Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Nervous Time

So, I was watching the hockey game last night (L.A. Kings (yea!) 6-0 plastering of the Columbus Blue Jackets), when all of a sudden, Marathon (my new pet) jumped up and made a beeline for the underbrush. Something had spooked the crap out of him. Poor fellow.

Here’s the deal. The Los Angeles Marathon sent their official “Final Race Instructions” email. Anyone who has not grown up or lived in L.A. for a while might be a little intimidated. Some of the gems:

  • “You must wear your Bib on the front of your shirt and leave the B-Tag attached to your bib. If you do not wear the Bib and attached B Tag, your marathon time will not be recorded properly.” I wonder how the B-Tag works if it’s under layers of clothing? How many will I see duct taped to a shoe? I wonder how many will be disappointed that their start time isn’t recorded?
  • “The ChronoTrack Timing System uses the disposable B-Tag which is attached to the runner’s race bib. You will not need to remove the tag from the bib to put on your shoe. The timing device remains ON YOUR BIB.” I wonder how many people won’t read this?
  • “ARRIVE EARLY, ARRIVE EARLY, ARRIVE EARLY!!! Let’s face it folks, this is Los Angeles, so even though it is a weekend and you will be leaving your house or hotel before the crack of dawn, you have to factor in traffic, congestion and crowded parking lots. We strongly advise all participants to arrive at the Stadium a minimum of 60 minutes before the race and 90 minutes is even better!” Anyone who has lived in L.A. for any length of time gets this. Sorry tourists!
  • “ARRIVE EARLY, ARRIVE EARLY, ARRIVE EARLY!!!” So, let’s see. I’m on the 5:00 AM shuttle to Dodger Stadium. I probably need to be parked about 15 minutes before that to make sure I get to my shuttle. 30 minutes of traffic once I get off the freeway to get to the parking lot. One hour drive to Santa Monica. Hmm. Leave home at 3:00. AM. No wonder Marathon jumped!
  • “Running 26.2 miles in and of itself is fun” Hooohooohooo! When was the last time *these* folks ran 26.2?
  • “The Honda LA Marathon has stocked the race course with TONS of excitement to keep your energy level up and lots of fun things to look forward to throughout the race. There will be 25 entertainment centers, 4 City Block Parties, Cheer Alley, and over 50 additional entertainment sites located throughout the course.” Like I care? Hey dudes! I’m running a race! There better not be a block party at mile 23….
  • “Please situate yourself in the start area according to your anticipated minute pace per mile, i.e. ten minute miles. This system is for your safety and the safety of other participants. Pace per mile signs will be hung along the sides of corrals, starting with a 9 minute pace all the way through 13 + minute pace per mile.” I read this as self policed corrals?  For 20,000 runners? I spell that C-L-U-S-T-E-R-F….
  • “Diversified Paratransit shuttle vans will pickup runners who are unable to complete the Marathon starting at the Mile 7 water station and continuing through mile 23 and transport them back to the Runner Drop Off location at 2nd Street and Broadway in Santa Monica.” Bwahahahaha! (Ugh……)
  • “If you want to store anything, there will be a bag check located in Lot G at Dodger Stadium.” Cool. “Due to heightened security reasons we will only accept the clear plastic bags of runners belongings. Non-transparent bags or back packs will not be accepted.” Hmm. Now that’s different. I wonder how many people won’t read this? I hope they have extra clear plastic bags at the bag drop!

No wonder Marathon is hiding! Maybe I can entice him: “Don Francisco will be providing coffee throughout the day for spectators and participants.” Here boy! Here boy!

Hmm. I wonder if I should be concerned that the title of the pdf they sent is “2010/03/10-Race-Instructions-revised.pdf” “Revised”? Make some room there Marathon. Where’s the mud pit?


  1. That's funny! You know there will be a bunch of people who don't read that!
    3am!! You better get to bed early the night before!

  2. Yeah, I also wonder how many people won't read the info or won't receive the e mail due to various reasons.

    You think you should arrive early? LOL.

  3. My veteran family Marathoners (not the same as your pet Marathon) all tell me never do an inagural Marathon, especially if is your first or you have not done one in awhile. I broke that rule for Vegas Rock and Roll, but hey it is a Rock Roll event - Vegas maybe new but Rock Roll is not. Turned out well.

    LA Marathon? everything you just wrote was the reason I said no to this one as my first in over 13 years. Even though LA has had a Marathon for a number of years. This incarnation sounded like a complete overhaul and first time race. Although it would have been fun doing it with you and your little friend Marathon. :)

  4. Wow, I like how you repeat the arrive early thing. When I spectated the Harrisburg Marathon, I was amazed at how many people showed up after the gun went off. lol. Oh Well. I agree that there will be a big confusion where runners should be especially with that amount of people. Wheeeuhh! I hope you have a great time. Enjoy!

  5. Yeah, I know what you mean. That little email was enough to make me nervous. I'm actually looking forward to the entertainment -- I still haven't heard what it is.

  6. Too funny! NO one ever reads these things, I'm always amazed come race day how many people are scrambling after arriving late with their blue non-see-through bags. Every marathon puts out these friendly emails, no one ever reads them...except for you and I :).

  7. Jeepers...that is almost as complicated as our tax code!

  8. Wow! I am nervous and I am not even running in that race!

    You should get a medal just for arriving on time-- and with your time equip. fastened correctly-- Geesh!

    Love your new pet!

  9. http://www.chronotrack.com/for-athletes/b-tag-instructions/

    Race bib is not covered (jackets, runner belts, water bottles, etc.)

  10. Interesting... I've never ran a race with B tags before - and I am almost certain that I would screw them up.

  11. don't forget to take your b-tag off and put it on your shoe! ;)

    i am not an instruction-reader... :) so i would be screwing all of that up.