Overall Rating
Overall Rating (100 Reviews)
4.2
(100 Ratings)  (100 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.5
SCENERY
4.2
PRODUCTION
4.2
SWAG
3.8
Stadium to the Stars! The Los Angeles Marathon presented by ASICS will begin at Dodger Stadium and finish at Avenue of the Stars in Century City. Athletes will enjoy world-class entertainment and celebrate one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world as the course winds through Downtown Los … MORE
Local Historical Weather (Mar 17):
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H (°F)  66  79  66  61  81
L (°F)  48  55  46  46  54
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Recent reviews

    112321h1217 REPEAT RUNNER '23

    I did this race when it finished in Santa Monica and it was an amazing race. Now, the last 8 miles, the hardest part of the marathon, are ugly, barren … MORE

    I did this race when it finished in Santa Monica and it was an amazing race. Now, the last 8 miles, the hardest part of the marathon, are ugly, barren and completely demoralizing when passing next to the finish line at mile 18. Frank McCourt, member of the McCourt foundation that sponsors the race, will forever be known by Angelenos for running the Dodgers into the ground to finance his divorce.
    Like his greediness with the Dodgers, he opts out of having the race finish at the ocean, because the city wanted to charge him for it. Instead of having the picturesque beach finish, the course winds under freeways out and back, finishing in an ugly city center that requires spectators to complete a maze to get to you.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    1
    SWAG
    1

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    Everyone should run the LA Marathon especially I’d your a local to the city. It was tough for me due to the fact I dealt with leg pain through the … MORE

    Everyone should run the LA Marathon especially I’d your a local to the city. It was tough for me due to the fact I dealt with leg pain through the last couple of months of my Prep and into the Marathon but we finish and that was the main goal.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    Flor_Ulloa REPEAT RUNNER '23

    Runners enjoy running through some of LAs best Landmark and may just be running along someone famous. They should bring back the Santa Monica Finish Line. MORE

    Runners enjoy running through some of LAs best Landmark and may just be running along someone famous.

    They should bring back the Santa Monica Finish Line.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    gertapia75 FIRST-TIMER '23

    great organization!! The only problem I saw is the route, so many uphill/downhills that is not ideal to run a marathon, and the last part of passing net to the … MORE

    great organization!! The only problem I saw is the route, so many uphill/downhills that is not ideal to run a marathon, and the last part of passing net to the end line is not ideal because so many people crossing the street, in the middle of the street with chairs, etc

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    jeffsuer FIRST-TIMER '23

    The new course is a bit dissapointing. Retracing your steps uphill to Century City is less fun than ending at the pier in Santa Monica. I wish the McCourt Foundation … MORE

    The new course is a bit dissapointing. Retracing your steps uphill to Century City is less fun than ending at the pier in Santa Monica. I wish the McCourt Foundation / Santa Monica would bring back the old course.

    The logistics of getting to Century City in the morning were poorly managed. It was a nightmare getting there at 5am, and my shuttle got lost and took 90 minutes to drive from CC to Dodgers Stadium.

    Volunteers and crowds were amazing!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    MilesOStridin REPEAT RUNNER '23

    This is the third year the LA Marathon has ended in Century City rather than the beautiful Santa Monica beach. The course remains tough, with a frustrating out-and-back final leg, … MORE

    This is the third year the LA Marathon has ended in Century City rather than the beautiful Santa Monica beach. The course remains tough, with a frustrating out-and-back final leg, and an unappealing uphill finish, but the city’s iconic landmarks and growing crowd support make this race worthy of your time.

    Expo / pick-up:

    -The expo and packet pickup was hosted again at Dodger Stadium. It’s always neat to check out the sights around the ballpark, and the outdoor setting adds a more festive energy for the sponsors, food trucks, various displays, and photo opportunities. Parking was free, too. The only snafu for me was that I didn’t receive my corral assignment sticker on my bib. I’m not sure if that was related to my LA Loyal status (consecutive years of participation) and picking up my bib at a different tent, but this left me scrambling on race-day morning to get a corral sticker from the Solutions table. If you’re assigned a seeded corral, make sure it’s indicated on your bib!

