Overall Rating
Overall Rating (78 Reviews)
4.4
(78 Ratings)  (78 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.5
SCENERY
4.3
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
3.9
Over 24,000 athletes from all 50 states and more than 67 countries will set out from Dodger Stadium to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the Finish Line in Santa Monica. The Los Angeles Marathon presented by Asics has a maximum net race day finish time of six hours and … MORE
Local Weather (Mar 20):
2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
 
H (°F) 70 65 60 71 68
L (°F) 55 50 53 54 56
Powered by Dark Sky
Find Nearby Lodging (Hotel, Airbnb, etc.):

Recent reviews

    runwalksarah REPEAT RUNNER '21

    As you can probably tell from the title, I absolutely hated the new finish venue. My misadventures with the new finish venue started at 3 am. For $22, I pre-purchased … MORE

    As you can probably tell from the title, I absolutely hated the new finish venue.

    My misadventures with the new finish venue started at 3 am. For $22, I pre-purchased parking at the finish and planned on taking the 3 am shuttle to the start. We were not given any directions on how to get to the parking structures around road closures. Participants were simply told to use their GPS. That’s great… but Google had not yet been updated with the road closures. Every direction my GPS tried to take me was blocked off. When I pulled over and asked for directions, I was told to try approaching the parking lot from the other side. That was blocked off too. FINALLY I noticed a road that was blocked off with barricades and a ‘Road Closed’ sign. However, up on the sidewalk I saw a smaller sign instructing ‘Prepaid Parking Turn Right.” Since there was no one manning the barricades and I had been driving around for half an hour, I drove around them. About 150 feet later, I saw another sign instructing ‘Prepaid Parking Continue Straight.’ So I was supposed to drive around the unmanned barricades with the ‘Road Closed’ sign?! I got to my parking lot and I was only the 3rd car to park. When I got to the buses at about 3:40 am, our bus driver told us we were only the 4th bus to depart for the race. Every person on the bus had had the same experience with parking. We reported the problem to race officials in hopes they would fix it for runners arriving after us.

    Things improved once I was on my way to the starting line.

    Due to Covid and to “prevent crowding” there was no race morning gear check. If you wanted to check a bag, you needed it to check it Friday or Saturday at the Expo. I found this frustrating as everything I gear check is stuff I use BEFORE the race. I simply gear check it because I want it back later. Since I couldn’t gear check on race morning, I had to purchase a travel sized container of sunscreen (and thus not use my normal trusted brand) and bring a jacket I planned on tossing.

    The marathon itself was fine. I noticed significantly fewer crowds, specifically as we were running through Echo Park. No chili dogs this year!

    I didn’t hate the dreaded new out-and-back as much as most people. It was rather boring and unimaginative, but it was nice that members of my run club had two opportunities to connect with me on course.

    The layout of the finish was very badly planned out. Although my parking lot was right by the finish, it was extremely difficult to get to. It was really frustrating navigating around the fenced off areas of not just the finisher chute, but also construction and construction equipment. My plantar fasciitis flared up very badly once I was no longer running. There were plenty of tears and cussing as I was trying to get back to my car.

    At one intersection, 2 nearby hotel staff members were out directing traffic while the 3 or 4 officers who were actually assigned to the intersection took a more passive role. Pedestrians tried to cross the street along the fence that bordered the construction site, but the officers yelled for the runners to cross the street in the cross walk, to then cross the street again in the other cross walk. Since the road was blocked due to construction, all of cars were trying to turn. By forcing the pedestrians to cross in the cross walk, they limited the number of cars that could turn with each light rotation. If they had allowed pedestrians to cross along the fence that blocked off the street, there would have been significantly less impact on traffic. Instead, they turned a cluster into a cluster f**k.

    The ONLY positive change to this year was the expo. I greatly enjoyed it being outdoors at Dodger Stadium. It is normally inside the Convention Center where the price of parking is insanely high. It was free at Dodger Stadium. Most of all, I enjoyed not having to drive the streets of Downtown LA to get to the Convention Center. While I’m sure they only had it outdoors due to Covid, I can only hope it will be outdoors again in 2022.

    I am running the LA Marathon again in March of 2022, but this is only because I previously registered. It is confirmed that we will be finishing in Century City again in 2022. I hated the finish venue so much that I would consider letting go of my LA Loyal streak if I hadn’t already registered.

    For 2023, it is my hope that they create an all-new course if we cannot return to finishing in Santa Monica.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Nov 17, 2021 at 7:26pm

    OUCH... it sounds like, if you could have just avoided the whole parking-at-the-finish-line debacle, the rest of the day wouldn't have been quite so bad. Maybe the solution next year… MORE

    OUCH... it sounds like, if you could have just avoided the whole parking-at-the-finish-line debacle, the rest of the day wouldn't have been quite so bad. Maybe the solution next year is to park a few blocks away from the Westfield? Sorry you had to deal with this stress, it was definitely one of the fears in switching the finish line to Century City. And it's a shame this overshadowed the race itself, since the first 18 miles (and usually the last mile in Santa Monica) are pretty amazing and a testament to a charismatic city. Sorry too that your PF flared up on top of this, I know how badly that tightens up after a marathon (I dealt with the same at Big Sur 2014 😣). Here's hoping the organizers pay close attention to feedback like yours and course-correct pronto, since March will be here in the blink of an eye. Thanks for sharing your experience Sarah, and hope your PF calms down in time for CIM! LESS

    Please login to reply to this review.

    MilesOStridin REPEAT RUNNER '21

    A good race, but registration snafus, combined with frustrating course choices and logistics by the organizers chipped away what should have been a great experience. Expo / pick-up: -I’m guessing … MORE

    A good race, but registration snafus, combined with frustrating course choices and logistics by the organizers chipped away what should have been a great experience.

