Packet Pick/ Expo
We took the metro to the expo which made getting there an absolute breeze. The Asics booth was awesome and a live D.J so the energy was high right away. They also had a ton of interesting photos on the wall for you to take your picture with. You did have to show I.D to pick up your bib and get a band for the beer garden. ( more to come regarding the beer garden) The expo was kind of weird I guess I expected to be bigger and have better vendors. The nutri bullets booth was a lot of fun. It was a pretty small expo just spread out in a large area. Finisher shirts were not as nice as the ones from last year. They are charcoal grey with a Giant version of the medal on the front. I have not worn it yet but I can already tell that vinyl is going to heat up while running in and make the shirt not so comfy. I have other finishers shirt from other race like that and I never wear them just for that reason. It’s a really big bummer. Plus orange and grey do they really match? Not so much.
I liked pre race they had a tons of porta potties and we sat inside Dodgers Stadium before the race to hang out. They also so had bathrooms open inside. Clif was giving out packages of shot bloks pre race and I also saw a tent with bagels.
It was very hard to get in to corrals and very crowded. Students run LA are all over the place and didn’t move too much when you needed to get by but they are just kids and I kept telling myself that the entire race each time one cut me off or came to a dead stop in front of me. The waves actually take off pretty quick with only a minutes in between each one. As you are leaving Dodger stadium its humbling to see such an amazing sea of athletes beginning a great journey. I was in awe several times by the sight.
They have lots and lots of course support. It was weird to see a neighborhood handing out hotdogs on mile three and I think stranger to see people running and eating them but each to there own. Going through Downtown was fun. We passed all of landmarks but some were hard to see because of the crowds. Right away the course was out of Gatorade from the beginning. Now here is my thoughts on this it wasn’t very hot YET and they were already out on mile 3 and4. My run coach was in corral C she had Gatorade the entire time and we were in the last corral just after E. That tells me they just didn’t have enough not that it was so hot that they had not planned well enough. The first time I saw Gatorade was mile 24. It really started to heat up when we Sunset and you could feel that it was at least 80. Runners were going down and I was happy to see LOTS of medic tent along the way it was just weird to me that each one was filled with runners and had a line to get in. West Hollywood was the best part. I will never forget the West Hollywood Cheerleaders.
Beverly Hills was like a ghost town it seemed to me like they don’t like the marathon too much in that city or perhaps they all went to Palm Springs for the day. Mile 20 at the VA hospital has tons of supports and they were selling ice cream cones ect. I appreciated all the open fire hydrants along the way. I made sure to jump into each one. Brentwood by far was the very best support area. They had free beer, snow cones, people helping you along the way. If you needed hug someone would give you one. If you had a cramp someone will run up with a roller. They were giving out sugar cookies and probiotic drinks. This is also where I finally found Gatorade. After Brentwood it was a quick down hill shot to the finish line.
I thought they ran out of medals I had to walk so far to find them Then WTH finisher photos BEFORE water. Then another really long walk to get water and a longer walk to get food but nothing to hold the food so a made a makes shift bad out of mylar blanket. Then another long walk for gear check. The finishers chute had to have been a 1/2 mile long. It was nuts and all out of order. I kind of really hated it. Next over to race beer garden but it was closed because they were out of beer! Okay now my friend and I did qualify for Boston that day but we finished with the average runner. They marathon still had a few hours left to go and the beer garden was closed. Post Race was a HUGE disappointment.
The medal was nice, the shirt was ok, the course is scenic and I wish they had Gatorade before mile 24. Maybe next year will be better.