Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Marathon: A Runner's-eye-view

How much do we love Steve Mackel from SoCalRunning?  First of all, he gave standing-room-only presentations on the Whole Foods Market Stage at the Expo.  Then he sent us this fantastic video that he shot while running the race.  What a great idea.  If you've never run the LA Marathon, and you want to know what's it's like, watch this.


Shadow Marathon at Camp Taji, Iraq

You'd be hard pressed to find a better story at this year's LA Marathon than the 500 soldiers who simultaneously ran a marathon at Camp Taji in Iraq.  We heard from Lt. Jeremy Arnett a few months ago, and we were able to ship out boxes of LA Marathon technical shirts, Clif Bars and a finish line banner that he hung from two Howitzers.  Starting at 5 am to avoid the 113 degree temperatures, these brave men and women ran two laps of a 13.1-mile course.  What an incredible way to commemorate Memorial Day.  In the process, they raised $7,000 for the families of fallen soldiers in their brigade.

We salute the soldiers in both Iraq and Afghanistan who participated in the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon.  Here's a slideshow that includes photos from both countries.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Who is Wesley Korir?

Haven't heard of Wesley Korir, our Men's winner?  He broke our course record today, won the Challenge and will fly back to his home in Louisville with a very big check in hand.  He's got a very interesting background, which I learned about in this interview


Images From the Marathon, Part IV

Images From the Marathon, Part III

Images From the Marathon, Part II

Images From the Marathon, Part I

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Shadow Marathon in Progress

Over 400 soldiers at Camp Taji in Iraq are taking part in a "shadow" LA Marathon today on their base, running 26.2 miles on the same day as our race.  They're running early in the morning to avoid 113 degree daytime heat.  There are also two soldiers running along with us in Afghanistan.  We sent all of them Clif Bars, Bibs, medals, Official LA Marathon participant shirts and a finish line banner.  We're really proud that these brave men and women have chosen to join our event as a way to honor their fallen comrades.  Lt Donald Dyer in Afghanistan just sent us an email letting us know that their two soldiers have finished their marathon.  Here's the photographic proof.  Congratulations to the first two finishers of the LA Marathon!


I Pledge Allegiance

If you had a chance to stop by our Green Booth at the Expo, you may have seen our Eco Pledge.  200 people signed the pledge and got a nifty special green "LA" stamp on their race bib.  We hope you made the pledge and had a chance to meet our green consultant Bruce Rayner from FitPlanet.


Dean Karnazes Finishes his Journey to LA

About an hour ago, Dean Karnazes finished his 100-mile run to LA from Santa Barbara.  He did the run non-stop, and he finished right into the middle of our Expo in front of thousands of people.  Dean then jumped up on stage and spoke to a huge crowd about his 24-hour journey.  And he's now signing autographs.  What a guy!  Then he'll get up in the morning and run the LA Marathon with 17,000 of his closest friends.  


Marathon Legends at the Expo

How great is this?  Marathon luminaries Ed Eyestone, Nancy Ditz and Rod Dixon just stopped by our office at the Expo.  Nancy won the first two LA Marathons, and all three were here for our press conference today.


Karno on the road!

As I write this Dean Karnazes is about 60 miles into his 100 mile non-stop run to the LA Marathon.  He's been at it all night, on the way to our Expo from Santa Barbara.  You've got two chances to see this inspirational figure:  On the road this morning on PCH or at our Expo when he arrives around lunch time.  If anyone is out in Malibu, be sure to honk and give him a thumbs up.  If you're at our Expo this afternoon, you'll see Dean finish his run right into the middle of the Convention Center.  How cool is that?  Go Dean Go!


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Are you Ridesharing?

Why not?  We've currently got 170 people signed up for our ridesharing program.  Set up by Spaceshare, this great plan allows you to find riders and drivers in your neighborhood.  Then you can arrange to carpool to the Expo, the Race or both.  Make your day more fun, save money and help the planet all at the same time.  We currently need more drivers, so you'll be particularly popular if you offer to drive.  


Meet the Press

                   Tatyana Petrova

    Nuta Olaru

Laban and Fred

    Yours truly flanked by my new Kenyan friends

Today we hosted six of our elite athletes at a press conference here at the press center.  With our press guru Rich Perelman performing the MC duties, our elite runners spent an hour giving us their take on this year's LA Marathon.  Joining us from the Men's field were Laban Kipkemboi and Fred Mogaka from Kenya, and Tarika Jufar from Ethiopia.  On the Women's side we had Tatyana Petrova and Lyubov Morgunova from Russia alongside Nuta Olaru from Romania.  What struck me first was what a nice group of people they were.  Some spoke with translators and some spoke English, but they all conveyed their sense of respect for this race.  Fred and Laban went so far as to predict a course record if the weather was good!  We also released the exact separation time for The Challenge, which this year will be 16:57.  That's the time between the elite women's start and the men's start.  I'm more excited than ever to watch our elite field battle it out on the streets of LA!


Game on!

Russell Barnett from Popchips

The Springfield Kids Corner

LA Dodgers pitching booth

Honda's new fuel cell Clarity

Rod Dixon at the Whole Foods Market Stage

The Expo is now open for business.  I may be biased, but the joint is rocking!  The Dodgers have a pitching booth, as well as former players signing autographs and their World Series trophy on display.  The Whole Foods Market Stage is chock full of great speakers, and the Pop Chips Snack Shack is making its debut.  Russ and I spent time this morning walking the floor, and we ran into many friends:  Marathon commentator Toni Reavis,  Bill Logee from Asics, SRLA Executive Director Michelle Fleenor, Brooke Donberg from Clif Bar, the nice folks from Springfield and many others.  We are working hard to live up to our mission statement of inspiring athletes and connecting communities.