    Parking:

    -Book ahead of time, and you can ride the free early-morning shuttles from the Century City finish area to Dodger Stadium. While I didn’t use them this year, they’re a very convenient option if you drive yourself. I was dropped off instead at the Golden State Gate of Dodger Stadium where traffic was gnarly. Budget for extra time if you plan to arrive directly at the Stadium instead of Century City.

    Pre-race:

    -The Pre-race snack tent featured 2 flavors of Over Easy breakfast bars (Coconut or Peanut Butter), 3 flavors of Gu (Tri-Berry, Salted Water Melon, Birthday Cake), bananas (banana-flavored, obviously) and water (H2O-flavored). The line took about 10 minutes. Port-a-potties were plentiful, but there were no portable faucets that I could see, so bring your own hand sanitizer! Pre-race temperatures at Dodger Stadium were in the mid-50s—not nearly as chilly or windy as in recent years. I’d still recommend extra layers: jackets, blankets, or modified garbage bags to stay warm. Take advantage of the gear check trucks to stow away your extra layers or any items you’ll need to use after the race ends. It’s tempting to wait until the last possible minute before checking your gear, but don’t wait! Gear check is located all the way on the east side of Dodger Stadium in Lot K. Once the open corrals begin to fill up closer to start time, it becomes difficult to navigate the crowds—especially if you need to make it back to the seeded corrals near the north of the Stadium in Lot H. Here’s where I wish the organizers set up more signs and jumbo-sized display maps of the venue. Yes, I had downloaded the venue maps, but I’d rather not be hammering my phone’s precious battery just before a marathon.

    Course:

    -The “Stadium to the Stars” course of the last few years ending in Century City (what’s starry about Century City?) just doesn’t measure up to the classic “Stadium to the Sea” course ending in Santa Monica. I understand the benefits of having a larger staging area at the finish line, but it really compromises the final few miles. I hope the McCourt Foundation and the City of Santa Monica find a solution next year. For now, the first 20 miles are still great!

    -Miles 1-5: Blasting out of the starting line of any marathon is a chaotic experience. Even with timed corrals, you’ve still gotta weave through runners and walkers of various paces just to find a little bubble of your own. If you need to take a quick break from the madness, there are a few rows of port-a-potties on your way out of the Dodger Stadium parking lot and also at Mile 1 on Sunset. The first few miles are a downhill dive through Chinatown and its lion dancers, Downtown LA, past City Hall, and Little Tokyo. This opening stretch features so many memorable landmarks, multiple turns, mini hills, and moments where you’re in an urban canyon dwarfed by towers on both sides. Mile 4 is marked by the steepest hill of the race, yet it’s also one of my favorite parts: the epic sound of taiko drums pulling you up and up on 1st Street before you turn onto Grand Avenue. You get glimpses of Bunker Hill, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Civic Center, and Walt Disney Concert Hall as a reward after conquering that tough climb.

    -Miles 5-9: The course calms down a bit with a pleasant run through Echo Park, Silver Lake, and Los Feliz. Gentle rolling hills ease you past the arts/music/hipster-focused bars, theaters, and shops along Sunset Boulevard. Compared to Downtown, you’ll start to see a far more residents around here cheering you on, some with some very creative signs.

    -Miles 9-15: Sunset Boulevard has turned into Hollywood Boulevard, and you know what that means? It’s time to say “cheese” because you’re in Hollywood! The crowds grow rowdier, music gets louder, and landmarks on your left and right look like they’ve popped off a tourist’s postcard: the Pantages Theater, Capitol Records Tower, El Capitan Theater, Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Billboards rise up, touting movies like Creed 3, All Quiet on the Western Front, Super Mario Bros, as well as upcoming shows like Succession and Yellowjackets. You’re in the capital of entertainment and the Oscars just concluded, so now it’s YOUR time to shine! Dance through West Hollywood and keep those legs moving.

    -Miles 15-18: Stroll through one of the world’s most famous zip codes: Beverly Hills, 90210. The glitz and glamour of show biz segues into luxury storefronts and fashion labels. The elevation dips a bit, in contrast to the high prices of goods you’ll see in all the Rodeo Drive display windows.