    Expo / pick-up:
    -I’m guessing due to covid concerns, they shifted the expo from the LA Convention Center to Dodger Stadium this year. Prior to entering the expo, you were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test. Great stuff, thumbs up, I appreciate the focus on health. The outdoor setting made for a more energetic and festive environment, at the cost of more sun. This was fine for bib pickup, but hastened my expo-browsing time.

    -The bigger issue was the screw-up over my Double Play (5k + marathon) registration. I was bounced back and forth between the 5k, marathon, and registration tents where they claimed I had registered for the “Double Play”, but not for the 5k separately, which the “Double Play” fee supposedly didn’t include. There were at least 10 other frustrated runners facing the same Double Play-but-not-5k issue as me while I was there. I was running short on time, and faced with growing heat and growing frustration, I felt cornered into paying the extra $40 for the 5k just to move on. I still don’t know whether this was a gross bait-and-switch scam by the organizers at the last minute, or just an awful user-interface design on their website. If it’s the latter, why would you sell something called the “Double Play”, then allow users to check-out and pay if it doesn’t even include both the marathon and 5k that’s advertised? At no point was I ever prompted to add the 5k separately at check-out. By that logic, I should have had to add the marathon separately too, right? It’s like selling a fast-food combo, but then later saying, “Actually, you were supposed to add the fries as a separate order”. WTF!

    Parking:
    -I was dropped at Dodger Stadium (Golden State Gate) instead of taking the shuttle this year. I liked that this was fast and convenient on race-day morning, and saved me an extra hour of sleep. This is a great option if you’re able to secure transportation after the race from the Century City finish line. Basically, you’ll gain a bit more peace of mind in the morning in exchange for the hassle of navigating the post-race crowds to get a ride.

    Pre-race:
    -The race organizers frustratingly removed race-day gear check this year, and required gear to be checked at the Expo in the days before the race unless you paid for the Start Line Hospitality package. They ostensibly spun this as a covid precaution, but that doesn’t make sense when thousands of people still need to gather in lines for port-a-potties, snacks, water, etc. before the race, and then bunch up in crowded corrals. It felt like a McCourt Foundation money-grab to upsell the Hospitality package. *SIGH* And they got me. They got me because I wanted to keep wearing my comfy jacket, hat, and warm-ups for as long as possible on a chilly morning until the race started. Sure, the heated Hospitality tent featured chairs, water, coffee, bagels, pastries, bananas, Clif bars, yoga mats, foam rollers, private port-a-potties, and a goodie bag with a LAM blanket and bottle. Nice luxuries, but I could’ve gone without all that. I just wanted race-day gear check. Was it worth it? Probably not. Next time, I might just buy disposable warm-ups, and toss them aside for charity like so many other runners there. It’s frustrating because no matter what, I feel like I’m throwing money away. PLEASE bring back race-day gear check!
    -Corrals: I didn’t realize I was supposed to receive a sticker on my bib for my assigned corral, so when I tried to enter, I was denied and told to enter the open corral! At the last minute, I had to hustle back to the registration tent to get a corral sticker, then hustle back in time for my corral. Not a huge deal, but these little registration and logistical issues start to add up, especially since I later found out I didn’t get a Double Play sticker either. Grr…

    Course:
    -I previously ran the LA Marathon in 2020, in what turned out to be the last time the course included a Santa Monica finish. I vastly prefer the “Stadium to the Sea” course over the new “Stadium to the Stars” course that ends with an out-and-back finish line in Century City. But until the McCourt Foundation and the City of Santa Monica play nice again, we’re stuck with this still-great but not-as-amazing tour of Los Angeles.

    -Miles 1-5: Coming out of the gate, it felt like a mad, downhill tumble of humanity, just bodies pouring out of Dodger Stadium. The overall participant field was smaller this year, but the crowded rush out of the starting line is a fantastic feeling that I didn’t know I missed so much over the last 20 months! The first few miles wind through Chinatown, Downtown LA, Little Tokyo, past Olvera Street, the Civic Center, Disney Hall, and the DWP building. This stretch probably features the most buildings, most turns, most (small) hills, and the tightest streets for the course, but it’s very memorable. I loved the taiko drums as you struggle up the hill around Mile 4 on 3rd St!

    -Miles 5-10 : After all the Downtown twists and turns, the course settles into a pleasant run through Echo Park and Silver Lake. There’s a big climb to start, then it quickly flattens out into wider streets. There aren’t as many major attractions, but I ran my fastest segments here. There’s something about the cozy, quieter neighborhoods that made for a smooth run.

    -Miles 10-15: Hello Hollywood! Welcome to a long, flat, turn-free journey down Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd. The crowds start to get rowdier, music gets louder, and landmarks start to catch your eye: the Pantages Theater, Capitol Records Tower, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Chateau Marmont… Oh, and it’s not just the buildings, but the endless parade of billboards that remind you you’re in an entertainment town—Eternals! Red Notice! Ghostbusters! Encanto! King Richard! Finch! House of Gucci! Every major movie studio, TV network, and online streamer has shelled out big bucks to be seen here. But remember, just for today, YOU’RE the star! Keep running!

    -Miles 15-18: The glamour shifts from billboards to the fancy storefronts and windows of Beverly Hills. The elevation drops a bit, and things get quieter here. This gives you a chance to focus more on your technique, your form, your breathing… and not on the luxury goods you see on Rodeo Drive.

