Friday, January 30, 2009

The word of Rod:

“Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated.”

New website launched!

In case you haven’t seen it, the new LA Marathon site is now up and running. We’ll be making changes and adding things almost continuously between now and race day. Furthermore, keep up to date here for all kinds of breaking news.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Who here runs with music?

I’m guessing about half of you run to music. And because here at Marathon HQ we love our music, too, we’ve created an iMix at the Apple Music Store. Thirteen fun songs to motivate your workout.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Raise your hand if you want a technical running shirt

Thanks to the good folks at Honda, every runner this year will receive a technical running shirt. And here’s what it’s going to look like. Many participants have asked about these over the years, and we’re happy to say we’re making this happen. We’re looking forward to seeing these on runners all over.


A little history, with Toni Reavis

as the voice of the LA Marathon on our KNBC broadcasts, but he’s also a veritable encyclopedia of running knowledge. When I need to know who was the third-placed woman in the 1977 Boston Marathon, I call Toni and not only does he give me her name immediately, but he’s got all of her split times written down. The guy is unbelievable. So we’re lucky to be able to call him a friend of the family here at Marathon HQ. Last time he was in for a visit, we sat him down and recorded him talking about all kinds of things. In the coming months we’ll post a lot of this, and here he is talking about how major-league marathon racing came to be in the US, and how that led to today’s LA Marathon. Great stuff.


Monday, January 26, 2009

New earlier Marathon start time

The people have spoken, and we have listened. The 2009 LA Marathon will start at 7:20 am. We know many of you have long wanted an earlier start time, and we’re making that happen. This will enable you to spend less time running in the warmer part of the day. We look forward to seeing all of you out there on race day.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Refund Period Ending

Please note that our refund period will extend until January 31st. After that we'll no longer process refunds due to the date change of the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon.


LA Marathon Price Increase 4/1

We are announcing today our pricing structure for the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon. Our $95 entry fee will remain in effect until April 1st. At that point, the registration fee will increase to $125 per entry. We are hopeful that giving you two months advance notice on the rate increase will encourage most of you to register early. That will, in turn, enable us to better estimate our field size and create a better event for all participants.


The word of Rod

“Before you criticise someone, you should Run a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.”

Rod Dixon

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Our Legacy

You might be astounded to know that a group of 248 hardy individuals have run every LA Marathon since 1985. That’s right—23 straight, without missing a single event. They’re known as our Legacy Runners, and what they’ve done is truly remarkable. We’ve been spending time lately with a couple runners from this stalwart bunch—Lou Briones and Denny Smith—and they have great stories about the persistence required to sustain a streak like that. They’re all getting ready to run number 24 in May, and in the coming months we’ll post a couple videos about the Legacy Runners. We’ll begin by showing a quick interview we did with Denny in our offices last month.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tours & Travel Director hired

We’ve been working on this for awhile, but we want to tell you about Susan Cipollone. She’s our new tours & travel director, and she’s responsible for bringing in runners from other places. We’re tremendously excited about what we can offer to visiting participants. We’ll combine everything that is great about LA with a fantastic running experience to create the ultimate runner’s roadtrip.

This is what Susan told us:

“It's a thrilling time for the new L.A. Marathon, and I'm happy to be a
part of it. My experience in the running world started with the ING NYC
Marathon where I remained for eight years as the International Manager.
In this role, I worked in association with international tour operators
throughout the world who registered thousands of overseas participants
to the event. During my stint with the ING NYC Marathon, international
participation grew as additional countries were added.

“I'm looking forward to getting to work to promote the L.A. Marathon
throughout the world and welcoming many overseas participants.”


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thoughts on our mission statement

Our president, Russ Pillar, and I spent a lot of time in November and December working on our mission statement. Why? We felt it was important to have some guiding principles that we could filter all of our decisions through. A sort of moral compass for the event. You can’t just pull one of these out of thin air; a mission statement needs to reflect the soul of your brand. So what is our soul? Well, we spent a lot of time visiting with various constituent groups of the LA Marathon: Roadrunners, Official Charities, Students Run LA, Elite Runners, Legacy Runners, staff, volunteers, corporate partners, city government, etc.

We sat down with all of these people and more. It was interesting, and we tried to understand everyone’s point of view. And we thought about it a lot. We tossed ideas back and forth. It’s a fun exercise—you’re trying to distill an event with 23 years of history down to one sentence. Just a few words. But the statement isn’t only a reflection of where the event has been. It also needs to guide the future growth of the LA Marathon. So this process is both about identifying the existing DNA as well as charting the future course of this enterprise. Our deliberations kept coming back to these themes:

Transforming your life through running
Creating a first-rate runners experience and
Connecting the community.