    -Miles 18-22: Skyscrapers poke up on the horizon as you near Century City. Just past Mile 18 on Santa Monica Boulevard, you see elite runners returning on the other side of the road. It’s exciting to see them reach the finish line, but also slightly demoralizing to know you’re about to begin the out-and-back portion of the course. The silver lining is that the crowd support in this area is IMMENSE—I’m talking about the rowdiest supporters, the biggest and best signs, confetti drops, piñatas, taiko drums, running clubs with refreshments, hobby DJs, dancers in dinosaur and unicorn costumes… At one point, the crowds squeezed the road so tightly on both sides that it felt like we were running through an honor guard. It’s a party and a nice send-off as you face the most difficult portion of the race. Begin an unforgiving hill climb around Mile 20 up Sepulveda Boulevard, cross under the 405 freeway, and emerge into the silent, barren wasteland of the Veteran’s Administration area. It’s whisper-quiet on the Wilshire Boulevard bridge. No crowds, no scenery. Just the gray asphalt, and the anguished faces of cramped/dehydrated runners returning on the other side of the road. Where’s that turn-around point? Is it here yet? No. Around this corner? Maybe. It feels awful realizing that you’re running AWAY from the finish line.

    -Miles 22-26.2: You run up San Vicente Boulevard and arrive in Brentwood, home of the most beautiful sight in the history of the world: the turn-around point! The crowd support here is also very strong and refreshing—lots of run clubs and DJs and volunteers with home-sliced oranges. You just did the “out”, now you gotta go “back” on aching legs. What looked like small hills earlier now feel like mountains the size of Everest. It’s not pretty, and it seems like half of all runners now have slowed to a painful shuffle-walk, or are stretching out cramps and aches on the side of the road. The final 1.5 miles is an uphill slog up Santa Monica Boulevard, but the super-crowds from earlier are back again, and they really help push you through. One nice tweak to the course this year is that the finish line is actually on Santa Monica Boulevard. For the past 2 years, the course would slow for a hard-right turn into Avenue of the Stars, then suddenly end after 0.1 mile or so. It was anticlimactic. Now you can actually see the end in sight and build speed for a final burst. I still miss the old Santa Monica beach finale: the smell of sweet ocean air, the sight of green palms and blue waters. But it’s nice that the race organizers at least made some much-needed adjustments to this finish.

    Scenery/Weather/Support:

    -So many Los Angeles landmarks dot the course. It’s hard to beat a list that includes Dodger Stadium, Chinatown, Disney Concert Hall, Echo Park, Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. The last 8 miles are sparse in scenery though, and I wish we finished by the beach. Race day temperatures were just perfect for running, starting in the mid-50s, and ending around 60-degrees Fahrenheit. Cool clouds dominated about 90% of the skies, with very light drizzle on-and-off throughout the morning, but I’d rather have that than scorching heat. Aid stations serving water and Electrolit were spaced out at roughly 1 to 1.5 mile intervals. Gu gels were served at Mile 12 and Mile 18. I think more aid stations are needed in the final few miles, as well as more trash cans at the middle aid stations. Some entertainment/cheering around the 405 and VA area would be helpful. But overall, I need to praise all the local residents, supporters, and run clubs who came out to cheer this year. The crowd support was loud, energetic, and FANTASTIC. They were the largest crowds I’ve experienced in years! Thank you also to all the green-shirted volunteers at the water stations, you were all vital and superb!

    Post-race:

    -Cross that finish line, and grab that shiny finisher medal (or medals, if you did the Double Play with the 5k). Wrap up in a foil blanket, chug down bottles of water and Electrolit. The post-race refreshment lineup included bananas, Asian pears, Pocky sticks (Chocolate or Strawberry), Munchies Peanut Butter sandwich crackers, Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies, Lesser Evil Popcorn with Himalayan Salt and Organic Coconut Oil, Kodiak Bear Bites Graham Crackers, Over Easy breakfast bars (Peanut Butter or Coconut), and Honey Maid graham crackers. Rest, stretch, then shuffle over to the FinisherPix photographers with a hearty smile and victorious pose. Don’t forget to grab your stuff from Gear Check. I thought the runner secure zone this year was better organized and less chaotic years than in years prior.

