Overall Rating
Overall Rating (56 Reviews)
4.4
(56 Ratings)(56 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.6
SCENERY
4.3
PRODUCTION
4.4
SWAG
4
Over 25,000 athletes from all 50 states and more than 60 countries will set out from Dodger Stadium to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the Finish Line in Santa Monica. The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon has a maximum net race day finish time of six hours and 30 … MORE
Local Weather (Mar 24)
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L (°F) 47 52 54 57 58
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Recent reviews

    RickSawThat REPEAT RUNNER '18

    A true running tour of LA - from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica. Some hills in the first 5 miles and then rolling hills from that point on. A classic … MORE

    A true running tour of LA – from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica. Some hills in the first 5 miles and then rolling hills from that point on. A classic that can’t be missed in my opinion. I live in the area weather this time of year can vary greatly from heat wave to hard rain – be prepared for whatever the weather is that year.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    kalinarun FIRST-TIMER '18

    It was a cool course. Got to see the famous and beautiful sites of Los Angeles. Definitely not a flat course. A few challenging hills. Well organized and great support. … MORE

    It was a cool course. Got to see the famous and beautiful sites of Los Angeles. Definitely not a flat course. A few challenging hills. Well organized and great support. Wonderful volunteers out there too.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    lzgn.saldana4 FIRST-TIMER '17

    This race in my bucket list for a while and finally I had the courage to do it. I couldn't be happier. Running through the streets of my own city … MORE

    This race in my bucket list for a while and finally I had the courage to do it. I couldn’t be happier. Running through the streets of my own city was awesome, the aid stations were amazing and all the entertainment along the race was so overwhelming.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    cdmauger FIRST-TIMER '16

    The Stadium to the Sea course is amazing, starting at Dodger Stadium and ending at the Santa Monica Pier, and passing by many major L.A. landmarks. The course is tough … MORE

    The Stadium to the Sea course is amazing, starting at Dodger Stadium and ending at the Santa Monica Pier, and passing by many major L.A. landmarks. The course is tough at the beginning, but flattens out and even ends on a gradual downhill. Since being taken over by the Conqur Endurance Group, the overall production, support, and perks are top of the line for sure. I participated in 2016, part of the Olympic Trials weekend so getting to watch that race was an added bonus. Definitely a bucket list race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    M_Sohaskey Mar 30, 2018 at 12:30pm

    Agree on all counts Chris, this is one of the few races I hope to keep coming back to run. And maybe we'll see you out there again in 2019 — thanks for the helpful review!

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    bbkins52185 FIRST-TIMER '18

    So much fun to run in my back yard. The crowd support makes this race what it is. So touching to see so many individuals and families out cheering on … MORE

    So much fun to run in my back yard. The crowd support makes this race what it is. So touching to see so many individuals and families out cheering on runners not just organizations. Great variety of foods people hand out; I snagged a bag of jelly beans near the end. Some people had freeze pops but they were at the other side of the road and I didn’t want to stop. Maybe the most smoothly run race I’ve ever done. I really appreciate the seeded corrals and that they were actually monitoring people’s qualification bibs; made for SUCH a smooth start. Will definitely do again!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    M_Sohaskey Mar 30, 2018 at 1:09pm

    So true Ashley, I've been amazed at the spectator support the past two years I've run (2016 and 2018). And I'd add to your list of snacks the girl scout cookies being handed out in the later miles. :) Thanks for the enthusiastic review, and hope to see you out there next year!

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    fwinkler REPEAT RUNNER '18

    The race course and scenery is among the best. The Start Line chaos is a mess and one of the worst I have experienced and it is this way every … MORE

    The race course and scenery is among the best. The Start Line chaos is a mess and one of the worst I have experienced and it is this way every year. Every year, trying to get out of Santa Monica is a nightmare because of the one-way traffic and congestion. This year the Family Reunion area at the Finish Line was not organized by first letter of last name. Holy crap! Trying to meet the family was an absolute nightmare. Come on! You can do better.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    kennbw FIRST-TIMER '18

    Before I give my full review, the thing that stood out most about this race was the amount of support of spectators along the course, handing out extra water, fruit, … MORE

    Before I give my full review, the thing that stood out most about this race was the amount of support of spectators along the course, handing out extra water, fruit, candy, and just general cheering on the runners. This was truly special and made my injury plagued run more fathomable.

