This race season was awesome, especially since I had a severe concussion from when I was rear ended back in August of last year. I lost a lot of training weeks, I was walking my races, and I was hiking once a week.
First of all, I’d like to say, Welcome Back to the Los Angeles Marathon ASICS!
My goal this year was to get all three challenge medals and all the medals from all the Conqur races. Last year, my friend Robin told me that it can be done and how to do it. So, I registered for the Conqur LA Challenge (I’m a Legacy Runner), and I also registered for the Pasadena 5k as well as the LA Big 5k.
I had emailed Conqur to double check if I still wore both bibs at Pasadena if I can still complete the Triple 5k Challenge. I got an interesting response. It was a good response and it was something I wasn’t expecting.
For the first time this year, Conqur Endurance Group extended this challenge to those of us who do the Conqur LA Challenge. In order for us to complete this challenge we had to run the We Run the City 5k that was in August, and the Santa Monica Classic 5k, which of course was in addition to the LA Big 5k.
That was perfect because I was already registered for the We Run the City 5k (Team UCLA). But what about my entry to the Pasadena 5k? No problem. Conqur emailed me back about that. It was worked out how to run both the half and the 5k. I received both medals.
All you have to do to earn this LA Double Play Challenge (I’m a legacy runner). is to run the LA Big 5k is held on Saturday (the day before the Los Angeles Marathon), and then the Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday. At the end of the LA Marathon you will receive this medal after receiving your LA Marathon finishers medal.
I am a proud legacy runner for this challenge. It is a challenge I truly enjoy and I love how it is set up. We start at the Santa Monica Classic with our choice of either the 5k or the 10k, which is held in September. Then in January, we run the Pasadena Half Marathon. Two months later we are running the Los Angeles Marathon. The races are set up to prepare you for the marathon. The challenge medal is not only awesome, but they have been getting bigger yearly. I love huge medals.
Saturday: The LA Big 5k
Last year, it sold out for the first time and I saw so many people walking it. I even walked it for the last two years.
My plan this year was to jog/walk it while enjoying my music and the course. The hills at Dodger Stadium and Elysian Park are brutal. I don’t like to push it before marathon. This year was bad as this event was sold out. There were a lot of people there, I couldn’t even run the first mile and a half it was so crowded. I was constantly being held up by other runners and I had no way to safely pass them.
At the end of the race I got in line to receive my Triple 5k Tour of LA medal. I ran into friends while waiting in line. It was nice to hand out. I even talked B into staying in line with me as she earned this medal. I’m glad she did too. The line moved pretty quickly. Once we got up to the table they scanned the QR code on our bib, reviewed the info on the computer, and we got our medal. I loved how they did that, it was so organized and quick. I hope they do that from now on.
It was great. I went straight to the expo afterward.
This years expo was completely insane. There were so many people there; so many runners in addition to people from the LA Kings game coming on over. There was another expo going on so those folks came over to our expo as well. I felt that the expo should have been opened to only us runners so we could have picked up merchandise and enjoyed the expo a lot more, especially with COVID-19 being a pandemic.
I had to wait in line to get into the expo, which was a first. Also, LAPD was there because of a lot of incidents with runners that happened on Friday. I heard what happened on Friday but I’d rather not say.
There were at least three (3) vendors giving out CBD samples and the smell was so bad I was very nauseated and had a horrible migraine. Yes, I am allergic to it. A friend of mine said the smell was horrible that it made him sick too. I managed to find my way to the Nuun booth and explained how as well as why, I was sick. I was unable to attend the Nuun Ambassador meeting. I received my ambassador items and talked to Tyler. He is super nice. It was so exciting to talk to him.
I also made it to the LA Loyal booth. I had to collect my five (5) year pin and hat. I also received my limited edition LA Loyal medal. The medal is beautiful. I felt like a winner just wearing it.
I didn’t take advantage of the photo ops they had due to how crowded it was. One thing they did have is a design your own shirt which I thought was really cool. I didn’t partake in it though. I do not do well in large crowds making this years expo very difficult to participate in. I didn’t even get to find my name on the wall this year.
Sunday: The 2020 Los Angeles Marathon Presented by ASICS
This year’s LA Marathon started out weird. It was like being in the Twilight Zone. First off, clocks went forward an hour so at 0200 it would be 0300. I knew I couldn’t wake up at 0200, so I had to set my alarm at 0120. I only got about two (2) hours of sleep. I woke up, made breakfast, and I had to hurry to finish getting ready. Once my Garmin hit 0200 it immediately became 0300. I had to get going. I made it to my usual parking lot in Santa Monica. I finished getting my stuff I needed ready and I started walking to the shuttles.
