Race report, Los Angeles marathon
42 195 meters of running. Once again I had signed up for a maraton race and this time it was my 19th. After the less successful run in Hong Kong five weeks ago I was ready for a revenge. 25 000 runners participate in the LA marathon race and I signed up just two weeks before the run. The main reasons that I picked LA was the scenic course that starts at Dogers stadium and finishes in Santa Monica aswell as the always fantastic and supportive crowd during US races.
Wake up it is maraton day!
My marathon day started at 4:30 am when I woke up after a nights great sleep. I stayed in Santa Monica near by the finish line and from there it was provided shuttles to the start. It was very well organized and when I got to the busstop it took like ten minutes before I had boarded a bus. It was supposed to be a 20 minute ride but the busride happened to be a bit too excited. The carlines were terrible and just outside Dogers stadium the driver of my bus missed the exit which some locals realized about ten minutes later. Then the bus was stucked in a huge line forever when the clock was ticking. At 06:55 was the start and still at 06:30 we were on the bus and the a lot of people were really upset. I had no idea where we were and it was dark outside but it was supposed to be about 3K from the start. One guy left the bus and ran at the freeway to the start. The driver continued to que up in the endless lines and with a speed of a snail we got closer to the stadium. At 06:45 the sun was starting to rise and some other runners that was sitting close to me decided to get off and run to the start and I joined them. It was probably the fastest kilometer this day and exactly when everyone were singing the US national anthem I reached my starting corral. Or it was not mine. It was one. Then it was time for takeoff at the streets of LA.
06:55 and I was ready. We all were ready for takeoff. I really felt for running so the feeling when we it was time to start were on top. I started the first three kilometers in 5 min/km pace and it felt so easy. There were a few small hills but this was supposed to be the hilliest part of the course so I was looking forward for it to be over. I like flat and fast courses. I have been in LA quite many times but never in downtown so the first 10K was a bit of sightseeing. The first 10K felt more or less effortless and that is always welcome when you know you have 32K to go to the finish line.
I always divide my marathons into smaller parts. If the first 10K is just to get in marathon mode, the second fourth is all about reaching the half marathon distance. Also here the course passed by the neighborhood of Silverlake that I have not been to before. I liked the place and were more focusing on the views and the fantastic crowd that was lining up alongside the course than the actual running although I was moving forward. I am quite good trained for distances up to the half marathon so running it in a comfy pace is not a big effort for me.
My golden goal for the LA marathon was to finish sub 4 and then I know I have to finish the first half in less than two hours and when I did it in 1:55:XX hours and still felt strong I got positive vibes when I celebrated with a gel at Hollywood boulevard starting part two. There were loads of drinks and eats during the course and that really makes it easier although I stick to my own eats it feels good that if you need something additional then you more or less can have what you want when you want. Running wise I had no big downs during this third part but like everyone say it is after 30K the marathon starts.
And yes I can once again confirm that for finishing a marathon with a decent time the fourth block is where the challenge lives. Not kilometer 31 or 32 but for every kilometer it feels good you know that you get closer and closer to the point it won’t feel good anymore. The trick is just to think positive and never give up during the hard times. My down part also came this race. It was like running into the upcoming Trump wall towards Mexico at 33K. But if you just keep on going, having some energy then it will be better after a while. Promise. For me it took four kilometers. Four kilometers of pain, where my legs wanted to stop running but I forced myself to keep on moving. Then suddenly it feels better again. The finish line comes closer and it is within reachable distance. 5K. I prepared myself mentally with the fact I can run 5K backwards while sleeping so I can do it also after running 37K. The stadium to the sea course was a great one. The last kilometers was a big downward sloping hill with loads of crowds. I got new energy and knew that I would finish sub 4. And I did. The feeling when I was running past the finish line at Santa Monica beach was fantastic. My fastest marathon ever and definitely the funniest one. The course were great, the spectators were top-class, the weather perfect for running and it was just a perfect marathon that I definitely can think of running again!
This was my 19th marathon. I do of course plan for my 20th. But where? anyone who has a great race to recommend?
/ Pernilla the marathon runner