    Swag:

    -The 2023 LA Marathon race shirt came in a light shade of blue, with dark blue and gray hills behind white letters spelling out “Los Angeles Marathon 2023” mimicking the Hollywood sign. A couple blue palm trees decorate the bottom left of the design. The finisher medal is a chunky golden star like you’d find on the Walk of Fame, flanked by teal and red triangles. The side edges of the gold star are shaded with silhouettes of Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood sign, LAX, City Hall, and various landmarks, while the outline of the central star spells out the names of the landmarks. It’s a very nice detail that could be easily overlooked! The back of the medal features a blank spot to etch your finishing time. If you ran the 5k, then then you’ll also earn the Double Play medal: a round golden medal with overlapping red and teal stars in the center. Between each spoke of the star are silhouettes of LA landmarks, just like the marathon medal. Slightly off-topic, but I just saw the classic “The City of Los Angeles Marathon” olive wreath logo design they used for more than 20 marathons, and wow I hope they bring that logo back somehow!

    The Bottom Line:

    -The LA Marathon is a very strong race for 18 or so miles, and I’ll probably run it again only because it’s my hometown race with so many iconic LA sights to behold. But I sincerely wish the organizers could fix the out-and-back, hilly ending of the race. It’s not great. LA is a wonderful city, with so many things to see—why take runners on a tour of places they’ve already been with the out-and-back? What a wasted opportunity. Bring back the Santa Monica finish! Bring back the “Stadium to the Sea”!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    ams925 REPEAT RUNNER '23

    Pros: - Well organized expo at dodger stadium (with free parking) - Great transportation from century city to start at dodger stadium - no wait for a bus and tons … MORE

    Pros:
    – Well organized expo at dodger stadium (with free parking)
    – Great transportation from century city to start at dodger stadium – no wait for a bus and tons of buses waiting
    – second half of course had more people cheering than first half
    – lots of aid stations

    Cons:
    – course after about mile 17-18 is dull with no landmarks / scenery, especially with going under overpass and to turnaround at 21/22. You’re running against people finishing starting at mile 18ish until you turnaround.
    – there’s some sneaky hills! There’s some nice downhills but prepare for mile 20 hill and one at finish

    If course goes back to finishing in Santa Monica, this is a no brainer and amazing race, including for out of towners. With current course, it’s fine overall but not a top race to travel to run

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    sacrunner916 FIRST-TIMER '23

    I watched Kofuzi's recap of his 2022 LA marathon experience, so I knew this would be a tough course, and it definitely was with over 1,000 feet of elevation gain. … MORE

    I watched Kofuzi’s recap of his 2022 LA marathon experience, so I knew this would be a tough course, and it definitely was with over 1,000 feet of elevation gain.

    Having run the Napa marathon two weeks prior, I treated this more as a fun run. The last 10k proved to be decidedly less fun when the 3:20 pacer–who I had been planning to cruise with from start to finish–dropped out just after mile 19. Thankfully, the crowd support was fantastic. So, too, were the volunteers at the aid stations.

    After crossing the finish line, I craved liquids above all else, and there were several different flavors of Electrolit and water; for those who with an appetite post-race, there were bananas and an assortment of sweet and salty snacks.

    Given road closures and LA’s reputation for traffic, I was concerned it’d be a slog getting out of Century City, but I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to leave the area.

    Summary: if you’re looking for a well-organized big city marathon (and aren’t necessarily looking for a PR), this one’s worth a try.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    Ali6184 REPEAT RUNNER '23

    The aid stations were excellent and the volunteers communicated with me well. The most helpful and unique aspect of the race was the course and music. The race could be … MORE

    The aid stations were excellent and the volunteers communicated with me well. The most helpful and unique aspect of the race was the course and music. The race could be improved with more refreshments.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    DaveB Mar 20, 2023 at 12:10am

    I'm curious. If "the race could be improved with more refreshments," why did you give it 5 stars for production?

    I'm curious. If "the race could be improved with more refreshments," why did you give it 5 stars for production?