    This was my first marathon and I picked it based on a suggestion by our RaceRaves leader Mike. Living in MD there are obviously closer marathons but due to life things, I needed one in March timeframe and this seemed like the best one and did not disappoint. I’ll skip over the fact that I was injured a few weeks before the marathon and did not get to compete at my training pace but I’m ok with that. The weather was perfect for running a marathon. Couldn’t have worked out better, after hearing about some of the years prior.
    -The location was excellent. Was very cool to hang out at Dodger stadium at the start and relax (even though I’m a Nats fan). I think they needed more portapotties. Lines before the race were very long. But overall the race starting point was very good and easy to get to.
    -the course i found medium. MAKE SURE YOU TRAIN ON HILLS. A couple of early steep hills (mile 4 going up to Disney Hall which is a beautiful building), but after that, a nice course. Knowing there were all these sites along the way, made it fun as a tourist to run through. I wish they had signs at some of the landmarks so it forces you to take in your surroundings more. Would have been nice to have a sign that says look up, there is the Hollywood sign. Tons of water stops along the way on the course. That was very helpful.
    -the finish area was my only slight disappointment. They don’t have spectators for the last couple of blocks. Not a big deal since I did get to see my wife several times along the way and before the finish. It could have been that i was tired, but it felt like a long walk to get a bottle of water after running the 26 miles. The snacks they provided were good. But don’t stop to rest. they rush you out of the finish area. There is no good meeting area for family afterwards. Would have been nice to have some alphabet letters to try to meet up. Since its just a big crowd of 20,000 people trying to find each other. TAKE ADVANTAGE of the free massage tent afterwards. Worth waiting in the long line. I wasn’t looking that hard but i couldn’t find any food trucks, not that i was that hungry. but a slice of pizza would have been good.
    -Extras. The medals were great. ( I ran the Big5K the day before with my wife, so i ended up with 3 medals for the weekend). Marathon medal was large and heavy. The Sketchers clothing that you could purchase at the expo or after the race, were colorful. Picked up a few things to remember my 1st marathon.

    I would definitely recommend this race to everyone. It was my first marathon so i have nothing to compare it to, but I’m really glad I participated. Even though my injury and ultimately my legs didn’t allow me to finish in my planned time, I still had a good time.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    M_Sohaskey Mar 28, 2018 at 5:08pm

    First and foremost, CONGRATS on your first marathon finish, Ken! Hopefully you're still feeling a bit of the euphoria of an amazing accomplishment. And YES, if I could choose a medal for my first marathon, LA would be near the top of the list. Sorry to hear injuries got in the way of a perfect day, but glad you were able to soak in the city and enjoy the journey anyway — you definitely have the right attitude for the marathon distance. Congrats too on earning the marathon + 5K medal, that's a good-looking piece of hardware and I'll have to consider that for next year. Hope you heal quickly and decide to give the marathon another go... and we're always happy to suggest top-notch events anywhere in the country. Keep running strong, and thanks for the awesome review!

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    M_Sohaskey REPEAT RUNNER '18

    I’ve lived in Southern California for 5 years, and 2018 was my third time running the LA Marathon. I’d recommend my 2016 review and blog post for more details, but … MORE

    I’ve lived in Southern California for 5 years, and 2018 was my third time running the LA Marathon. I’d recommend my 2016 review and blog post for more details, but the TL;DR version is: I’ve run Boston, Chicago, Houston and New York City, and from both a scenery and production perspective, Los Angeles is as good an urban marathon as I’ve run in the US.