    -Miles 18-22: Century City and West LA killed me last year, so I went into this part wary of “The Wall”, but still confident in my training. Around Mile 19, you start to see elite runners returning on the other side of the street from the out-and-back portion. I felt a slight motivation boost seeing all that speed. But once that subsided, the other factors of the out-and-back started creeping up: you see a water station at the other side of the street but you don’t get to drink from it, hills start to take a toll, you begin looking for the turn-around point (Are we there yet? No… Is it around this corner? No… This corner? Still no…). And then your exhausted brain starts yelling, “Wait, we’re running AWAY from the finish line that we saw? This feels wrong!”

    -Miles 22-26.2: Finally reaching the Brentwood turn-around point is a huge relief. The crowd support here is an immense boost, and water has never tasted sweeter than it does at the station here. But remember the rough 4 miles you just went through? You get to do it again, buddy, only with legs that are achier and more cramped than before. Brutal. I trudged through on absolute fumes. Was it just my dead-tired imagination, or were there fewer water stations during the last 2 miles?

    -Anyway, as much as I dislike the out-and-back, I also wasn’t a fan of the final stretch towards the finish line because it’s such a momentum killer. Running down Santa Monica Blvd, you approach huge crowds and what feels like the finish, and just then the course makes a sharp right-turn onto Avenue of the Stars. You gotta go for another 0.1 mile or so, and the course just… finishes. It feels slightly anti-climactic not being able to see the finish line from a greater distance, so you don’t get to build up speed for that final burst. Instead, you’re forced to slow down for a turn, and THEN you see the finish line right ahead. It just feels weird. I’m probably being nit-picky, but the old Santa Monica finish line felt amazing because you would start smelling the sweet ocean air about a half mile out, hear the crowds, see green palms and blue waters, then your brain would kick into overdrive for a straight sprint to the finish line. For next year, if we can’t get back Santa Monica, I’d recommend shortening the out-and-back by a quarter mile or so, and add that to the Avenue of the Stars after the corner-turn for a speedier finish.

    Scenery/Weather/Support:
    -There are so many iconic Los Angeles landmarks on this course, it’s hard to ask for more. Weather was perfect, slightly cloudy, starting in the upper 50s and ending in the low 60s. This is one area where a November race beats out the usual March date. Maybe it’s just because I was basically running on an empty tank, and my desperate, thirsty brain was exaggerating the pain, but it felt like there were fewer water/aid stations in the final 3 miles or so? Other than that, water/aid support felt strong throughout.

    Post-race:
    -The finisher chute along Avenue of the Stars was pretty good. Grab your medal(s), wrap yourself up in a nice foil blanket, and pick up refreshments. My bounty included bananas, Qure water, Teddy Graham crackers, pretzels, Ritz crackers, Cheez-Its (a salty sodium-boost after a race is underrated!), mini Clif bars, peanut butter + cheese crackers, and more! Keep moving, keep munching, keep stretching. I skipped the entertainment and beer garden (presented by Heineken) at the Finish Festival, but it’s a nice option if you want to hang around with friends and family.

    Swag:
    – The 2021 race shirt came in light gray, with the big new red/teal/blue LA Marathon logo featured in the middle. It’s a nice design, though not as eye-catching as last year’s light blue shirt. I liked how hefty the finisher medal is. It’s a big, round chunk of silver and blue, with the marathon logo up top, and an illustration of LA City Hall, the Hollywood sign, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. I also ran the 5k the previous day, and earned the Double Play medal. It’s a similarly chunky silver medal shaped like a chevron shield, with mini versions of the same LA landmarks along with a mini Dodger stadium. The backs of both medals feature the McCourt Foundation logo, along with a blank spot to etch your finishing time. I’m surprised they didn’t upsell an engraving option for this.

    The Bottom Line:
    -I had a really great run at the 2021 LA Marathon. I’m not thrilled with the registration snafus (Double Play without the 5k; missing my Double Play, Hospitality, and corral stickers) and course planning (gear check, abandoning Santa Monica, adding an out-and-back, a weird finish line). These are fixable issues, and I hope the race organizers make the proper adjustments because the foundation of the LA Marathon is really strong: great weather, enthusiastic runners, so many iconic landmarks, amazing energy, and unbeatable crowd support throughout the city of Los Angeles. I’m hopeful for an even better race next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Nov 17, 2021 at 7:24pm

    Congrats Miles, and thanks for the epic review! I ran LA in 2012/2016/2018, so I loved being able to relive many of the great things about LAM (ah, those billboards!)… MORE

    Congrats Miles, and thanks for the epic review! I ran LA in 2012/2016/2018, so I loved being able to relive many of the great things about LAM (ah, those billboards!) while also enjoying your take on the new course/finish line. With a number of snafus, it sounds like 2021 was a bit of a draft rehearsal for future years; the Double Play registration snafu in particular is bewildering. That said, it's great to hear that all the A+ aspects of this race still shine brightly, though as you noted coming down that final hill on San Vicente and basking in the home stretch to the finish line along Ocean Ave was always an amazing feeling, so here's hoping they get Santa Monica back in the fold soon. Recover well, and thanks for letting the rest of us come along for the run! 👊 LESS

    Please login to reply to this review.

    daniel REPEAT RUNNER '21

    This is my 2nd year running LAM. This is for the revised "Stadium to the Stars" course. Production was again, top notch. I know some people were upset that the … MORE

    This is my 2nd year running LAM. This is for the revised “Stadium to the Stars” course.

    Production was again, top notch. I know some people were upset that the expo was moved from the convention center to Dodgers Stadium, but I thought it worked really well. It was cool to have all the Dodgers monuments around. I hope they keep this. The only lame part is that bag check could only be done at the expo instead of on race morning. Not sure why the change besides maybe saving money?

