Sunday, March 15, 2015

L.A. Marathon

The Hubby and I attended the Los Angeles Marathon for the first time on Sunday, March 15. (Lovely Daughter #1 did, too, but she was providing medical attention in a restricted area at the finish line, so we couldn't see her.)

We stationed ourselves at a major intersection in Westwood, just around the 19.5-mile mark. We could see the racers for a long, straight stretch, coming up a slight incline:

The elite runners were already past this point when we arrived. But we weren't there to see them. We went to cheer on our daughter's Med School Bestie, who was running his very first marathon. We got to our designated spot in time to do some people- and dog-watching before he appeared:

Of course, I found a pug. This is "Bhudda":

At first, the runners were stretched out, with plenty of space between them to capture some action shots and admire their muscles and sheer grit:

I loved the crazy outfits some people ran in:

 Imagine running a marathon in long pants while holding a heavy flag!:

The marathoners on wheels also fascinated me. Such variety in their different contraptions!:

There was even a mama pushing her baby in a stroller:

After a while, the crowd of racers thickened:

Some athletes were showing the effects of the distance, heat, and effort. Some people walked a bit, then broke into a run again. A few bent over or even pulled off to the side for help:

But the majority soldiered on. It was so impressive:

Throughout the race, there were "pacers" carrying red and white balloons and a numbered placard. The numbers announced the pace they were running the race, so others could keep track of their progress. If, for instance, you wanted to run the race in 3 hours, 45 minutes, you kept your eye on this guy:

The racers also could wear a wrist band provided by the marathon organizers. You pick the pace you want to run (this one is for a 9-minute, 10 second mile), and they supply you with a handy way of keeping track of the pace you need to maintain: 

At the end of the race, there were "hot walkers" helping people cool down and keep moving so they didn't cramp up or keel over in a faint. Volunteers handed out water, energy-rich food, and free massages for the athletes:

And ice. Lots of bags of ice:

As the racers recovered and left the restricted area, friends and family greeted them with flowers and home-made signs and hugs:

This baby wore her congratulations on her dress:

 At last we met up with Med School Bestie. He did so well! Here he is, with his dad, a former marathoner:

His tee shirt is very special. It has a photo of his dad's dad, who was also a marathoner:

What a wonderful tribute, what a wonderful young man, and what a wonderful race!

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