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March 18, 2011 / Rohit

Race Preview: LA Marathon 2011

And before we knew it, race day is almost around the corner. The 2011 LA Marathon happens on 20th March 2011. The fairly new course runs from the Dodgers Stadium to Santa Monica beach. Last year’s race had over 20,000 participants. I am not sure how many are participating this year, but the registrations are still open and they are even offering race-day registration.

Figure 1: The 2011 LA Marathon Course Map. There are hills.

The course is a point to point course starting at Dodgers stadium and ending at Santa Monica beach. Although the overall course has a net elevation drop, the course has many rolling hills. The final uphill stretch is at the 22nd mile near Veteran’s Administration. There are enough water and medical aid stations all along the course. The selling point of the course is that it hits many of LA’s sights — the Disney Concert Hall, Hollywood,  Rodeo Drive, etc. 

I finished of the packet pick-up today (Friday) itself. There was not much rush at the marathon expo in Dodgers stadium. Plenty of goodies in the bag. This year’s t-shirt is Orange in color. The runners will be tracked using a RFID chip on the bib, so no racing chip on the shoe. As I had run Mumbai Marathon in 2010, I used the timing from that to get into Corral C.

This is going to be my second full marathon. I have never run a race with so many runners, so I have no idea what to expect at the beginning. In my first marathon, in Mumbai, there were roughly 1200 participants. The LA marathon though is going to have at least over 15000. I have had the advantage of training in LA though and I have gotten a little used to the hills. My training  hasn’t been very focused. I have missed many of my runs, though none of the important ones. I haven’t trained with particular pace or time goals. Very little of my training concentrated on speed workouts. Moreover I have hardly cross-trained or strength-trained. Before I started training I also had couple of injuries in my left leg, which fortunately haven’t resurfaced.  And given that I am a grad student living in Los Angeles, I have not been carb-loading. Unless, you can call, eating cereal twice a day that.

Figure 2: Experts say eating this twice a day improves endurance.

So given all that, I am not extremely confident. But, but, but regardless we have goals. These are presented here in order of priority:

  1. Start the marathon (the start line is still far away and many a logistical problem need to be handled).
  2. Finish the marathon.
  3. Get a personal best — beat 4:50:19
  4. Finish under 4:30:00

To the Sea! We run!

Update: The latest weather forecast predicts that there is 100% chance of rain. The rain is going to start at 7 AM (when the race starts) and continue throughout the day. So that brings another uncontrollable factor into play. Let’s see what it does.

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