    If you’re a marathoner (or would-be marathoner) who lives outside SoCal, I’d love to convince you to give my hometown race a chance. The Stadium-to-the-Sea course is among the most scenic urban routes in the country, starting at Dodger Stadium with the playing of Randy Newman’s “I Love LA” and culminating in Santa Monica just steps from the Pacific Ocean. Along the way you’ll see the City of Angels in a way that few of its residents ever do, with your foot tour including the Golden Dragon Gateway of Chinatown, City Hall, Little Tokyo, Hollywood Blvd and the Stars Walk of Fame, Sunset Blvd with its hillside view of the Hollywood sign and iconic nightclubs like the Whisky-A-Go-Go, plus Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive, to name a few of the route’s many sightseeing opportunities. It’s an inspiring course that will happily distract you from the fact that 26.2 miles is a long way to run. If you’re in it for the scenery, LA won’t disappoint.

    Not only is the Stadium-to-the-Sea course one of the best in the nation, but the Conqur Endurance Group’s hefty, classic-looking medals are consistently among my favorite. If you’re in it for the bling, LA won’t disappoint.

    On a normal day, Ocean Ave in Santa Monica is tourist central with a small footprint and a lot of foot traffic, so you can imagine what it’s like on race day. With that in mind, the post-race festival is held in a parking lot just off Ocean Ave and isn’t much to write home about. But there were a few food trucks along with the Angel City Brewery beer garden offering one free beer to runners. Plus, the Skechers Performance tent was a cool opportunity to get some great gear/apparel — much of it created specifically for the LAM — at 50% off retail (and I happily took advantage). All the while you’re a short walk from the beach, the Santa Monica Pier and the Pacific Ocean.

    LA weather on race day tends to be on the warmer side, but this year was perfect: clear skies and starting temps in the high 40s, rising only into the mid-50s with a comforting sun by the time I reached the finish in Santa Monica. In other words, a perfect day to run a marathon.

    One other notable that sets LA apart from other marathons: the course profile. With a few rolling (but manageable) hills in the first half and a 2.7-mile downhill to the finish, this is the ideal course to negative split. In fact, in 31 marathons I’ve run only two negative splits, and both happened in LA (2016, 2018). There are few more feel-good accomplishments as a runner than finishing a marathon faster than you started it. And doing so enabled me to hit my “A” goal of 3:39:59 and improve my corral seeding at the upcoming Comrades Marathon in June.

    So do yourself a favor: set aside any preconceived notions of LA and give its marathon a shot — you’ll be glad you did. Hope to see you at the Stadium or the sea in 2019!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    mikebeckwith Mar 27, 2018 at 8:43am

    Great rave, Mike. Now I want to do this one even more.

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    M_Sohaskey Mar 27, 2018 at 4:35pm

    Thanks Mike, you've always got a room (and a host) in Marina del Rey!

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    mikebeckwith Mar 27, 2018 at 5:29pm

    Awesome!!

     
    Katheej58 FIRST-TIMER '17

    This was a great scenic race. A lot to look at so you don’t get bored. I wish I would have known more about the hills. There are a lot … MORE

    This was a great scenic race. A lot to look at so you don’t get bored. I wish I would have known more about the hills. There are a lot of hills and they are big compared to what I am used to. The race was run very well. The water and food stations were everywhere and there was plenty of pre race food as well. This is one of my favorite races and I will be doing it in 2018. I will be training hills and lots of them. If you haven’t done this race it is a must do.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    RunKMacRun REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This was my third attempt at LA. I am officially done with this course. There were major issues at the shuttles to the start line. Took about an hour to … MORE

    This was my third attempt at LA. I am officially done with this course.

    There were major issues at the shuttles to the start line. Took about an hour to get near the front. They were trying to do a security check through everyone’s bags/fuel vests. When they finally realized it was taking too long they started handing out red bands (that meant they had checked your bag) to everyone and told them to go the front of the line. Runners were then running to the buses in an almost panicked fashion. Very very stressful right before the race. I hope they fix it before next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    runforbeer REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The expo was held on Friday and Saturday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. I had originally planned to go on Saturday after the LA Big 5K. Unfortunately, having a … MORE

    The expo was held on Friday and Saturday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. I had originally planned to go on Saturday after the LA Big 5K. Unfortunately, having a pub run the night before and not being able to sleep well, I missed that. The expo was held in the west hall this year and was noticeably smaller, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The first step was to get my bib, but they didn’t have it at the numbered bib section. It was at expo services not too far away, presumably because we were upgraded to start line hospitality. Next up, I got my super nice Skechers race shirt and gear check bag. The race once again offered a virtual event bag, which I’m always a huge fan of. It’s way less waste and there were plenty of vendors handing samples out. The giant Skechers Performance race merchandise store was the first thing that everyone had to pass through. I don’t usually buy stuff at the expo, but this year was an exception. I grabbed two nice visors (on sale) and the official race shirt. After that, I did my usual vendor browsing. There was one handing out samples of non-alcohol beer (Erdinger N/A), which I actually liked.

