Monday, June 1, 2009

Los Angeles Marathon 2009

Our son, Eric wanted to run in the LA Marathon. I usually avoid crowds but I agreed to go with him and drive him home. It would have been a long day for Michael so Mimi stayed home with their son.
I was glad I went, it was quite an experience. The "elite athletes" were not what interested me, it was everything and everyone else.
Among all of those people, I wasn't sure I could spot Eric waiting in the crowd for the race to start. Finally I saw him and got his attention. He gave me a big smile and then they were off! Now I only had to wait five hours for him to come back after running over 26 miles around Los Angeles.
Once the runners were off I wandered around to see what I could see. The first thing to catch my eye were all the trash trucks. Trash?
It seems the runners have bottles of water and sports drinks which they drop when they take off. And the gleaners are there to collect them.
They also drop jackets and warm-up pants and there are gleaners to pick those up as well. Not much left for the trash trucks, at least not here. They will pick up the cups left at the aide stations.
The first to cross the finish line were the wheel chair racers. These wheel chairs were like nothing I had seen before.
These contestants were great athletes. I couldn't help but wonder how many of them had lost the use of their legs fighting for their country. The race was on Memorial Day.
I did snap a picture of the winners
They were moving fast.
After the winners came by, I went to get a view of the finish line, I knew I would have nearly three hours to wait. Spectators could only get a birds eye view. There was fruit, water, sports drinks and space blankets for the runners when they finished. There was medical assistance for any runner who might need it.
After checking out the festivities beyond the finish line, I returned to my spot at the 26 mile point. The wheel chair racers were still coming in, 2 1/2 hours after the winner in their class. Some were struggling with out the high tech chairs the leaders had,
but they persisted. My heart went out to them and to all the runners who kept going, some with obviously sore feet and cramping legs, all exhausted.
I was afraid I would miss Eric, I often got distracted by what was going on around me, but then, there he was.
He rested a while at the finish line and then we met up at the reunion area. He was ready for a smoothie!
I found this to be a very moving experience.

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33 comments:

itsnotjustapicture said...

a wonderful post...enjoyed the photographs and commentary regarding the marathon...have a wonderful evening.

Sylvia K said...

Marvelous post! I really enjoyed it all the photos and all your very interesting comments. I was so moved by those in wheelchairs! What wonderful courage and determination! Thanks for sharing it all! Have a great week!

Guy D said...

Great post Martha, thanks for sharing the experience.

Have a great week
Guy
Regina In Pictures

Janie said...

I think just completing a marathon is a wonderful accomplishment. I can't imagine having the persistence to go the distance in a wheelchair.
Great photos of the event and surroundings.

Barb said...

Congratulations, Eric!!!!!! What an accomplishment. My son does Triathlons - I am always moved by the participants, too. Such physical stamina and metal perseverance.

Ishtar said...

Oh Martha, thanks for sharing! I loved seeing all that was happening around that marathon. And congratulations to Eric for finishing!!

Babooshka said...

Something to be admired to take part, and to finish fantastic epescially in those conditions.

Maria said...

How interesting to see all that was happening around the LA marathon! I watched the Vienna City marathon some weeks ago, and it was exciting, too. Here, too, the runners left a lot of rubbish, unbelievable!
What a great experience with your son being amoung the participates! Thanks for sharing!

Wren said...

Even though I've had friends participate, I have never gone to see a marathon. You gave us a great view of the event and the runners, and I think this may be our first MyWorld marathon. :)

ewok1993 said...

It must have been a great experience for you to watch this on the sidelines. Great photos.

Monica said...

This looks like it would be a great experience for those running and for those watching. Thanks for sharing it with us. That first girl in looks really fast and powerful.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Jenn Jilks said...

I love the crowd shots, especially when YOU braved the crowds!

PierreJ said...

Hi Martha - thanks for sharing the experience in such detail. Great blog; I'll certainly be back for more!
Best from Cape Town,
Pierre

fishing guy said...

Martha: Thanks for sharing a neat look at a great race for you and you son. The gleaners were certainly busy.

Diane C. said...

Terrific post. Amazing you were able to find Eric in that crowd. I like the gleaners and wheelchair pictures and the fresh fruit tables sure were colorful. It must have been an awesome day for all.

James said...

Great post. Running a marathon must be an incredible experience. I've never even seen one.
Those wheelchairs are amazing.

Marja said...

Very interesting What an enormous crowd and an enormous happening Takes ages to organise something like this. The people look very strong
hat of for your Eric as well. Thanks for sharing

koala said...

The modern buildings street filled with people has that impressive out of the ordinary look.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Congratulations to Eric for running and finishing the race. It is quite an accomplishment.

M.Kate said...

I have not done a marathon before..but I am quite sure I'll trail at the back..

Carver said...

What a great report from the marathon. I enjoyed all of your shots and I like how you showed the variety of activities (including the trash picker uppers). That's impressive that your son can run a marathon.

Ebie said...

Hi Martha, thanks for showing us these pictures. It is quite an experience just seeing the huge crowd. A few years ago, I volunteered (water station).

Kirigalpoththa said...

Great feat by Eric:)

Reader Wil said...

Excellent post, Martha! You must have been exhausted but very happy and satisfied after such a day! Thanks for all the photos you showed us.

Arija said...

A long wait for you, but a splendid post for us to take part in without actually running. It takes fitness and courage to stick it out to the end.

SandyCarlson said...

This was an inspiration. I'll bet no smoothie ever tasted better!

Wolynski said...

Wonderful photo story. I don't understand people who wish to run 26 miles, but more power to them.

mannanan said...

Cracking photos and commentary of a brilliant day. Thanks for sharing your world with us.

Vamsee said...

Thanks for sharing these pictures. I do admire people who run marathons. I am glad your son finished one.

I never saw those wheel chairs either!!

aguthrieimages said...

Very cool, I always have to work on the marathon Sunday, your shots are much better than watching the news, great post!

http://www.mariposatells.com/search/label/Tuesday%27s%20Tales

aguthrieimages said...

sorry wrong url
http://aguthrieimages.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/ruby-my-world-tuesday-my-kitchen/

Powell River Books said...

I lived near LA for 55 years and never went to the marathon. Thanks for letting me see it through your post. I invite you to come see the Fish Bridge in La Conner, Washington. A bit more calming. - Margy

Karen said...

Great post and photos...

Congratulations to your son for finishing the race !!!