    Parking on race morning was pretty easy and the shuttles mostly ran well. We unfortunately had the wimpiest shuttle driver ever, so despite leaving super early we barely arrived at the start line. Thankfully there were plenty of porta pottys and we did not have to wait long to use the restroom and rush over to the starting corrals. Race started on time.

    There were a ton of water and fuel stations. In fact, there were maybe too many because I started skipping them after a while due to my bladder starting to get too full. I really can’t fault the production.

    Crowd support was great throughout, but there was noticeably less people. There was also less than half the runners, so it makes sense. I’m not sure how much of this was due to the course change and how much due to all sorts of other factors… pandemic, a lot of fall marathons, etc.

    As expected, the scenery suffered because instead of Santa Monica, you run back through what is essentially suburbs. I didn’t think it was horrible because it was nice being able to see friends and groups cheering twice along the course. However, it would definitely be better if they would go back to SM or if they just change the course so there’s no out and back portion at all.

    I didn’t think there was a noticeable difference in course difficulty. The changes amount to 50 ft more in elevation gain. However, I ran this race at my long run pace and wasn’t trying to PR so I can see how the course changing from a straight descent into Santa Monica to rolling terrain and the finish being right up a hill would be demoralizing. Personally, I liked the hill ending.

    The finish line had plenty of water and snacks. There were free massages at the end and the wait was not long at all. Entertainment was kind of “meh.” There was live music, but the crowd didn’t really seem into it. There was also a beer garden where they just stopped taking drink tickets and were giving everything out free so if you drink, that might be a plus for you.

    Getting back to parking was a bit of a pain. There were no signs, none of the volunteers really knew how to get back there and the police made some questionable traffic decisions. I won’t get into it here, and it’s not really the race director’s fault.

    In terms of swag, the shirts were fine, but kind of odd in construction. The medal was pretty good too, but a step down compared to last year. I really dislike that they removed the classic “The City of Los Angeles Marathon” on the back and replaced it with a McCourt Foundation logo.

    TL;DR New course not as good, but nowhere near as terrible as people were making it out to be. Still a very well produced race. I recommend and will be back next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    daniel FIRST-TIMER '20

    This race was such heart break for me. The swag and expo were great. Love the race shirt, love the medal. The course turned out to be the last year … MORE

    This race was such heart break for me.

    The swag and expo were great. Love the race shirt, love the medal.

    The course turned out to be the last year it’d be from Dodgers Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier. Support was amazing. Water, electrolyte, and gel stops were plenty. I don’t know that I have much to offer besides what others have said about the course, but let me tell you about my race…

    I had a horrible race. I got really sick a week before. I thought I’d be fine the day of, but I wasn’t. Completely cracked halfway through and walked the last 10 miles or so. I was just kept walking and holding back tears because of how disappointed I was. Fortunately, the crowd was extremely encouraging and kept me going until the finish. I have a very vivid memory of being in crazy pain right before reaching the final stretch along Ocean in Santa Monica. Someone had erected a giant sign (size of a car) that said “You Don’t Know How Strong You Are.” I was ready to quit and then I saw that and it gave me the final push.

    I am not done with this one. I need redemption.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    mazzyoc FIRST-TIMER '12

    - great race if you're a fan of big city races - run from dodger's stadium through downtown and hollywood to santa monica - non-stop spectators MORE

    – great race if you’re a fan of big city races
    – run from dodger’s stadium through downtown and hollywood to santa monica
    – non-stop spectators

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    Ali6184 REPEAT RUNNER '20

    The aid stations were fine. The most unique part about the race was the course. The way to improve the race is to have more nutrition on the course. The … MORE

    The aid stations were fine. The most unique part about the race was the course. The way to improve the race is to have more nutrition on the course. The experience was excellent.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    RickSawThat REPEAT RUNNER '20

    We lucked out with perfect weather - since then it's been rainy and not so nice. The start was not as organized as they are doing construction at Dodger Stadium … MORE

    We lucked out with perfect weather – since then it’s been rainy and not so nice. The start was not as organized as they are doing construction at Dodger Stadium so getting into the corrals was not quite as easy this year. Once the race started it felt like the same course as the last couple of years. Crowd and volunteer support were awesome. Hoping that other races this year will follow suit and go on as planned with no delays or cancellations….

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    dana.0212 REPEAT RUNNER '20

    There were concerns this year regarding COVID-19 and I believe the race planners did their best to keep runners safety a priority and to increase sanitation efforts. Arriving to the … MORE

    There were concerns this year regarding COVID-19 and I believe the race planners did their best to keep runners safety a priority and to increase sanitation efforts. Arriving to the race was chaotic – the freeway off ramp was backed up and it took 30 minutes to drive the last mile to the stadium. Buses were backed up as well and dropped of runners just minutes before the race started. Due to construction, runners were not allowed in the stadium so we were in the parking lot instead (which some areas were muddy and slippery). There was LOTS of porta potties which was much appreciated. The race itself went very well. I noticed all the volunteers at the water stations wearing gloves. There was plenty of porta potties along the race route as well. The last 8 miles were the most enjoyable due to the crowd support, bands, cheerleaders, and others playing music. I was a bit surprised that spectators were not allowed at the finish line and I was really disappointed that there wasn’t any music. Completing a marathon is something to celebrate, but the finish line was so quiet – it was creepy and depressing. I wanted to wait for my friend who was only a few minutes behind me but I was told I was not allowed to wait and I had to keep moving. We had to walk about another 1/4 mile to exit the finish line area. The roads had barricades to keep the spectators out and they were crowding the exit route for the runners and made it difficult for us to get past them. LA traffic is almost always a guarantee to be a challenge. Due to all the traffic and road closures, it took almost three hours to get home (normally a one hour drive without traffic). While I felt the best while running this race, I will not run it again due to the stress of getting to the race and back home.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    jmj82 FIRST-TIMER '20