We knew we were getting close, but we hadn’t nailed it down yet as a sentence. So we kept working on it. I’d swing by Russ’ house on the way home from work and we’d free-associate until we couldn’t think straight. But after two straight months of working on it, we constructed a sentence, a single sentence, which we feel accurately represents the LA Marathon:

“Harnessing the transformational power of sport to inspire athletes and connect communities.”


Friday, January 16, 2009

Warm-up, Rod Dixon style!

Our goal is to give you as many tools as possible in order to have a great LA Marathon. To that end, we’ve asked Rod Dixon to come out and show you some things. Not only is he an Olympic medalist and New York City Marathon champion, but he’s also our Director of Training. We’re lucky to have him as part of the family. His positive energy and easygoing Kiwi style are immediately likeable. So here is the first of many clips that will let you take a peak at some of his training secrets. This covers Rod’s quick warm-up routine.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

A sustainable marathon?

I’m psyched to tell you that we’ve applied for certification with the Council for Responsible Sport. This group has developed a comprehensive system to evaluate the sustainability of endurance sports events. I love this philosophy—it’s like getting a LEED certification on your building for green architecture. They use five different metrics to rate an event: waste, climate, materials and equipment, community and outreach, and health promotion. Then they bring a team down during the weekend of the race and give us a score in each of these categories. After the event we’ll receive a level of certification depending on our score. If you have time, take a minute to visit their site and look at the amazing case study they did. This document can serve as a roadmap for any race director looking to reduce the impact of his/her event.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Honda and Acura back on board

We’re really proud to have Honda back as the presenting sponsor of the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon, and Acura as the title sponsor of the Acura LA Bike Tour. These great companies have given an incredible amount of support to these events and to this City over the years, and we couldn’t be more excited to have them as partners. “Honda and the new management of the Los Angeles Marathon share the same optimistic vision for the future of this great event. Honda is excited to once again take part in all of the community activity that is part of both the Marathon and the Acura LA Bike Tour,” said Stephan Morikawa, Assistant Vice President for Corporate Community Relations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Honda will be involved with many aspects of our event, and we’ll talk more in the coming months about the specifics of our program.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Roadrunners Guest Speakers

We try to get interesting guest speakers down to speak with our Roadrunners participants. Last month we were fortunate enough to get a visit from 4-time Olympian Lorraine Moller. Her career included many records in her native New Zealand, Commonwealth medals, and of course the bronze medal in the 1992 Olympic Marathon. We set up a video camera and captured some of what she had to say. In the coming weeks we’ll be posting a few of these clips. Here’s Lorraine talking “The Hero’s Journey.”


Friday, January 9, 2009

Bill Orr hired as elite athlete coordinator

We’re proud to announce that Bill Orr is now part of our team. This will be a huge boost to our elite program, and we’re looking forward to seeing a great elite field at the starting line this year. Why don’t I let Bill tell you a little about himself, and stay tuned for an announcement of our prize purse.

“I am excited to be coming back to the LA Marathon after a two year absence as the elite athlete coordinator. In returning, I bring my thirty years of experience in recruiting elite athletes for such world class road racing events as Gasparilla 15k (Tampa), Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile (Washington, D.C.), Quad-City Times Bix 7 (Davenport, IA) and LA Marathon (2000-2006). I am delighted to be a part of this strong team that our highly respected race director, Nick Curl, has assembled. My long term goal for the LA Marathon is to return the event to a place of prominence by recruiting a competitive elite athlete field, and continue to elevate the LA Marathon to world class status.”


Monday, January 5, 2009

Looking for a New Year’s Resolution?

Why not start training for this year’s LA Marathon with the LA Roadrunners, our official training program? You’ve got almost 5 months until the race. Here’s an easy way to get out there and start training. We have groups going in Venice Beach, Ventura, Huntington Beach and Chino. You’ll get nice people to run with, expert instruction, pace leaders, technique instruction, instructional lectures and special stuff on race day that no one else gets. It’s a bargain at $95, or $165 including LA Marathon entry. There are currently a number of different training levels, so don’t be intimidated. You can join a walk group, a walk-run group or a running group. For those of you joining the Los Angeles Marathon Roadrunners after January 1st 2009, we have developed this modified program that will enable you to catch up with the other Roadrunner Walking-Running program by March 7th 2009.

Click HERE to view the modified LARR training schedule.

Check out this video which will show you what it’s all about. And then go to the LA Roadrunners website.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Do you have a compelling story we should know about?

Here at Marathon HQ, we're always looking for great stories. So if you want to tell us your story, we'd love to hear it, whatever it may be: maybe you've come back from injury or you're running for a loved one. Let us know about it! Drop us a line and we'll get in touch: