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Spectator’s Guide To The LA Marathon

March 12, 2013 6:00 AM

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(credit: LA Marathon)

(credit: LA Marathon)

(credit: LA Marathon)

(credit: LA Marathon)

The ASICS LA Marathon will take place on Sunday, March 17. It is in its fourth year of the “Stadium to the Sea” course, racing through four cities and passing many of the city’s iconic landmarks. Follow this guide to maximize your viewing pleasure and avoid the common gathering mistakes of the ill prepared.

(credit: Sheraton LA Downtown)

(credit: Sheraton LA Downtown)

Where To Stay

If opting for accommodations in Downtown, be sure to use the LA Marathon hotel reservation system to take advantage of “guaranteed lowest rates” offered by participating properties. The Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel and Millennium Biltmore Hotel are designated headquarter hotels for guests interested in being at the hub of pre-race activities. Discounted rates are not available directly through the hotel. Click here for a complete list of official LA Marathon hotels with details on rates and distances to the start and finish lines.

(credit: LA Marathon)

(credit: LA Marathon)

Street Closures

As early as 3:15 a.m. on the day of the race, streets in Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica will be closed off for the racecourse. Check out the course closure grid, additional street closure list and freeway closure list for strategic commute planning. Streets will reopen as early as 10:15 a.m.

(credit: LA Marathon)

(credit: LA Marathon)

Race Overview

The race begins at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and ends at the intersection of Ocean and California avenues in Santa Monica, just a few steps away from the beach. Official race start time is 7 a.m. for all participants, except wheelchair at 6:55 a.m. and hand cycles at 7 a.m. Check out the course map to view the full race route. There will be entertainment along the course to keep the energy high for marathoners. Expect bands, hundreds of cheerleaders and more.

(credit: LA Marathon)

(credit: LA Marathon)

Starting Line Spectator Information

If you are planning to drive to the start line at Dodger Stadium to watch the start of the race, enter through the Golden State Gate accessible via the 5 Freeway and proceed to parking lots 1, 2 or 3 to park. Just need to drop off a runner? Use the left lanes that lead into Golden State Gate and continue to the runner drop off area in parking lot 4. A good alternative to driving is to go Metro; plan your trip on their website.

(credit: LA Marathon)

(credit: LA Marathon)

Finish Line Spectator Information

With the influx of people in town for the race (and subsequent street closures) it is imperative to plan your commute to allow ample time to find parking and to walk to the finish line. Marathon fans are encouraged to head north of California Avenue along Ocean Avenue to catch your runner as they approach the finish line. The official finish line of the LA Marathon is located at the intersection of Ocean and California avenues.

Click here for the complete finish line and parking information. City-owned parking lots are viewable on the map. Click here for real-time parking availability in the City of Santa Monica. To pick up your runner after the race, access the runner pick-up zone from the east via Pico Boulevard or from Ocean Boulevard from the south. Vehicle access is prohibited north of Moormat Ahiko Way on Ocean Boulevard.

(credit: LA Marathon)

(credit: LA Marathon)

ASICS LA Marathon Expo

A favorite pre-event activity is to head over to the two-day LA Marathon expo. This year, it will be in the south hall at the Los Angeles Convention Center. This is the perfect opportunity to learn about the latest developments of 150 sports, fitness and nutrition exhibitors all under one roof. The expo runs on Friday, March 15 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Joy Bitonio has the phrase “Joie de Vivre” tattooed on her shoulder, a reminder to enjoy life every single day. She has a voracious appetite for fun, adventure, food, good cocktails and works out like a madwoman to keep it all together. Check out her other articles on CBS LA. She also covers fitness on Examiner. Follow her on Twitter.

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