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This guy is one of them...
Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanThis guy is one of them...

3 reasons the LA Marathon is unique from a runner's perspective

Written by
Matt Mills

On Sunday morning, thousands of runners will take to the streets to participate in the 30th running of the LA Marathon. In recent years, the marathon has grown in popularity, with the race selling out entries for the third consecutive year. Having run multiple marathons in other major cities myself, I can honestly say that our own race sets itself apart in many ways. Here are a few of those...

1. The course. Five years ago, the race directors wisely chose to change the old route to the current “Stadium to the Sea” course that traverses from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier. The course is designed to feature all of the unique streets, neighborhoods and tourist destinations that make LA notable. It’s the only marathon where you'll visit or pass by such unique venues like Dodger Stadium and The Chinese Theater, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and finish right along the beautiful Santa Monica Beach.

2. The spectators. For many Angelenos, marathon morning might be a bit too early to come out and support 25,000 people that make them feel guilty for not keeping up with their New Year’s exercise resolutions. However, the true diversity of the LA spectators is apparent, including a few notable celebrities along the course and even a few running alongside you. And you certainly won’t find these marathon cheerleaders in any other city.

3. The traffic (or lack thereof). On a normal day, Angelenos driving from Dodger Stadium to the beach would gripe that it would be faster to run than face the bumper-to-bumper traffic. Well, the LA Marathon gives you the chance to prove it! This is the rare day when local runners can roam down typically heavily trafficked streets and not find one vehicle. While drivers might not appreciate the road closures, runners will love the stress free commute-by-foot from Echo Park to Santa Monica. While most marathons will make sure you aren't running between cars on your 26.2 mile jaunt, having the streets of LA to yourself for a few hours feels pretty special.

Oh, and one more reason...

Every mile of the LA Marathon is marked in huge spotlights this Friday night.

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