Friday, May 22, 2009

The Calm Before the Storm

Here are your first shots of our set-up Expo.  Just add participants!  Please make it a point to say Hi to our Staff and Volunteers while you're here this weekend--they've worked VERY hard to make this event a reality.  The space looks great, and we're confident you'll enjoy your visit to Run/Ex/09.

See you on the show floor!


Visit to Alexandria School with Ethiopian Elite athletes

I was treated to a special experience today, and I wanted to share it with you.  Three of our Ethiopian elite athletes, Mulugeta Wami, Rehima Kedir and Martha Markos, were kind enough to spend their afternoon with the students of Alexandria School, near Beverly and Vermont.  The visit was arranged in conjunction with our Springfield KidsMarathon program, and all of the kids in attendance are currently part of that program.  Rod Dixon was our master of ceremonies, and LA Marathon President Russ Pillar was there to speak to everyone as well.  Our good friend Iyob from the LA Roadrunners served as the translator--there are 140 Ethiopian dialects!  After leading the kids in some stretches, our guests from Africa led the students on several laps of the school yard.  The afternoon ended with an autograph session, and it was a day the kids won't soon forget.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

LA Marathon Photo Safari

With 25,000 participants and 3 separate events, this year's LA Marathon is a tough assignment for a photographer.  But it's also an exciting one.  There are so many opportunities to capture the drama, excitement and community that make up the LA Marathon, it's almost overwhelming.  To adequately cover all the stories happening on race day takes an enormous amount of preparation, and this week I'm spending a lot of time with our key photographer, Christopher Wray-McCann.  I'll need photos for the press, for our own internal usage, and for all sorts of interactive stuff.  Over lunch the other day Christopher and I discussed a general approach to the LA Marathon.  We talked a lot about giving the race a point-of-view; imbuing our photography with a sense of purpose.  We want to distill the essence of this particular event down to some expressive and compelling images.  How can we capture our mission statement (inspiring athletes and connecting communities) in a picture?  That's what I'm after.

Today, Christopher, his assistant Melissa and I spent a couple hours driving circles around the start/finish area scouting for the best camera angles.  We also climbed onto the roof of a building to check out a soaring aerial perspective.  We'll meet again on Sunday to do a final walk-through of our minute-by-minute plan for race day.  Monday is going to be a very fun day, and if you see Christopher running around with a camera, feel free to give him a shout.  Appreciate all the preparation that goes into getting great imagery.  We'll show you the results next week.


ACURA LA Bike Tour Final Instructions are Posted!

The final instructions are posted for the ACURA LA Bike Tour. Click here for answers to virtually all of your race day questions.


Runners High

A couple years ago, before I ever knew I'd be working on the LA Marathon, my friend Glenn Bulycz at Apple Computer recommended a terrific film called Runners High. It tells the story of a group of high school kids from Oakland who trained for and ran the LA Marathon in 2005. The film is full of the kind of real-life stories I've witnessed with our own SRLA kids. I would urge any runner, or anyone who loves a good story, to see this film. As luck would have it, Justine Jacob, one of the directors of the film, has set up two Runners High screenings in Echo Park on Sunday afternoon. Both shows will benefit Students Run Oakland and Students Run LA. Why not pick up your stuff at the Expo Sunday and then make a short 15-minute trip to see this powerful film? I hope you can make this event and support two important organizations that are empowering youth and improving communities.

Runners High will be screening at the Echo Park Film Center on
Sunday, March 24th at 4pm and 6pm.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Great weather forecast

When I was racing a lot, I would obsessively check weather forecasts well in advance of any event. And I still do. So I'm happy to report that Monday's forecast looks stellar: A low of 55 degrees and a high of 71. This means that most of you will spend the majority of your marathon running in temps somewhere in the 60's. That's great news, and now you can focus on running the great race you'd imagined.

I can't wait to see some shivering runners at the start!


Race Day Tracking

Raise your hand if you want to follow someone who's running the LA Marathon. It could be one of our elites, or a good friend, or perhaps Uncle Jerry. Maybe you want to see how fast Dean Karnazes can run a marathon after having run 100 miles just to get to the race. Anyway, we have the tool for you, which is our race day tracking feature. You can sign up to get updates via text or email while runners are on the course. How cool is that? I hope many of you take advantage of this technology to follow family & friends while they complete their tour of LA on Monday.


Friend us, please...

We started a Facebook page, and we're nearly at 1,000 friends. Let's get over that hump before race day. And it's not only because I like the sound of having 1,000 Facebook friends. The page is also a place where I'm increasingly answering questions about the LA Marathon. It's become a valuable forum for information about the race. So feel free to use it, share ideas, ask questions, or just hang out. See you there!


Last Minute Nutrition Tip from New Performance Nutrition

The big day is almost here, and our friends at New Performance Nutrition want to give you some last minute tips for the race.

On Saturday, make sure you are drinking between 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight throughout the day. Spread out your water consumption evenly throughout day... this prevents frequent trips at night to the bathroom, which interrupts sleep. In addition to adequate hydration, you need a good night’s sleep. Try to get a solid 8 hours of sleep the few nights before your race. Combine your water intake with three main meals and three snacks. Your nutritional intake for the day should be broken down between 50-60% complex carbohydrates with the balance being divided equally between protein and fats. Snacks should be simple, like a serving of nuts (10 grams of fat) and a serving of fruit (20-25 grams of carbs). Keep your main meals balanced with half of your menu being carbs, 1/4 veggies and 1/4protein. Don't try to eat huge dinners loaded with carbs, as this creates too much waste.

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