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Check out the sea of runners in this year’s edition of the Los Angeles Marathon! Photo courtesy of ktla.com

 

A FEW THOUGHTS ON THE 32nd LOS ANGELES MARATHON, SOMETHING THAT BRINGS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIANS TOGETHER AT A DESPERATELY NEEDED TIME

 

It was unfortunate that because I was getting some needed sleep after an active Saturday, I was unable to catch any of yesterday’s Los Angeles Marathon on TV.

I’ve always admired anyone who can run 26.2 miles; after all, the first person who did it in 490 BC, a guy named Pheidippides who was sent to Athens to tell the people there that the Greeks had beaten the Persians in the battle of Marathon (an obvious origin of the event’s name) collapsed and died upon arrival.

The fact that it’s something that I’ve never done makes it all the more fascinating to me.

 

The men’s winner of the 2017 L.A. Marathon, Elisha Barno of Kenya, finishing with the time shown above. Photo courtesy of zimbio.com

 

 

In light of these polarizing cold Civil War-like times not only in this country, but in the world, events like this, which brings people from all walks of life together from the elite runners who take a couple of hours to finish to regular folks for whom completing the route from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica is a major milestone accomplishment, are needed more than ever.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Donald Trump supporter or see him as the devil incarnate, or if you’re a red white and blue All-American or someone from countries like Kenya – who once again swept both the men’s and women’s winner stands this year and split the $100,000 prize money – at marathons.

 

Scenes from the final stretch of this year’s Los Angeles Marathon on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, courtesy of YouTube.

 

It’s all about enjoying the experience, in this case running through places like Beverly Hills and past landmarks like Grauman’s Chinese Theater; as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti commented:

“It’s all about the citizens who just love sports, Doesn’t matter your ability, your age, your background – we love sports.”

There was one of those 24,000 citizens who ran yesterday’s marathon who I was particularly proud of, a young woman named Christal Ryles, who happens to be my cousin and was very successful in her first L.A. Marathon, finishing just before 1:00 p.m. after five hours, 38 minutes and 29 seconds.

 

Hellen Jepkurgat, of Kenya, crosses the finish line as she wins the women’s Los Angeles Marathon, Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Santa Monica, Calif. (Thomas R. Cordova/Los Angeles Daily News via AP) Photo courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

 

To say that I and our entire extended family was very happy over her accomplishment is quite the understatement.

The only other thing I can think of to say about this city’s marathon is that it is something that is a nice unifying event and much-needed in an area as diverse as this.

Like other major marathons in cities such as New York and Boston, it is an event for the people.

Which I see as something very positive.

 

Another shot of the more than 24,000 runners taking part in the 32nd Sketchers Performance Los Angeles Marathon yesterday. Photo courtesy of geomarketing.com

 

 

 

 

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