    The Race: My alarm went off at 2:30 and I managed to get up on time for once. All of the things I needed were already laid out, just had to wash up and get ready. I was on the road by 3:00 since my shuttle reservation was at 4:30 and it’s about an hour drive with no traffic. I got to Santa Monica and parked right at 4:00. My parking was pre-paid weeks in advance, which is highly recommended if you park here. It was about a 5-10 minute walk to where the shuttles left from, so I had plenty of time to be on one by 4:30. Or so I thought. This was the major issue I know that everyone is complaining about. The line to board the buses was insanely long and was barely moving, even with a lot of buses just sitting there. Also, the porta-potties were directly beside the shuttle line. Volunteers were slowly “checking” bags and checking to see who was wearing running vests, waist pouches, etc. They were giving out red wristbands to attach to them, but I’m not sure why. I finally got on a bus just before 5:00, cutting it close to get to the hospitality tent for the 5:30 ambassador meet-up. Once we were close to the stadium, it appeared the off ramp the said buses only was completely closed and not even letting buses exit. All of the shuttles ended up in the same line as vehicles dropping runners off. More confusion set in once at the stadium, a few buses got turned around near the academy gate. They pretty much said screw it and dropped us off there, so I got in a good warm up walk to the stadium. On to the race itself, which started at 6:45 with the elite women, followed by the elite men and the full field. It seemed as if the weather was finally going to be on our side, around 50 at the start! I was put in corral B, but in no way did I train enough to maintain that pace. Since this day wasn’t about a PR or even a course record like the previous 2 years, I decided to go full on tourist and have fun with it. Once they announced there would be close to 40 Snapchat filters along the course, that made my decision even easier. Geo-filters are the only reason I really use SC, so I thought it would be fun. The race started with the usual shuffle out of the Dodger Stadium parking lot onto the streets of LA. The first 4 miles are in the downtown area through Chinatown and Little Tokyo. The course then went on to pass through Echo Park, Silver Lake, Little Armenia, and into Hollywood. I was trying to stop at all of the major landmarks to Snapchat and see what filters were available. It was really fun to finally just take this course in and pay attention to the sights and sounds. After passing through all of Hollywood, the course went through Beverly Hills and on to Rodeo Drive. Just after that, I spotted the first LA Road Runners aid station. I remembered seeing them post that they would have Hot Shot pain shots (like an alcohol-free shot of fireball for pain). I grabbed one and downed it, which didn’t sit well on my stomach for a few minutes. After getting water at the next aid station, that issue went away. I also tried to stop whenever I saw icy hot spray being used at medical tents. My longest run prior to this was the Pasadena Half in January, so my knees were starting to ache. The next few miles were a combination of running and walking to keep from getting an injury. This part of the course is where you really learn to appreciate the support the city shows to this race. There is never a dull moment and you will never have to worry about not having water, fruit, snacks, candy, or even a shot of beer or two. That’s the #1 reason I love this race and this city. I have never seen so much support and encouragement from complete strangers (and even fellow runner friends not running the event). The last few miles went through the community of Brentwood with a gradual downhill to Santa Monica and Ocean Avenue. The last 1/2 mile is barricaded off to keep out bandits and was packed with people cheering. At this point, the race was 5 1/2 hours old and it felt like I was coming down towards the finish line in the top 10. Again, I F’N LOVE this city. I hit the finish at 5:33 with a smile on my face. Not my best, not my worst, but without a doubt the most fun I’ve had during a marathon.

