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Run the LA Marathon

The LA Marathon occurs every year in March and is a 26.2-mile course reaching from the Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica. It’ll cost you $150 (maybe more for whatever gear you want to bring along), but it’s a lot of fun. There are several “run for charity” options if you need an extra motivational boost, or just want to help out. The course itself is relatively flat, and when there are some hills, they are most downhill. 2013_LAM_8.5X11_Coursemap_final_outlined   Before the Race   First things first, you’ll need to stop by the Expo on the Saturday of the marathon weekend to get your packet and marathon only deals. This year, they gave a shirt, a bottle of water, and some samples of various products. There are vendors and sports injury specialists camped out at the Expo. There is quite a lot to see if you have the time to mingle for a bit. Parking at the Expo will cost $15. Marathon2   The Race   Get a good night’s sleep the night before, especially since you’ll be waking up at the crack of dawn. The lines are horrendous, both for the designated shuttle pick-ups, and for the bathrooms once you’re by Dodgers Stadium. Marathon3 The crowd adds an air of excitement, and nervousness as well. For many, this is a big moments in their lives. Calm the nerves by warming up, stretching, and watching the beautiful sunrise while the mayor gives a short speech. Marathon4 Unless you somehow get near the front of the starting point, once the official go is given, you’ll probably be stuck at a slow walk for ten minutes before you get to the start line. When you do get there though, it feels great. Stepping over the line, there are tons of people cheering you on, loud music, and thousands of other runners taking on the challenge with you. Marathon5 Marathon6 Leaving the area of Dodger Stadium is when the race truly begins, and you’ll have a chance to start going around and weaving through the other competitors. Marathon7 After a few miles, you’ll hit Chinatown. At this point, there will still be a lot of other runners around, but the first hill in downtown is when everyone really starts to spread out. Throughout the duration of the run, there are various bands that line the course and lots of cheering spectators to push you along.   Continue on to pass the famous Walt Disney Concert Hall. Up next are the chili cheese dog people with their signs along the sidewalk as you run up to their station. The dogs are free, but don’t really seem like the best idea in the middle of the race. Even so, lots of people partake. Marathon8 Marathon9 If you don’t think you can stomach a chili cheese dog, don’t fear. There are lots of friendly volunteers handing out oranges, pretzels, bananas, and water. It’s really great to have so much support. Marathon10 The course goes around Echo Lake, and through the hipster neighborhood of Silverlake. Somewhere around this point, the Hollywood sign is visible, and it’s really motivating to see. After all, it’s one of the most iconic symbols of California. You’ll continue the run down Hollywood Blvd and down Sunset as well where there will probably be some people dressed up and cheering you on. West Hollywood is next, followed by Rodeo Drive where all the famous stores and streets are. Marathon11 Marathon12 After that, you’ll make it to Santa Monica Blvd, the home stretch! The interesting sites to see are more spread apart as this section is mostly composed of long stretches of roads. At some point, there is a fire truck with a water sprayer to cool down the runners. Also, there are some people handing out beer, which is up to you if you want to drink while you’re running. Marathon13 The last couple miles run through a nice neighborhood with lots of people handing out all types of goodies and providing motivation for the last push to the finish. Marathon14 The last mile will enable to see the beach and the beckoning palm trees. As you near the finish, the music gets louder and louder. Marathon15 Marathon16 Hurray! Officially complete the marathon with a medal and some pictures. Running the LA Marathon truly an awesome experience and a great challenge. (all pictures are taken from this year's race)      

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