    This was my first time running the LA Marathon. Pre-race: I found it odd that i never received any kind of pre-race email communication until maybe 4 or 5 days … MORE

    This was my first time running the LA Marathon.
    Pre-race: I found it odd that i never received any kind of pre-race email communication until maybe 4 or 5 days before the race. All of a sudden, there was a massive runner information packet that was sent and was just a lot to digest in a small amount of time.
    Expo: The expo was great. Swag bags left a lot to be desired. We only received a tech shirt. For a $200 race fee, I was expecting something more, like some socks or something at least! There wasn’t much to shop for at the expo other than Asics shoes, standard t-shirts, tech shirt, and socks. I didn’t see anything like a finisher jacket.
    Race Day: I took the 5am shuttle and didn’t have a problem getting from Santa Monica to Dodger Stadium. I would say I was in line for maybe 15 minutes at most. Oh man! The start line area! The is for the 5k and the marathon–It seemed to be a bit chaotic and disorganized in the way of layout. I exited the bus looking for the food/water station, but it took maybe 15 minutes of needless walking to find it. There were signs, but the arrows pointed in a general direction with no “follow-up” arrows further down to direct you on where to go. The blackout fences made if even more difficult to navigate. It was just a lot when you are trying to stay off your feet as much as possible.
    The course: The course was great, a little hilly from miles 1-6, with rather large hill at mile 4. Course support was awesome with water/gatorade stations every mile. There was also plenty of port o potties. I was expecting more in the way of crowd support, not many people were out except in a couple of touristy areas.
    Post race: The finish line area was in a great location in Santa Monica (Ocean Ave) with plenty of restaurants nearby. The post race snacks left a lot to be desired with only cheezits, animal crackers, wheat crackers, and water. I did not visit the beer garden. Again, exiting the finish area was difficult as the neighboring business were lined with that blackout fencing ALL the way around. I had hard time navigating to where I needed to go (dinner reservations off Ocean) even though the restaurant was literally across the street from the finish line. It added an extra mile of walking around the block to get to an opening to the sidewalk. We ended up catching one of those carts as my feet couldn’t take the additional steps.
    All in all, it was a great race. There were some things that could be changed in the future to make it better. I would say this was a one and done for me.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    runforbeer REPEAT RUNNER '20

    2020 was my 6th consecutive year running this marathon. The course is definitely the star, you'll pass almost every historic landmark in the 4 cities you run through. Despite corona … MORE

    2020 was my 6th consecutive year running this marathon. The course is definitely the star, you’ll pass almost every historic landmark in the 4 cities you run through. Despite corona virus concerns, the communities were still out in full force to show their support for the race. Now, let’s get to the details.

    Pre-race communications were good for the most part, with the exception of how and where to pick up the 35th anniversary medal. The assumption was that it would be handed out upon completion like all other challenge medal, but it had to be picked up at the expo. Everything else was communicated clearly and frequently.

    I opted to park in Santa Monica and take the shuttle like always, it never goes smoothly. Participants continue to ignore the clear bag policy and no one bothers checking. I was on the 0500 shuttle and didn’t get to the stadium until after 0600, traffic was brutal and there was no dedicated lane for shuttles to enter, buses were still arriving when the open corral was starting. The start was also more cramped this year, understandable since there was construction and the stadium was closed.

    Course support was great like always, plenty of water, Nuun, and Clif gels, can’t thank the volunteers enough. There also seemed to be adequate medical support. The finish chute was lacking in the nutrition department. Bottled water and a small cup of Nuun isn’t cutting it. In previous years there were full size bottles of Gatorade and muscle milk.

    Now here’s where this race has gone downhill. The finish festival and “beer garden”. In previous years, Angel City was the official beer, with a couple of others added in the past two years (Corona Premier, 26.2 Brew). This year? Truly, Heineken 0.0, and I guess normal Heineken. Disgusting. People come from all over the world and you have a chance to have a local brewery host your beer garden and you choose and giant foreign brewery and a seltzer company owned by Sam Adams. I get that small craft breweries don’t have the finances to sponsor a beer garden for a large event like this, but at least try to get Golden Road and their Ab-Inbev (foreign owned, I know) to sponsor it. At least you get some locally brewed, decent tasting beer at the end. For the price of registration, the finish festival should be top notch, this is one of the worst I’ve ever seen.

    All in all, it was another fun race. That being said, this may have been my final LA Marathon. You can’t charge people $200+ for a race and not provide a $200+ experience. I realize that Conqur is a non-profit now, but that’s not an excuse to cut corners. My suggestions? Fix the shuttle situation, hand out proper nutrition after the race, and get a real beer garden again. I’ll decide if it’s worth the money for 2021 once I see the sponsors they decide on.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    imarebelpilot Mar 10, 2020 at 11:07am

    I'd like to add that having the finish festival 2 blocks away with almost no direction on where to go was horrible. We just ran 26.2 miles and now we… MORE

    I'd like to add that having the finish festival 2 blocks away with almost no direction on where to go was horrible. We just ran 26.2 miles and now we have to wade through crowds to get to a festival we can't even find? Not good. LESS

    Please login to reply to this review.

    runforbeer Mar 10, 2020 at 11:17am

    Trying to exit is always such a pain, they need to fix it. I hate that to finish festival is open to the public. You already have 25,000+ people potentially… MORE

    Trying to exit is always such a pain, they need to fix it. I hate that to finish festival is open to the public. You already have 25,000+ people potentially going in there and you want to add even more? Carlsbad 5000 only lets runners with wristbands in. They don't want to risk running out of beer for the people that earned one. LESS

    Please login to reply to this review.