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    Ali6184 Mar 20, 2023 at 6:39am

    By not having a lot of actual food, it made sense to me to keep my calories lower. Often times a race has many different kinds of food provided by… MORE

    By not having a lot of actual food, it made sense to me to keep my calories lower. Often times a race has many different kinds of food provided by the race on the course. I was satisfied anyway. LESS

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    cmd8908 REPEAT RUNNER '23

    This was my second year running LA Marathon and my 2nd marathon. Weather was good and as usual, the course is scenic, taking you past many iconic LA sites and … MORE

    This was my second year running LA Marathon and my 2nd marathon. Weather was good and as usual, the course is scenic, taking you past many iconic LA sites and neighborhoods which other have described. That being said, it is pretty hilly early on and there are long rolling hills in the last 8 miles. The finish this year was uphill on Santa Monica Blvd in Century City. It was nice to be able to see the finish line. Plenty of aid stations though fewer in the last 8 miles. Fantastic crowd support. Pick up bottled water if you can at the end from supporters. Worst part is the freeway overpass by the Veterans Administration- road is particularly pot holed and uneven there and it’s an uphill/downhill without any crowd support or aid stations. Medals are
    Nice. Start and finish are very crowded. Get there early and have a plan for pick up/meeting family.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    JLC728 REPEAT RUNNER '23

    Definitely a race you want to experience at least once. It is a huge field and very cold and unsheltered start. The general corral areas are crowded and a bit … MORE

    Definitely a race you want to experience at least once. It is a huge field and very cold and unsheltered start. The general corral areas are crowded and a bit suffocating so take advantage of early registration, submit your best recent marathon time and request placement in the up front corrals. You don’t want to get stuck in the general field.
    Once the race starts and you get going and the pace picks up you leave all that behind and it’s time to enjoy. For me it was a great way to sight see up close many of the iconic LA locations. We made a weekend out of it with the family, booked a nice hotel in Santa Monica and had a terrific time.
    The logistics are easy to get squared away except for the getting back to the hotel. You need to plan ahead where your going to exit the race area and call for your ride. This part was confusing for me and wasted time finding my way back.
    The course itself is not very challenging. It tends generally down hill but with a couple of short steep climbs.
    The last two miles you double back to reach the finish line which is a bummer for me.
    I got out of there as quickly as I could.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    bnovak75 REPEAT RUNNER '22

    It used to be a wonderful course from the stadium to the sea. Now the beautiful last 6 miles have been replaced by an out and back on concrete through … MORE

    It used to be a wonderful course from the stadium to the sea. Now the beautiful last 6 miles have been replaced by an out and back on concrete through the least scenic part of course. Won’t run again till they change course

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    2

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    cmaryannrun FIRST-TIMER '22

    This marathon is always very hyped up so I had to try it once since I live relatively close. The production was great. Lots of booths at the expo. I … MORE

    This marathon is always very hyped up so I had to try it once since I live relatively close. The production was great. Lots of booths at the expo. I bought a mug as a souvenir. Race day morning I got there plenty early because there was a big line up of cars dropping off runners. My hubby dropped me off early then went back to the air bnb to wait till my start. Waiting was kinda cold but I huddled up behind the porter potties and that worked. Plenty of toilets at the start. Just VERY crowded race of course. There was a few more hills than I expected so I wasn’t 100% prepared for that. I hit a wall around mile 20. So I did some walking before I finished. Lots of aid stations and great volunteers. My husband had a hard time getting to the first spot I told him to be at so he had to go to the next spot instead since too much traffic for spectators. Luckily I did finally see him at mile 18ish. And I found him relatively easy at the end of the race luckily. Or he found me rather. It was a great accomplishment and just exciting to be part of something that large. I would say it was a little underwhelming scenery wise but I’m not sure what I was expecting from running streets in LA. The course has changed in the last couple years and I hear the old course was better but I don’t know because I’ve never done the old one. I would say the highlight was starting at Dodger Stadium. The medal you receive at the finish is really big and awesome. I’m glad I can say I did it once but I don’t plan on doing it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    rpancholy FIRST-TIMER '22

    This race was the best one I participated in the past 10 years I have been running marathons. It was awesome to run through different neighborhoods of Los Angeles. The … MORE

