In light of the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon in 2013, this year’s Los Angeles Marathon was not without concern as security was greatly tightened.
For the over 25,000 participants who gathered at Dodger Stadium on Sunday morning, however, the tightened security in registering and at the race itself was no more than a minor inconvenience as for the 29th time, the L.A. Marathon was run through the city’s streets.
Starting at Chavez Ravine and winding west through Hollywood and Beverly Hills, ending near the Santa Monica Pier, even though temperatures soared to nearly 80 degrees and several runners had to be treated for heat-related issues, the marathon was another success.
As was the usual case, longtime rivals from Ethiopia and Kenya vied for the top prize.
For the second time in four years, two Ethiopians swept the winner’s circle as Gebo Burka won the men’s race in two hour, ten minutes, and 37 seconds, earning $25,000 for his efforts.
Fellow Ethiopian Amane Gobena had the distinction of being the first runner of either gender to cross the finish line as with a 17 minute, 41 second head start, she tok the women’s race in 2:10:37 and won $50,000 in a gender challenge to go along with her $25,000 first place prize.
I’ve always felt that the L.A. Marathon is not just about who wins, but about participating as like other big city marathons, it give the average person a chance to be a part of a major sporting event as just finishing the 26.2 mile course is a significant life accomplishment.
Indeed, I’m sure that lots of folks have just crossed this marathon off their bucket lists.
For doing what they did, they deserve much admiration and accolades.
So much so that I’m very much looking forward to the 30th annual running of this race next year.