    Profile photo of Stina Ross
    woodschr FIRST-TIMER '20

    The marathon itself was everything I wanted it to be. Amazing scenery, supportive crowd, gigantic medal. I came prepared for hills, and didn't find them that challenging at all. Great … MORE

    The marathon itself was everything I wanted it to be. Amazing scenery, supportive crowd, gigantic medal. I came prepared for hills, and didn’t find them that challenging at all. Great swag by all the sponsors, and the course was very carefully picked to be super representative of LA. Loved that. I wish the beer was local, though.

    Getting to the marathon, on the other hand, was horrible. We planned to Metro to Union Station, and booked the 6 AM shuttle. We got to the Highland station at 5:00 AM, only to find that they don’t allow parking before 7 AM. So, we panicked and decided to drive direct to Dodger Stadium because we live ten minutes from it. Huge mistake. We sat in traffic for an hour and thirty minutes. We ended up sprinting to the gear drop, and missed our corral closing.

    Then, after crossing the finish line, there were no restrooms in the finish festival. None of the restaurants would let me use the bathroom, and I ended up bleeding through my pants (time of the month). We skipped the finish festival as a result, and go on the Metro to go back to Union Station with the plan to Uber back to the stadium. No Uber would pick us up from the station. While it was awesome to have Arrowhead handing out full cases of water as swag, carrying them this whole distance was proving to be a pain. We finally got an Uber, but roads were still closed around the stadium (ten hours later) and it took a while to get in.

    The marathon itself was amazing, and I’ve already signed up for next year. But the transportation issues were ridiculous. I’m debating which sounds less hellish- driving to Santa Monica and paying $25 for parking, and shuttling to the start line at 4 in the morning, or driving to Union Station and parking there and dealing with our horrible Metro system again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

    3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    imarebelpilot Mar 10, 2020 at 11:10am

    This was my 6th year running LA and every single year I've parked in Santa Monica and took the 4-4:30am shuttle and from what I've heard, I've made the right… MORE

    This was my 6th year running LA and every single year I've parked in Santa Monica and took the 4-4:30am shuttle and from what I've heard, I've made the right choice every time. Only one year for me was there a slight issue but that got resolved almost immediately. Yeah you may have to wake up earlier but it's way less of a headache and WAY less stressful logistics wise. I was parked in the structure right by the freeway onramp and got out of the structure and onto the freeway in less than 10 min. The only problem getting home was normal 10/405 freeway traffic. LESS

    Please login to reply to this review.

    runforbeer Mar 10, 2020 at 11:18am

    I'm so glad I parked in the structure this year and not in the beach lot, saved me a good 30 minutes when leaving.

    I'm so glad I parked in the structure this year and not in the beach lot, saved me a good 30 minutes when leaving.

    Please login to reply to this review.

    seagroves87 Mar 09, 2020 at 9:27pm

    Completely agree with your review! I parked at Dodger Stadium and getting back was absolutely awful and by far the worst part of the race

    Completely agree with your review! I parked at Dodger Stadium and getting back was absolutely awful and by far the worst part of the race

    Please login to reply to this review.

    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '20

    This was the best (and hardest) 26.2 miles of my life. What an amazing race seeing all the sights in LA! It is basically a running tour of the best … MORE