    This race was the best one I participated in the past 10 years I have been running marathons. It was awesome to run through different neighborhoods of Los Angeles. The volunteers and crowd cheering runners on inspired me to push through to the finish line. I initially registered for the half marathon but showed up half an hour hour early and ended up running the full marathon since the course did not have a half marathon finish line. The excitement, music, wonderful aid stations, and encouragement from the crowd inspired me to press on to the finish line in the time of 4:01.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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    cmd8908 FIRST-TIMER '22

    I think other runners have very thoroughly reviewed this race. I agree that it’s a fairly hilly course at the beginning and at the end though it is billed as … MORE

    I think other runners have very thoroughly reviewed this race. I agree that it’s a fairly hilly course at the beginning and at the end though it is billed as a net downhill. Plenty of aid stations in the first 20 miles but essentially only one official in the last six miles. The worst part is indeed where you run up a long gradual uphill along sepulveda Blvd and under freeway overpass through the VA grounds because it gets hot, there are no crowds to cheer you on and no aid stations either. Plenty of spectators handing out drinks and snacks where there were crowds but I was hesitant to consume stuff given the pandemic etc. This was my first marathon so I had no idea what to expect but I think I would have done better during this segment if the course continued into Santa Monica as it used to prior to the pandemic as the old finish was a gradual downhill with more interesting scenery. The out and back finish was not fun! Also because you can’t see the finish line and they don’t have any distance markers, it’s
    Hard to know when to push towards the finish. I say this because I live in this area and I couldn’t judge the distance to the finish. Fun race but difficult finish.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    MilesOStridin REPEAT RUNNER '22

    The City of LA provides a wonderful course filled with iconic landmarks and neighborhoods for the first 20 miles. It’s such a shame that the organizers tack on a poorly-plotted … MORE

    The City of LA provides a wonderful course filled with iconic landmarks and neighborhoods for the first 20 miles. It’s such a shame that the organizers tack on a poorly-plotted final 6.2 miles at the end, including a demoralizing out-and-back finish.

    Expo / pickup:
    -For the second straight year, the expo and packet pickup was held at Dodger Stadium instead of the LA Convention Center. The outdoor setting is more energetic and festive. Parking is free, and it’s also a nice preview of where you’ll start the marathon on Sunday. The “Double Play” registration (5k on Saturday, Marathon on Sunday) was so much smoother this year. Instead of three separate registrations, all you had to do was register for the two races and you’d be automatically given the “Double Play” registration.

    Parking:
    -Instead of taking the shuttle on race-day morning, I was dropped off at Dodger Stadium (Golden State Gate). This was fast and convenient the morning-of, 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—there’s no official transportation from Century City back to Dodger Stadium after.

    Pre-race:
    -Windy! While Dodger Stadium wasn’t chilly temperature-wise (low 50s an hour before start), the winds were very frisky and caused some discomfort if you weren’t properly equipped with jackets, blankets, or customized garbage bags. An extra layer was handy and also more do-able this year since the organizers brought back race-day gear check after last November’s glaring omission. Thank goodness! No need to buy the over-priced Hospitality package just to store your items. Pre-race snack tent featured bananas, Quantum Energy Squares, and water. Port-a-potties were plentiful, but there were hardly any portable faucets. Bring your own hand sanitizer just in case?

    Course:
    -This year’s “Stadium to the Stars” course ending in Century City can’t compare to the “Stadium to the Sea” course last used 2 years ago when it concluded by the ocean in Santa Monica. Let’s hope the McCourt Foundation and the City of Santa Monica learn to compromise and play nice again. In the meantime, the first 20 miles are still iconic and enjoyable.

    -Miles 1-5: It’s a mad, crowded rush out of the starting line! One thing I noticed this year was the rows of port-a-potties along the early route in Dodger Stadium. If you’ve been cooped up in the starting chute for nearly an hour, here’s your last chance to do your business! Out of the stadium, the first few miles wind through Chinatown, Downtown LA, Little Tokyo, past Olvera Street, Bunker Hill, the Civic Center, Disney Hall, and the DWP building. This stretch features the most buildings, most turns, most (small) hills, and the tightest streets for the course, but it’s very memorable. The best part is the epic taiko drums giving you a boost up the hill around Mile 4 on 1st 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 wide streets. There aren’t as many major attractions, but the architecture here is historic and unique. The cozy, quieter neighborhoods make for a smooth run all the way to Little Armenia.