    Post Race: Once I received my medals and took my picture, I went to get my stuff from gear check. This was an area the needed to be improved on from last year and they nailed it. It was done by bib number this year and not last name, which did not work very well. The sign pointing towards the finish festival and beer garden was after the exit chute to get there, so a lot of people had to turn around to head that way. Another issue I had was the number of friends and family members over-crowding the entrance to the festival, it was nearly impossible to enter and spectators were practically stepping on runners feet. They definitely need to move them further back next year. That is the last thing people need after a marathon in a cramped space like that and the risk of injury. Once in the beer garden, I could tell it was much larger than last year. We got one free beer with our bib, which I really think should be at least 2. Angel City brought four beers this year versus the two last year. Overall, it was another fantastic event from Skechers Performance and Conqur Endurance Group. The support from all cities involved and the volunteers was world class. It was an honor to work with them during the season and I hope to be back next year. If not, I’ll still Conqur LA again!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    RoadRunner REPEAT RUNNER '17

    LA loves its marathon. It's a city wide party with 25,000 guests; it still felt like they did it just for me. The crowd support keeps you energized the entire … MORE

    LA loves its marathon. It’s a city wide party with 25,000 guests; it still felt like they did it just for me. The crowd support keeps you energized the entire way.

    This was my 4th time running LA. The weather was good this year, but if you can’t handle heat, you might not enjoy it. And it’s a long day! I park in Santa Monica and try to get there by 4:00, for a race that starts at 6:55. But they do a great job at the stadium, opening up the concourse if you want to sit. Nutrition is available. Plenty of bathrooms.

    The course is a great overview of iconic LA. Chinatown, Hollywood & Highland, Rodeo Drive. For an urban race, it’s a great route.

    They made a small tweak to the course that I really liked. You don’t run through the VA anymore. Instead it’s an even stronger, longer, decline finish that pulls you to the finish.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    OCSCFan REPEAT RUNNER '17

    I love this race for the route that take you through many of the iconic LA landmarks and the special fan support. I ran this race for the 2nd year … MORE

    I love this race for the route that take you through many of the iconic LA landmarks and the special fan support. I ran this race for the 2nd year in a row and I was once again awed by the fan support. It truly makes it a special experience.

    My day didn’t get off to a good start though. The shuttle operation in Santa Monica was a complete disaster. Lines were over an hour long despite ample number of buses. Buses were taking off less than a quarter full while there were hundreds of people still in line. I am sure there were lots of people who did not make it to the race on time. I hope they get it right next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    jgardelle FIRST-TIMER '17

    This course is challenging with lots of rolling hills, but much of the last few miles are downhill. In spite of the challenging aspect of the course, it passes through … MORE

    This course is challenging with lots of rolling hills, but much of the last few miles are downhill. In spite of the challenging aspect of the course, it passes through some beautiful areas, and the community support is amazing. There are people either cheering and/or offering water and snacks throughout the course, which is so appreciated! This is my second marathon (the first being the OC Marathon), and I was a bit slower than my first. However, my first one wasn’t nearly as hilly.

    There were a couple of minor downsides to this race:
    • Given that it’s a point-to-point marathon, you have to worry about transportation logistics before and after the race (before, you’ve got pre-race jitters; after, you’re tired).
    • Once you cross the finish line, you have to walk about a mile to get out of the race area and to the shuttle.

    My solutions to these minor downsides:
    • My friends and I stayed at a hotel downtown that we booked through the LA marathon website, and the marathon organizers had arranged for shuttles to take you from the hotel to the start and then from the finish back to the hotel. It was a bit difficult to locate the shuttles before and after the race, but we found them and were transported without any trouble.
    • Just consider the long walk a recovery walk—you’ll get through it.