    This was the best (and hardest) 26.2 miles of my life. What an amazing race seeing all the sights in LA! It is basically a running tour of the best of LA. There was tons of pre-race communication. Almost too much, although the frequent updates were much appreciated this year with the uncertainty of the coronavirus. They email a nice final instructions packet that has all the info you need. The expo is at the convention center in DTLA on Friday and Saturday. Unless you pay for the VIP hospitality you need to pick up bib before race day. Take the metro to the convention center if you can as parking is very expensive (the expo line goes from santa monica right to the convention center). The expo was big and crowded as expected. There was a line to get in but once in bib and packet pick up was smooth. Bib numbers are assigned beforehand and you just line up by number. My Conqur LA challenge sticker was right on my bib making that part easy. Then you pick up shirt and gear check bag. Shirt is nice and tech quality but it’s sized a little small. The expo had all the typical booths and you could get any race day needs you forgot. There were lots of things to try at the expo but very little samples to go home with. The only thing I came away with that I didn’t pay for besides the shirt was a small clif bar. For race day parking you can park at santa monica and take a shuttle to dodger stadium or you can park at dodger stadium but there is no shuttle back. This is really my one major complaint about the race. I live really close to Dodger stadium (and therefore very far from santa monica) so I parked at Dodger stadium but getting back there to get my car was a mess after the race. If you are coming from out of town I’d recommend staying in Santa Monica. After reading other reviews I thought I would add that I woke up at 3am and arrived at the stadium around 4am. While I had to wait at dodger stadium for many hours it seems worth it to be up so early as there was no traffic getting in and parking there was super easy for me. Lining up for the race was not the most organized but seemed about as organized as possible for a race with >20,000 people. Try to get a seeded corral if you can. The open corral was sort of a free for all but it moved surprisingly fast and I was happy to be at the start line only 20 minutes after the first runner started. The course is difficult and crowded but absolutely amazing. Luckily it is net downhill but most of the downhill is in the first 2 miles and last 3 so there is a lot of uphill in the middle. There are only 2 bigger hills in the first few miles downtown but lots of slight inclines throughout the race. The course is designed to go through as many landmarks as possible. It starts at Dodger stadium, then Chinatown, then DTLA, then Echo Park and then goes through my usual hangout spots Silver Lake and Los Feliz so it was fun to run past all my favorite cafes and coffee shops (I didn’t realize how many coffee shops I love in Silverlake until I literally ran past all of them). The next part was the most fun for me. I generally avoid places like Hollywood, the Sunset Strip and Beverly Hills so this was actually my first time after nearly 6 years of living in the LA area that I saw Grauman’s Chinese Theater and Chateau Marmont and my first time going down Rodeo drive. It was fun to pretend to be a cheesy tourist. After Rodeo drive the course is a little more boring but that is where the spectators come out. The last 3 miles of the course through santa monica are downhill and super fast so save your energy. I was able to run pretty much the entire last 3 miles. Unless you are a really fast runner just walk the inclines in mile 22 and save your energy. I saw so many people struggling to keep running form that mile only for me to fly past them on the downhill. The course ends along Ocean Ave in Santa Monica. There was plenty of course support with aid stations almost every mile and plenty of spectators giving out goodies. However the aid stations were kind of slow handing out drinks but I think it may have been due to the last minute changes due to coronavirus. At the finish line you get your medal which is really nice. It isn’t the biggest or flashiest medal but it is beautiful and classic. If you do the Conqur LA challenge (Santa Monica Classic, Pasadena Half and LA marathon) you get an additional medal which is huge. Finish line had typical food and water. I skipped the finish festival since it was packed and I don’t drink alcohol so can’t comment. Getting back to Dodger stadium was a pain. I took the train to my favorite vegan burger joint on the East side of town for a post race meal and then took an uber back but apparently the uber was supposed to enter at a different gate than the one we entered in the morning so it was an adventure figuring out where to drop me off. We eventually figured it out and my uber driver ended up getting a huge tip from me (it may have been nice if how to drop someone back to their car at dodger stadium was mentioned in the instructions or even nicer if they provided shuttles back). Aside from the mess getting back to dodger stadium, overall this was an amazing experience and I would highly recommend it. While I did manage to PR (it was really only because this was my second marathon and I avoided the mistakes of my first) this is not a great PR course. There is a ton of weaving around crowds and it’s almost impossible to get the tangents right so my GPS said I ran 27 miles. Also the course is pretty difficult. So don’t run this race to PR instead run the race to enjoy all that LA has to offer. If you were only to run one marathon in your life this would be a great choice given how awesome it is. Plus is it one of the biggest, if not the biggest, marathon in the US without qualification or lottery to enter. I am moving out of LA this summer which means I won’t be able to make this a yearly race but I am hoping to come back and run it again in 5 years for the 40th anniversary.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    justin.godinez FIRST-TIMER '19

    This race was tough. It was my first time running any marathon. The event was well organized. The shuttles to the starting line were greatly appreciated. MORE

    This race was tough. It was my first time running any marathon. The event was well organized. The shuttles to the starting line were greatly appreciated.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    Profile photo of Sarah Czuprynski
    sczuprynski92 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    The course has some hills that are challenging especially around mile 5 in little Tokyo. You get hit with a steep hill that is very rough! You get to see … MORE

    The course has some hills that are challenging especially around mile 5 in little Tokyo. You get hit with a steep hill that is very rough! You get to see all the best LA spots without the traffic which is nice. It’s basically a LA tour on foot. Finishing at Santa Monica is gorgeous! Would run again

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    aidanw7 FIRST-TIMER '19

    The only negative about the race would be the pot holes all over the streets of LA which can be a distraction to running a faster race. Other than that … MORE

    The only negative about the race would be the pot holes all over the streets of LA which can be a distraction to running a faster race. Other than that the production of the race was well executed and you get to run on the streets that you would usually drive on. The crowd was great and cheering all race long. They also did a good job on security which is important especially when you have this much gathering of people.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    edwardsaiz88 FIRST-TIMER '19

    LA Marathon does it right - The course highlights are incredible, from starting at Dodger Stadium, through downtown LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica finish - it is an … MORE

    LA Marathon does it right – The course highlights are incredible, from starting at Dodger Stadium, through downtown LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica finish – it is an awesome course!
    I took the shuttle from Santa Monica which smooth, they could add more portapotties, but what race couldn’t have more? Start was a bit hectic, but probably as organized as could be with 24,000 runners participating.
    One of the highlights had to be the crowd support and aid stations. All throughout the race, it felt as if the entire LA community came out to support, and was instrumental in me finishing the last 10k. There is more than enough aide throughout the course; I only had to carry a few extra gels but hydration was taken care of.
    The first early hills are not bad as they come early in the race (miles 3-6), but what really hurt me was after mile 20, the long gradual uphill parallel to the 405 freeway slowed my pace down drastically. However, with some better training and hill work, you should be able to have enough strength to take advantage of the long 2 mile downhill towards Santa Monica and the finish.
    Medal was HUGE! I’ll definitely run this one again! It was a great experience exceptionally ran by the volunteers and directors.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

    3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    willgatewood67 Apr 04, 2019 at 10:55am

    Thanks for the review edwardssaiz88. I am definitely looking forward to the 2020 L.A. Marathon being my first marathon & scratching it off my bucket list. I've already signed up… MORE

    Thanks for the review edwardssaiz88. I am definitely looking forward to the 2020 L.A. Marathon being my first marathon & scratching it off my bucket list. I've already signed up for the Conquer L.A. Challenge kicking off with the Santa Monica Classic 10k in September. LESS

    Please login to reply to this review.

    edwardsaiz88 Apr 04, 2019 at 11:10am

    Hey Will, That's awesome! Glad to hear it'll be your first as well! LA is a special city for me as all my family originates from there, so it added… MORE

    Hey Will, That's awesome! Glad to hear it'll be your first as well! LA is a special city for me as all my family originates from there, so it added to the experience being my first. Best of luck to you; maybe i'll see you on the course next year! LESS

    Please login to reply to this review.