    -Miles 10-15: Say cheese, you’re in Hollywood! Enter a long, flat, turn-free journey down Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd. The crowds grow rowdier, music gets louder, and landmarks on your left and right start to look familiar: the Pantages Theater, Capitol Records Tower, Grauman’s Chinese Theater. And the parade of movie/series billboards along the streets are a constant reminder you’re in the capital of entertainment—Moon Knight! CODA! Power of the Dog! The Girl From Plainville! The Mitchells vs the Machines! This year, the Marathon just happened to intersect with the week of the Academy Awards. Several blocks around Dolby Theater are surrounded by scaffolding and glitzy decorations, ready for red carpet festivities. Slow down for a selfie with the super-size golden Oscars statues, this doesn’t happen very often. But today’s the marathon, YOUR marathon—and YOU’RE the star! Eyes on the real prize, keep those legs running! Dance through West Hollywood and keep it moving.

    -Miles 15-18: Zip through one of the most famous zip codes in the world: Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Here, the glamour shifts from billboards to the fancy storefronts and windows. The elevation drops a bit, and things get quieter. Focus on your running… and not on the luxury goods you see on Rodeo Drive, where items cost slightly more than your race fee!

    -Miles 18-22: Towering glass skyscrapers mean you’re nearing Century City. Just past Mile 18, you start to see elite runners returning from the out-and-back portion on the other side of the street. It’s slightly thrilling to see them approach the finish line. But slightly demoralizing to realize you still have more than 6 miles to go. Crowd support here is great because it’s close to the finish line. So you keep going, and going, and the elevation gain from Miles 19-21 just sap your legs… where’s that turn-around point? Is it around this corner? No… This corner? Still no… It feels so paradoxical and unnatural that you’re running further AWAY from the finish line to get to the end. The crowd support thins out significantly around the Veterans Administration area, especially around the 405 and crossing that awful uphill bridge. Quiet and lifeless just when you need energy the most. Ugh.

    -Miles 22-26.2: Finally hitting that Brentwood turn-around point is a relief. The crowd support here is loud and commendable. But memories of the last wretched 4 miles are about to become a crushing reality again. You did the “out”, now you gotta go “back”, on aching legs. It’s brutal, and not helped by the fact that there’s only one official water station in the final 4 miles. I appreciate many of the unofficial support stations from spectator groups, but it’s hard to know exactly what you’re getting each time. I dodged one station offering beer (not now!), and picked up a cup of red liquid from another, ready to gulp it down… only to almost choke on all the crushed ice that I wasn’t expecting after hours of pure water or pure liquid Nuun. Note to race organizers: we need more stations down the final 4 miles!

    -The out-and-back is not fun, and it combines with a lackluster final stretch towards the Century City finish line. You run down Santa Monica Blvd, with huge crowds and what feels like the finish, and then the course makes a sharp right-turn onto Avenue of the Stars. You go for another 0.1 mile or so, and the course just… ends. It feels anti-climactic not being able to see the finish line from a distance. You don’t get to build any speed for a final burst. Instead, you’re forced to slow down for a turn, and the finish line seems to drop down out of nowhere. Since we can’t see the finish line, I think it’d be helpful if the organizers added a few distance markers counting down the final 500 m, 250 m, then 100 m, in succession to build some anticipation. The former Santa Monica finish line felt amazing because you could smell the sweet ocean air about a half mile out, hear the crowds, see green palms and blue waters. All these signals made your brain kick into overdrive for a furious 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:
    -In terms of on-course scenery, there are so many iconic LA landmarks. It’s hard to beat Dodger Stadium, Chinatown, Disney Concert Hall, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and the Oscars. The weather during race weekend was great: a brief few days of cool clouds after a hot week. Race day temperatures started in the low 50s and ended in the upper 60s. I think more aid stations are needed in the final 4 miles, and some entertainment/crowds around the 405 and VA area would be much appreciated. Other than that, water and support felt great for most of the race.

