Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Weekend that Was

I’m going to go slowly as I unwind this past weekend. I’ve got to be real careful to separate the awesomeness that was the Los Angeles Marathon XXV from the disappointment that was The Running Fat Guy’s performance.

About L.A. Marathon XXV – awesome awesome awesome. The best organized race I have ever been part of. My fear going into this was that this would be a clusterhump from the get go. I mean we had to park in Santa Monica and be shuttled to Downtown. That meant lines and traffic and …

Well, I was more than pleasantly surprised. I left home early anticipating trouble. As I approached Santa Monica on the freeway, the overhead freeway signs were on and directing us to off ramps and which way to turn based on your prepaid parking permit. I pulled onto the onramp in the left lane, turned left, turned right and was parked in my spot 50 yards from the shuttles by 4:20. I got my gear squared away and walked over to the shuttles. Wow. Dozens of busses waiting for us. They were loading three at a time. No lines. I walked up and boarded a motor coach. 25 minutes we were on the off ramp to Dodger Stadium.

Then, to add to the fun – Dodger Stadium was open to us! Grab a bagel, a banana, some water, and sit in my cushioned box seat along the first base line. All before 5AM! Wow! The rest of the day was pretty much the same. The start was delayed about 20 minutes, but for a race this size that wasn’t too bad.*

As many of you may know, I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I never moved away – not even for my college and advanced degree years. I signed up for this marathon because I thought it would be a great way to see the sights of the place that I grew up in. And the race organizers didn’t disappoint me. What a great race through a great city!

And to anyone that says L.A. is cold and lacks spirit – I challenge them to run this race next year. The community support was AWESOME! All along the route people from the community cheered us on. And they didn’t go away just because the elites passed. They were out for us back of the packers too. What an awesome awesome show of spirit and support. Believe me when I say that it was the crowds that pulled me across the finish line 5 1/2 hours after I started (more on that tomorrow).

I wish a video could adequately express my feelings about this race. It chokes me up still to think about all the people that stuck around and cheered me on through the thick and thin of it all. Here’s my take (Note: this video is almost 9 minutes long. Normally I try to keep it as short as possible, but I’m going to be selfish this time. Believe me – after you read my report  tomorrow I hope you’ll understand why. Thanks for your patience!):

*Note: Just in case you are thinking about doing this race next year – be aware – this is Los Angeles. Some people who tried to cut the time too close ended up parking their cars on the freeway (I’m sure they were towed) and had to run up to 2 miles to get to Dodger Stadium. Sorry folks – the organizers warned you to arrive 2 hours early!!!!


  1. Hi Glenn,
    Wow, that video was awesome!! I really enjoyed watching that:) I felt like I was running it with you Glenn!! It was like I got my own little personal tour or your running route! Was that Rodeo Drive? I might of ended up stopping for the good stuff:) Just kidding...I would of done that after the race, Ha ha! You did great Glenn:) You finished it and I am proud of you!!!

  2. Uh-oh... I smell trouble. Will check out the video at home but from what everyone is saying it sounds like this marathon needs to be on the TO DO list.

  3. Great video recap Glenn!! I'm so glad I finally got to meet you in person! You did a great job running LA, and what a fun way to see all the sights of LA! Yes, I said fun...haha. Oh the things runners do for *fun*. Terrific job at LAM!!! See you at the next race!!

  4. You totally make me want to run LA! Great job for finishing - I've been tempted to hitch a ride, but finishing is worth it every time.

  5. Glenn, did you go out onto the stadium field? I wanted to go down there and run around but I was too busy looking for a restroom. That is one of the things I regret not doing.

    I am already looking forward to my next race. I was thinking of doing the Laguna Hills half or the Cinco de Mayo half or both and get that cool third medal. Maybe that will be too much before SD Rock and Roll. I'll see how I feel these next couple of weeks. Are you doing any other ones before SD?

  6. Hahaha...I just watched that video you made. It's awesome! Love those songs! Makes me want to run that bad boy again NOW! I'm going to look up that video next year before the race and watch it so that it can...pump...me...up!

  7. I'll have to put the LA marathon on my list of races to run! Your pictures and videos make me want to do that one!

    You really need a hat or helmet cam. :)

    Did you ever find out why it stopped timing after the 10K?

  8. Hey Glen! Great to see you are still doing great! Can't wait to read more about your big run!
    I started a new blog- specifically on running.. plan to stick to this one :)
    Off to watch your video :)

  9. you are my hero and inspiration. that is all!

  10. Wow that does sound pretty cool to be so organized (I will have to come back to your blog tomorrow to see the video in its entirety.)

    In my book, the fact that you finished a marathon (and a multiple one for you) makes you awesome. Times, schmimes.

  11. Glenn, thanks for what you did. You ran a race, finished and it is STILL inspiring, no matter the time nor pace. You've been training hard, diligently and positively and that's what running is about. I actually felt so emotional crossing the finish line with you. I also leaned over and told BS that we should do LA next year, it looks like fun...kind of like San Diego RnR. Way to HTFU and finish, you're the best. This video made my night!

  12. GREAT VIDEO! I reposted it on my Twitter (RobotSurgeon). Totally motivates me to get going and try to work towards next year's LA Marathon. We live in Seal Beach. My wife did this LA Marathon, and was STUCK on the 110 with 5 other shuttle buses in traffic. She started about 40 minutes late!! Thanks G*d for chip times. Just amazing watching runners exit their cars on an LA freeway to run 2 miles uphill to the START of the marathon! Only in LA...
    Hey, what equipment did you use to record video and take pics. The quality seems very good! CONGRATS ON FINISHING THE LA MARATHON!

  13. Great video...I think it sums it up quite well!

  14. Dude, this by far was the best race report I have read. You really fine point the positive sides of the la marathon. I enjoyed the video very much Glenn. Awesome songs too. Word verification - gross - lol

  15. love the video!! you are so going to have to put one together for my wedding or something :)

    lol about your bib "name". the guy who shaved his head was awesome!! hawaii guy... i so need to do something fun and cool for boston....

    i got emo with you at the finish footage. as a marathoner, i think we've all been at that point at one time or another.

    (and getting to the race 2 hrs in advance is not that unusual for a marathon/big race... those people were dumb!)

  16. Love the video. Definitely got teary eyed at the finish line. :) As someone who's never been to L.A. I can't imagine a better way to tour the city. However, the crowds of runners in that race are INSANE. Remind me never to do a huge race. Yikes.