    Profile photo of James Valdivia
    oceangate316 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Almost everything went off without a hitch. transportation from Santa Monica to Dodgers stadium was fast, Snacks were set up by the time I arrrived to start line (420ish AM) … MORE

    Almost everything went off without a hitch. transportation from Santa Monica to Dodgers stadium was fast, Snacks were set up by the time I arrrived to start line (420ish AM) 2 things before start couldve been better. More port a potties (lines were ridiculous once more) and Open corral was a nightmare. there was a fence separating corral from general open area, which somehow became part of the open corral as well, so everyone who line up to the left of the fence, ended up at the very back of OC. Course itself was once again fantastic. Aid stations and volunteers were plentiful, crowds were once again energetic. At mile 23, they did kind of spill onto the course so It was kind of tough to zig zag around everyone. Appreciate the love, but it did get alittle hectic there. Hills in the first 5 or 6 miles are not too bad. The ones that seem to get everyone are down on Santa Monica Blvd. Mile 22-26 is the best part of the course as its all downhill so you can make up some time, you feel the ocean breeze (even though you cannot see it yet) and you know you are literally just around the corner from the finish line. Medals were beautiful as was this whole experience. Will def be back next year to try and PB once more.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    mikeyseymour FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was an exceptional race in so many ways. The organization was first rate. I received a good amount of emails ahead of time (not too many, not too few). … MORE

    This was an exceptional race in so many ways. The organization was first rate. I received a good amount of emails ahead of time (not too many, not too few). I felt prepared for all the logistics I needed. Race pickup was a piece of cake. No line, got my bib in less than 1 minute. The expo was good sized with lots to look at. The race itself was first rate. Dodger Stadium is a great place to start. Runners have access to the stadium so you can use the bathroom, stretch, etc. It wasn’t windy or rainy that day, but it would have been a nice reprieve from the elements if needed. Having Randy Newman’s “I Love LA!” blaring on the speakers was a great way to get me amped up to run. The start is a little congested at first, even with the wave start, but not too bad. I was running my pace within about 1/3 of a mile. There is a steep downhill to get out of the stadium parking lot, and a steep uphill around mile 4, but for the most part, the course is not hilly. Definitely more downs than ups. Perhaps one of the best parts of the race is the course itself. You see so many LA highlights. The race runs through Chinatown, Thai Town, Little Armenia, and you see tons of various Latino influences, and some Korean and Japanese influences as well. I loved that diverse aspect of the race. You run by some of the iconic images as well, City Hall, Disney Concert Hall, Echo Park, the Sunset Strip, Hollywood, Pantages Theater, Beverly Hills (including Rodeo Drive), with the icing on the cake being the finish at the beach. Once you finish, you continue along Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica and get your medal (I have 14 marathon medals so far and this one is by far the coolest!), space blanket, and lots of fuel. I had a couple bananas, some chocolate milk and passed on a lot of other food as well. Tons of good options to replenish. Most of the fans are waiting a few blocks after the finish. That is probably the only thing I would change about the race. There weren’t very many fans the last mile of the race since they were almost all gathered after the finish line. My family that met me there said that is where police were asking them to stay. The police also shut down cell service so make sure you have a location planned out ahead of time to meet your supporters. This is my second big race (I’ve done NYC) and 12 other mid to small races. This one ranks at the top for being first rate all the way around. If you want an authentic Los Angeles experience, the LA Marathon is an excellent pick.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

    3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    cassidymegan3 Mar 26, 2019 at 9:37am

    When you refer to "fans" are you talking about spectators or fans to cool off the runners? (Fans to cool off the runners would be awesome in some of the… MORE

    When you refer to "fans" are you talking about spectators or fans to cool off the runners? (Fans to cool off the runners would be awesome in some of the races that I've run.) LESS

    Please login to reply to this review.

    mikeyseymour Mar 26, 2019 at 10:40am

    The spectators were mostly congregated after the finish line. I didn't see any mechanical fans on the course, though there were a few people with hoses spraying water. It wasn't… MORE

    The spectators were mostly congregated after the finish line. I didn't see any mechanical fans on the course, though there were a few people with hoses spraying water. It wasn't overly hot that day though. LESS

    Please login to reply to this review.

    cassidymegan3 Mar 26, 2019 at 11:56am

    I love when people spray us with hoses. ☺ Thanks for responding so soon. I have never seen mechanical fans on a course, either (unless they have the mist thing… MORE

    I love when people spray us with hoses. ☺ Thanks for responding so soon. I have never seen mechanical fans on a course, either (unless they have the mist thing attached) so I thought, "What does LA know that we don't?" ☺ Great job on your marathon and excellent review. LESS

    RickSawThat REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Another great LA Marathon that ends in amazing Santa Monica. Great course was the same as the past 3 years. Excellent staff, supporters and volunteers. I will do it again … MORE

    Another great LA Marathon that ends in amazing Santa Monica. Great course was the same as the past 3 years. Excellent staff, supporters and volunteers. I will do it again in 2020! My 4th in a row for this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    RickSawThat REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The race went off without a hitch - Lucked into great weather after a rather wet SoCal winter. Same course as last year. Not my best finish but I had … MORE

    The race went off without a hitch – Lucked into great weather after a rather wet SoCal winter. Same course as last year. Not my best finish but I had a great time and met great people. Thanks to the support staff, organizers and volunteers. I will be in it again next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

  1. Races
  2. Los Angeles Marathon (LA Marathon)