    Overall, I really loved this race, and I’m pleased with my results. I was really looking forward to it and am so happy I did it. Going in, I thought I would be “two and through”; however, I so enjoyed this race that I might be tempted to do it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Peggy Kennedy
    peg.s.kennedy REPEAT RUNNER '16

    The point to point course is nice but can be mildly challenging with the roller coaster hills and the blazing sun in spots. Generally great crowd support and cheer stations … MORE

    The point to point course is nice but can be mildly challenging with the roller coaster hills and the blazing sun in spots. Generally great crowd support and cheer stations along the way. The beginning is often a bit of a bottleneck and they require you to be in corrals
    about 30 min early,
    with no access
    to bathrooms. Would be nice if the lines the corrals with portapottys. Transportation options are interesting. It can be a challenge for your family members to get to the finish unless they plan to spend all morning there waiting. Perhaps the expo line will help with this for future races.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    olau822 FIRST-TIMER '16

    Got the marathon parking near the finish line and took one of the early shuttles to Dodger's Stadium. Groups are separated by corals and you need to show that you're … MORE

    Got the marathon parking near the finish line and took one of the early shuttles to Dodger’s Stadium. Groups are separated by corals and you need to show that you’re in that pace group to get in which is good. It’s a bit chilly in the morning and should have brought my emergency blanket.

    Forgot my gels but thank God they gave away as much gel blocks as you want in front of the stadium and that fueled me throughout the race no problem. One block a mile did the trick. And there are many volunteers who will give away free fruits, pastries, and even Yokault towards the end at mile 24 or so which really gave the energy for the finishing kick.

    It’s a pretty straightforward course from Chavez ravine to Santa Monica. There were no switchbacks and crazy repeating routes just to make up the miles. There were five or six bands throughout which really boasted my morale.

    There were tons of running clubs giving away free stuff throughout and the ice cups really helpful as it got hotter as the morning progressed. I didn’t see this at all in the Long Beach marathon so it really shows the size and scope of this one.

    It’s really a nice way to see some of the major neighborhoods in LA county.

    AT the end there was a good spread of food but you do need to walk the mile afterwards to reach it. It’s good though as i needed the walking after the race.

    The medal is substantial and one of the heaviest ones i’ve got.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4

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    erowings REPEAT RUNNER '15

    What I liked: Tons of volunteers at well-spaced aid stations. This is the biggest race I've ever done, with over 20,000 people, and they were ready for it. Also, you … MORE

    What I liked: Tons of volunteers at well-spaced aid stations. This is the biggest race I’ve ever done, with over 20,000 people, and they were ready for it. Also, you got a tour of stuff people come from all over the world to see for the price of your entry (which was, incidentally, quite high). Everything from downtown to Hollywood to Rodeo Dr to the Santa Monica Beach, and all sorts of cool stuff in between.

    What I didn’t like: I had no appreciation before I got there for how brutal this course is. You need to be a strong hill runner, and if you’re a first time marathoner I advise you to be serene with the idea that this is not going to be a good day to set a personal record.

    Also, I really thought I could run in the heat until I did this one. It was 86 freaking degrees in the last week of winter at the finish line, and I was sucking air after pushing myself to finish as strong as possible.

    I did get one of my coolest race shirts from this race, so there’s that. Oh, and I forgot that there was all kinds of entertainment on the course, too. If you’re curious at all I’d do it once; after my year they did move it a month back to February.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    runforbeer FIRST-TIMER '15

    I love everything about this event (except the price). Everything is top notch from the expo to the beer garden. You can not beat the course support from all of … MORE

    I love everything about this event (except the price). Everything is top notch from the expo to the beer garden. You can not beat the course support from all of the communities this race passes through. Hopefully the weather cooperates one of these years.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    runforbeer REPEAT RUNNER '16

    I love everything about this event (except the price). Everything is top notch from the expo to the beer garden. You can not beat the course support from all of … MORE

    I love everything about this event (except the price). Everything is top notch from the expo to the beer garden. You can not beat the course support from all of the communities this race passes through. It’s literally like a 26.2 buffet line. I was happy to see the beer garden go from mich ultra to Angel City this year. The only issue this year was picking up bags at gear check. It was utter chaos since they sorted them by last name and not bib number.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    M_Sohaskey REPEAT RUNNER '16

    BOTTOM LINE: I love LA, and Los Angeles should be high on any serial marathoner’s list. California has something for every road runner – the breathtaking beauty of the California … MORE

    BOTTOM LINE: I love LA, and Los Angeles should be high on any serial marathoner’s list. California has something for every road runner – the breathtaking beauty of the California coastline in Big Sur, the classic SoCal beach vibe of Surf City, the enchanting allure of San Francisco. LA in turn shines with its unique mix of big-city energy, iconic attractions and laid-back SoCal ambience. If preconceived notions of smog and plastic people are all you know of LA, then you don’t know LA.