    Post-race:
    -Finish the race, grab your medal(s), wrap up in a foil blanket, and pick up some snacks. Post-race refreshments included bananas, Qure water, Teddy Graham crackers, pretzels, Ritz crackers, Cheez-Its, Quantum energy squares, peanut butter + cheese crackers, animal crackers, and more. If you have the energy to smile, there are multiple stations where you can pose with your medal for the FinisherPix photographers. One thing I didn’t like was that the finisher chute along Avenue of the Stars was definitely shortened compared to last year. They moved up the medical tent and gear check trucks so the chute ends abruptly at Constellation Blvd. Last year, there was another half a block of Avenue of the Stars where you could stretch, relax, and pose for pictures. This year, you’re quickly rushed out of the finishing area and squeezed into the official exits near the beer festival. I’d like a little more time to breathe after a marathon, this feels too hectic.

    Swag:
    – The 2022 race shirt came in navy blue, with palm tree and runner silhouettes in light blue/red/white. It’s colorful and an upgrade from last year’s light gray design. The finisher medal is a round, solid chunk of silver, with a blue backdrop highlighting silver stars, palm trees, Dodger Stadium, and the LA Marathon logo. If you run the 5k, then then you’ll also earn the Double Play medal: a rounded rectangle of silver, split diagonally with images of the 5k and marathon on each half, colored in red/navy/light blue. The backs of both medals feature the McCourt Foundation logo, along with a blank spot to etch your finishing time.

    The Bottom Line:
    -The first 20 miles of the LA Marathon are really strong. Strong enough that I might consider racing again. But the organizers really need to do something about that finish. Bring back Santa Monica! Please. But if you can’t, then eliminate the out-and-back. LA is a wonderful city, offering so many world-class sights and sounds. Why ruin the course and make us trudge through the same 3 miles twice at the end?

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Mereani Sovaki
    msovaki REPEAT RUNNER '22

    I liked the LA marathon but they did a horrible job opening up the streets 5 hours, YES 5 hours later and mile 20-26 tbey didn’t have water stations. The … MORE

    I liked the LA marathon but they did a horrible job opening up the streets 5 hours, YES 5 hours later and mile 20-26 tbey didn’t have water stations. The most crucial miles of the whole race, THEY DIDNT HAVE WATER. They had minors there who finished a lot later than me and they didn’t have water for them or even for I. They made us run on the footpath, last year tbat was not the case, tbe finish line was running into the footpath!! If I’m paying $270 and I’m didn’t get water the last 6 miles or electrolytes. That was horrible. LA’s bib this year was cheap and not water proof!!! It was hard to find shuttles for in the am. LA needs to do better!!!!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    1

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    a.pena514 REPEAT RUNNER '22

    This website needs to be updated. The course hasn't ended in Santa Monica since 2020. It ends at Ave of the Stars as of 2021. You pass the finish line … MORE

    This website needs to be updated. The course hasn’t ended in Santa Monica since 2020. It ends at Ave of the Stars as of 2021. You pass the finish line and have to do an out and back for about the last 8 miles total to finish. The last 8 miles are tough, it really messes with my mind to pass the finish line, when I’m struggling and watch other people ready to finish. Much of what it takes to complete a marathon is your mindset and this course makes it nearly impossible to stay in good spirits. Everyone I was next to on the course was saying the same thing, that they aren’t signing up again because of the course.
    In addition the markers aren’t placed correctly. It is more than 26.2 miles. I’ve worn a Fitbit, apple watch, and Garmin and they are all pretty consistent at 26.8 miles at the finish. I’ve also driven my car on the route and have come up with the same distance as my watches.

    Rant over. Sorry I literally finished the race today, got home and posted.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    acevesselene REPEAT RUNNER '21

    I have so much fun from start to finish. The best part is the the people that come out to cheer us on. All the treats we get along the … MORE

    I have so much fun from start to finish. The best part is the the people that come out to cheer us on. All the treats we get along the way. LA marathon is a must run marathon.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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    hyakusho FIRST-TIMER '21

    This is such a well done race and a lot of fun to run. The course itself is not so hard and passes through all kinds of fun spots in … MORE

    This is such a well done race and a lot of fun to run. The course itself is not so hard and passes through all kinds of fun spots in the LA area. The vibe during the race is very positive with lots of spectator areas and plenty of refreshments. Even the placement of the taiko drummers on the one semi-challenging hill was brilliant.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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