What you need to know about Sunday’s 37th edition – San Bernardino Sun

After a year in which it ran in November instead of March because of the coronavirus pandemic, the LA Marathon is back in its regular time slot and will be contested Sunday on the streets of Los Angeles.

The 26.2-mile course will begin at Dodger Stadium and culminate on Avenue of the Stars in Century City, where runners will be cheered on by the crowds, including the Laker Girls. It is expected to have about 16,000 runners.

That is well down from the 2020 race, which had some 27,300 runners in the main event. But it’s up from the 12,500 from this past Nov. 7, when strict coronavirus protocols were still in place.

Here is a list of other cool details, and things you need to know about the 37th edition:

— Although masks are still recommended to be worn by spectators, they are not required. Masks will be available at the race. Masks are also recommended to be worn by runners when they are in certain areas, such as the start line, before the race begins.

— Whereas either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test was required for runners and staff in November — as well as spectators in secured areas such as the start line — those mandates have been lifted and will not be in effect. However, race director Murphy Reinschreiber said such protocols still exist in inside Dodger Stadium. “It’s actually more the restaurant areas, any of the clubs and restaurants in Dodger Stadium, which we use,” he said. “They’re categorized as restaurants and that regulation, or that guidance, still exists in the city of Los Angeles.”

— The wheelchair race begins at 6:30 a.m. Elite women will take off at 6:45 with the elite men and full field going off at 6:55 a.m. The Charity Challenge 13.1 goes off at 8:15.

— Saturday’s LA Big 5K starts at 8 a.m. at  Elysian Park at Dodger Stadium.

— Saturday’s LA Big 1/2K Kids Run starts at 9:15 a.m. at Elysian Park at Dodger Stadium.

— For those not attending, Sunday’s main event can be viewed on KTLA Channel 5.

— Race results can be found at http://results2.xacte.com/#/e/2426/searchable.

— The 26.2-mile route Sunday will swing through Downtown Los Angeles, Little Tokyo, Hollywood and other areas. When runners get to Brentwood, they will double back on San Vicente, Sepulveda and Santa Monica Blvd. on their way to finishing at Avenue of the Stars.

— Post-race activities will include the Finish Festival, complete with a deejay at Century Park. There will be food vendors.

— All 50 states will be represented by runners.

— More than 45 countries will be represented.

— Oldest runners registered are (male) Lou Henry at 88 years old, and (female) Kathy Kim at 82.

— Youngest runner is 12 years old.

— There will be 3,486 volunteers.

— There will be 60 official charity partners.

— There will be 116 legacy runners.

— John Korir of Kenya won the men’s marathon in 2021 in 2:12:47.64.

— Natasha Cockram of Wales won the women’s marathon in 2021 in 2:33:16.89.

— Participant pre-paid parking will be available near the finish line in Century City. Those wanting to park near the finish line are encouraged to park in one of the defined lots and take a shuttle to the start line at Dodger Stadium. Parking lot locations are at 2030 Century Park West, 1999 Avenue of the Stars and 10250 Constellation Blvd.

— Other participant parking options include 2121 Avenue of the Stars with a discounted max daily rate from $40 to $20 as well as at Westfield Century City Mall located at 10250 Santa Monica Blvd. (access via Century Park West or Constellation Place) with a daily rate of $30.

— More participant parking will be available at Dodger Stadium beginning at 3 a.m. However, there will be no shuttle available to take runners back to Dodger Stadium after they finish at Avenue of the Stars.

— Spectator parking will be available at three locations near the finish line — 2049 Century Park East (access is on Olympic Blvd.), Constellation Place, 2000 Avenue of the Stars (access on Constellation from Century Park West) and Westfield Century City Mall (access on Constellation from Century Park West).

Wait, there’s more.

According to Laurence Cohen, the entertainment coordinator for the event, there will be more entertainment along the course than ever before.

“By a long-shot,” said Cohen, who said he has worked the marathon for 15 years.

Among the bands who will be performing over the last four miles are Wayback Daddies, 1969 and Doug Legacy and the Zydeco Party Band.

Then there’s Kelly’s Lot, led by San Fernando Valley-based lead singer Kelly Zirbes.

“Kelly’s Lot is doing something unprecedented,” Cohen said.

The band will perform in the back of a flat-bed truck at three locations on the course — near the start line, at Sunset and Fairfax and at Wilshire and Federal at the turn-around point in Brentwood.

There will also be cool stuff at three Metro stations along Hollywood Blvd. Las Colibri — an all-female mariachi band — will perform at Hollywood and Western and Beatles cover band Beatunes will perform at Hollywood and Vine.

At one point, there will be cast members from Cirque Du Soleil’s OVO; they’ll be circulating with the runners as they make their way down Hollywood Blvd.

There will be something a little different at the Metro station at Hollywood and Highland. The Oscar’s will be held a week after the marathon and set-up has already begun, Cohen said.

“There will be two 7-foot Oscar statues right along the course,” he said, “and we’re concentrating all our race photographers in that area so when the participants come through, they’re in essence red-carpet runners.”

That’s not all.

The newly launched “Mellow Mile” on the narrowest part of the course will feature acoustic music highlighted by an appearance by Freebo (Bonnie Raitt’s longtime bass player) and his partner Alice Howe.

The Classical Corner on Wilshire and Rodeo will feature live performances by the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA) and a playlist of classical music programmed by Rich Caparella of Classical KUSC; he will also perform a set of classic rock at the Mellow Mile.


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