The Los Angeles Marathon (LA Marathon) is run through the streets of the City of Angels every year on the first Sunday of March. In 2009, the magic date is March 1. The inaugural race was in 1986, born from the euphoric repercussions after the successful 1984 Olympics held in Los Angeles. This first Los Angeles Marathon in 1986 had more than 10,000 entrants making it the largest inaugural marathon in the world.The Los Angeles Marathon course has changed a few times in the 23-year history of the race.
The latest version starts at Universal Studios in Hollywood, and ends in downtown LA at 5th Street and Flower Street. On the journey between these two points, runners pass several LA landmarks and go through a number of the city’s diverse neighbourhoods. The last kilometres before the finish in downtown have caused some debate as they graze East LA for the first time in race history. The opponents argue that this part of the course does nothing to show off the city’s attractiveness, the supporters point out the fact that the less pretty parts of the city just show LA as it is, you can’t put a band-aid on it. The organisers advertise the fastness and flatness of the course, but according to precedent finishers it features a hill too many to make it PB material. The course starts off with a pretty steep incline for the first 3 km; then it’s mostly downhill till the 22nd kilometre where a slight but steady incline all the way to the finish line starts. In return for the challenging course, the participants get to run right past the Hollywood Bowl, the Coliseum and the Convention Center, and down famous streets such as Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood Boulevard’s “Walk of Fame”. The pride of the LA Marathon course is the 6th Street Bridge over Los Angeles River that offers a superb city view. Along the way, ten Entertainment Centers will provide music, dancing and other entertainment to keep spirits up, runners going and spectators staying. A total of 1,000,000 spectators are expected to line the course and celebrate the 26,000 runners at the finish area. The cheering may even be personal, as the runners’ bibs will have their names printed on them. The race day in March will also feature an early morning 5K run/walk – the start at 6:30 am allows for really serious marathoners to use this as a warm-up for the 42 km. Also the Acura LA Bike Tour, in which 15,000 people cruise the car-free streets on their bikes, is taking place on race day".