Los Angeles Marathon Preview
Hours: Hand cranks 6:55 a.m.; wheelchairs 7 a.m.; elite women, 7:07 a.m.; elite men and full field 7:24 a.m.
Parking for participants: Details here.
For shuttles to parking areas for participants, check in here for pertinent information.
LA Marathon Route
Called the “Stadium to the Sea” course, this point-to-point LA Marathon route that debuted in 2010 puts the emphasis on Los Angeles’ myriad iconic landmarks. In fact, a landmark will be passed and admired at every mile along the 26.2 mile course, beginning at the start of the race with Dodger Stadium.
The course of the race, considered to be among the top ten marathons in the world, will then continue through downtown LA, and into Echo Park on the East side of town before hitting Hollywood, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills. Then runners will tackle an incline at the Veterans Administration grounds in Brentwood and continue heading west to the Pacific, ending at the world famous Santa Monica Pier.
LA Marathon Areas and Landmarks
During the course of the 2012 LA Marathon — the 27th edition of this race — some 25,000 plus runners will witness historical areas and landmarks such as Chinatown, El Pueblo de Los Angeles State Historic Park, Los Angeles City Hall, Little Tokyo, Disney Hall and Barnsdall Art Park.
Also along the way, participating athletes will own bragging rights for witnessing all four Hollywood sites for the Academy Awards. These runners will be able to spot everything from Griffith Park Observatory and the 50 foot high letters of the Hollywood sign, to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the legendary Grauman’s Chinese Theater.
In West Hollywood, pacers will pass all the best of the Sunset Strip including Chateau Marmont, The Comedy Store, The House of Blues, The Viper Room and Whiskey A Go Go. Then it’s on to the Pacific Design Center, portions of Route 66, Beverly Hills City Hall, Rodeo Drive’s glitzy boutiques, the distinguished Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Century City and the massive Mormon Temple.
Near the end of this long trek, intrepid runners will hit San Vicente Boulevard — where daily, early morning joggers have been training in the grassy esplanade across from Brentwood Country Club since the 1970s — on their way to the finish line. The reward ahead in Santa Monica, at the intersection of Ocean and California avenues near the landmark Saint Monica statue, is the shiny blue Pacific in all its glory.
LA Marathon Water Stations, Bathrooms and Medical Support
Water stations can be found at the LA Marathon’s start (Dodger Stadium) and at its finish (Santa Monica Pier), as well as at each mile along the way. Beginning with mile three, sports drinks will also be handed out at odd numbered water stations and energy gels will be given out just prior to water station 20.
Portable bathrooms will be set up at the start, finish and at every water station along the way.
Medical support (physicians, nurses and others in the medical profession) will be on patrol along the course as well as taking up posts along the route at miles 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24. At the finish, a pair of medical tents will be set up, armed with all appropriate personnel including podiatrists, arguably the most visited medical professional during this sort of event.
Related: How To Start Running in Los Angeles
LA Marathon Entertainment
All sorts of entertainment, including local bands, will be performing along the route, so don’t think that parking near the beginning or end of the Marathon will cause you to miss out on the excitement.
Keep a watch on the Marathon’s official site for further information about who will be performing as acts are booked closer to the time of the event.
LA Marathon Spectator Parking
A word of warning: Although it’s beyond exhilarating to be at the finish of any marathon, this Los Angeles event is one in which literally hundreds of thousands of fans are on site to support.
That said, finding a good spot along the route will make life easier for eeking out available parking. Consider making “your” spot close to the mile nine water stop on Hollywood Boulevard between Hobart and Serrano. There’s ample street parking a block north on Franklin Boulevard, which according to past experiences means getting to be in the thick of the LA Marathon while still being able to park on a street that is open to vehicles.
Also, make sure to claim that parking spot early since traffic in Tinseltown gets pretty hairy before, and especially during, this popular race that takes its pace through the City of Angels on March 18, 2012.
Details on LA Marathon finish line parking for spectators can be found here.
LA Marathon Runners
Runners who will suit up for the 27th annual LA Marathon include plenty of athletic stars who hail from all over the world. In addition, celebrities of the Hollywood ilk who have signed up for the 26.2 mile jaunt across town include American Idol winner David Cook, Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine, Muhammad Ali’s daughter May Ali, Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney, Season 12 Biggest Loser winner John Rhode and 104.3 MYfm host Sean Valentine.
LA Marathon Street Closures
The course route will begin to be cleaned and reopened to normal traffic in a rolling manner. As soon as the start line clears, crews will start cleaning the route and reopening the streets at a pace no faster than a 13 minute per mile pace.
For a complete list of street closures throughout the city, click here.
Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on Examiner.com.