    Aside from San Francisco, Los Angeles is start-to-finish the most interesting road marathon course I’ve run. Don’t let the net downhill profile (789 ft up, 1,192 ft down) fool you though – most of that downhill is at the very beginning and very end. Nor is the rest of the course particularly flat, so be prepared for several uphills, particularly in the first half.

    Another positive note from this year’s race: the number of spectators seemed much greater than I recall from 2012. So if spectator support is important to you, don’t let the LAM’s reputation as a spectator-sparse event dissuade you from running. Sure it’s no Boston, Chicago or New York, but then again not every race can be a World Marathon Major.

    LA isn’t a cheap race (I paid $160 on opening day of registration), but it’s reasonable relative to other big-city marathons, and you definitely get what you pay for. And weather-wise, the year-round warmth that draws so many visitors to SoCal is a double-edged sword for runners, since it means temperatures on race day tend toward hot. Just a word of “warming” for those hoping to chase a personal best at LA.

    PRODUCTION: Aside from the usual expo chaos in downtown LA (with suggestions for its improvement noted in my blog post), the entire weekend – from the Olympic Trials to the marathon itself – was a seamless production. As staging areas go Dodger Stadium is among the best, and parking there is relatively easy. Post-race snacks were abundant, and any post-race festival with a free beer garden (+ short lines!) is a sure winner.

    That said, I was admittedly disappointed by several aspects of the production & marketing:

    1) that on a course with so many iconic landmarks, the organizers didn’t do a better job of calling attention to those landmarks during the race;

    2) that pre-race emails lacked personality and were used primarily for sponsor messaging, rather than taking the opportunity to highlight the Stadium-to-the-Sea course

    3) that the organizers haven’t done more to #UniteLA, to embrace the community and rally the locals around their event – the truth is that the LAM simply doesn’t resonate with many Angelenos.

    4) that the organizers don’t seem to treat their race with the respect that it deserves. Case in point: rather than pre-race communications focused on the course and getting me excited for the marathon, one dedicated email let me know that by running both the LAM and another SoCal relay race, I’d earn a kitschy-looking double medal in the shape of the state of California. How this odd partnership stands to benefit the LAM or its brand is unclear.

    Plus, no other heavyweight race would move its date up a month for no good reason, much less for an event like the Olympic Marathon Qualifying Trials which few recreational runners even notice. In 2012 when Houston hosted the Trials, the Houston Marathon didn’t budge from its traditional mid-January weekend slot. By moving this year’s race so it fell a week after the nearby Surf City Marathon (which is always run on Super Bowl Sunday), the LAM organizers cannibalized their own audience, including runners who usually run Surf City as a warmup for LA. And that’s not just my opinion – the race failed to sell out this year, and with just 20,627 finishers, this was the first year since its inception in 2010 that the Stadium-to-the-Sea course boasted fewer than 21,000 finishers. That number is down 6% from just one year ago.

    So let’s hope the organizers stop treating their marathon like a small-town race and start marketing it like the world-class event it is – you’re Los Angeles, not Omaha!

    All that said, these are behind-the-scenes details that don’t affect the actual runner experience, and overall race production was impressive by any standard – so much so that I happily used the discount from my virtual event bag to buy a pair of Skechers LAM model running shoes after the race. Turns out Skechers makes a comfy running shoe!

    SWAG: Keeping with the Valentine’s Day theme, both the short-sleeve tech tee and finisher’s medal are a nice shade of red. The shirt lists course highlights on the front, though in small dark font that sort of defeats the purpose. The medal, though, is the real keeper ­– it’s a shiny round keepsake with the year & downtown LA skyline emblazoned on one side, along with the race logo & iconic LA scenery on the other. It’s among the most substantial medals in my collection, with a heft similar to Chicago or New York.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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