The shuttles were not on Main St. like they usually are. I walked all the way down Main St. and saw that the shuttles were loading on Olympic. I got on the shuttle let me tell you, it was the nicest shuttle I had been on by far. A small spiral stairs to board, leather two tone seats that reclined, electrical and USB ports. Once the bus got started it was completely pitch black in side. It was extremely nice and extremely relaxing. I almost feel asleep, twice. The route to get there was very different this year. The exit we usually take wasn’t available to us. Why, I don’t know. It took almost thirty-five (35) minutes to get there. Once we arrive we went through bag check which I absolutely loved. The view was absolutely amazing. I got Dodger Stadium and the Downtown Los Angeles Skyline in one shot. It was amazing.
I was very fortunate to start the race in Corral E with a few of my friends. I also was fortunate to run into friends before the start of the race. It was great. I had never seen so many runners at LA Marathon before. There were over 27,000 runners (I had been told) this year, the biggest field in this marathon’s history. Let’s not focus on the negative, let’s focus on the positive, however, I will mention one thing. Right at the start of the race people were elbowing me in the ribs and lower back so they could move me out of their way. Runners were also literally pushing me to the curb, kicking the back of my feet, and pushing me and other runners so they could run in-between us. It was insane.
This marathon was amazing this year. I didn’t care about my time this year. I wanted to enjoy the marathon this year. I enjoyed seeing all the architecture of the buildings in downtown Los Angeles, I enjoyed seeing the dragons in Chinatown, the view of the Hollywood Sign standing in the middle of Hollywood Blvd. I wanted to enjoy all the people on the sideline’s, I enjoyed the officers from the LAPD telling us runners that “walking is not allowed”. It made us all laugh and smile.
I enjoyed seeing Hollywood Blvd; all the restaurants, shops, and hotels especially the Roosevelt Hotel. I enjoyed all the sites with my sistah Mrs. Aloha. We are #ShakaSistahs and I was so fortunate to have shared all of this with her. We were shuffling our way through the marathon. We got this. Since the start line I was in a good place mentally. We were on it.
We got separate at mile 20, and my friend Jane caught up with me. We ran into “B” at mile 21 and “B” made sure we had pretzels and water before we continued onto the finish line. I had to slow down my pace because by mile 22 my ribs were hurting, badly. By mile 24 I was in tears. I kept telling myself I was almost there. By mile 24.5 the pain was unbearable. I kept telling myself just another couple of miles. I’m almost there. When I turned the corner from San Vicente onto Ocean I was home free. The finish line, I could see it. I was determined to get to that finish line.
I was so happy to cross that finish line. I was crying; mostly in pain but out of happiness too. I received my medals, got pictures taken, then my phone rings. It’s Jane. She asked if I made it to the finish line. I told her I was at the photo op at the finish line. All of a sudden she’s walking up behind me. She waited for me at the finish line. I was so happy I couldn’t stop smiling. No one had every waited for me at the finish line before. I was truly touched.
We hugged, talked, and took pics together with our medals. We even painfully walked back to my car. I offered to give Jane a ride to her car since I was headed out that way. On our way to my car we ran into Julie. My sole sistah. She had finished and was waiting for her family. We talked for a bit, congratulated each other, and of course we always need a picture of us doing Julie’s famous “Goddess Pose”. I was so happy that I could share my finish with her.
This truly was my best Los Angeles Marathon. I got to share it with my beautiful and wonderful friends. I had a friend waiting for me at the finish line. I got to actually enjoy the marathon itself. I was in a good mental state the entire marathon, and looking at my results I kept a consist pace through out the entire marathon. Yes. This was truly the best Los Angeles Marathon.
I got to experience the marathon for the first time. This year was the fifth (5) consecutive LA Marathon. I got to share this marathon with my friends, I got to run it with my friends, and I had a good friend waiting for me at the finish line. Best and most memorable LA Marathon. This marathon really brought back my happiness with running again. Something I had been missing for a couple of years now.
I also achieved receiving all the medals from all the races that Conqur Endurance Group put together for us runners. I completed all of their races, completed all of their challenges, and even received the limited edition LA Loyal medal commemorating the 35th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Marathon.
Next year will be my sixth consecutive Los Angeles Marathon as well as being a legacy runner for the Pasadena Half, and the Conqur LA Challenge. I can’t wait till next year.