweaks have been made to it since then.
The Los Angeles Marathon has always been pioneering in embracing new technologies. In 1996, it became the first major U.S. marathon to incorporate chip-timing technology for its entire field. In 2009, it became the first big city marathon to fully incorporate social media into its promotion and planning.
Whether you’re a runner, an adoring fan, or just happen to be in town for the weekend, there’s no doubt that excitement is in the air. If you’re planning to travel around the city this weekend, be sure to keep an eye on information about traffic and street closures. Happy running!