Thursday, March 22, 2012

The pleasure and the pain of running the LA Marathon 2012...

I think that the main thing that these official race photos show from this year's L.A. Marathon is my relief that it was in cool, dry and sunny conditions and not in torrential rain like last year.

Jason crosses the L.A. Marathon 2012 Finish Line in 3:47:50
LA Marathon Finish Line 2012In fact it was perfect running conditions on Sunday March 18 (even if the three hours waiting in the cold at Dodger Stadium beforehand wasn't so pleasant). From all my squinting in these photos it looks like I could have done with my sunglasses too.
Jason runs LA Marathon 2012I have to say I enjoyed the marathon and felt strong throughout, even at those last six miles, which seemed to go on forever.

T2: Team to End AIDS running teammates Jason and Molly
LA Marathon 2012 T2 runners
Part of my enjoyment came from the nice weather, but also from running the first 15 miles with my T2 pace teammate Molly.

We've all had such fun training this season and collectively the 200 of us have raised over $326,000 for AIDS Project Los Angeles. Hopefully all our red running shirts helped to raise awareness and in some small way destroy the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS by running through L.A. from 'Stadium to Sea'.
T2 Runners LA Marathon 2012
I can't praise or recommend the Los Angeles T2 training program enough for getting me marathon ready, in a season which has been plagued by injury.

Whatever your age or fitness level, if you're considering running your first marathon, raising money for a worthy cause or just having fun exercising with a great group of people you should check out the T2: Team to End AIDS endurance programs (they also train for triathlons and half marathons too).

Running through Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills - no time to shop!
LA Marathon 2012 Rodeo Drive
Our cheering squad at Mile 15 (complete with drag queen cheerleaders) was a real boost and hearing the shouts of encouragement from spectators all along the course, calling my name or 'Team AIDS', was real motivation to keep going and run faster.
Rodeo Drive LA Marathon 2012
I didn't think there were masses more people along the course than last year in the rain, but I suppose if you're out there cheering for a friend or family member you'll be there whatever the weather.

Check out these photos from the L.A. Marathon 2011 to see the horrible conditions we ran in.

Last dash down Ocean Avenue to the Finish Line
Ocean Avenue LA Marathon 2012
The final mile along Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica was much more packed this year (although there were still blustery winds), and it really helped lift my spirits as I put my head down for one last mad dash to the Finish Line.

Looking glamourous after the marathon with a mouthful of bagel
LA Marathon 2012 finisher
Coming in at 3:47:50, I beat my Personal Record by 10 minutes this year and was 1,809th place out of 18,837 who completed the marathon (out of over 23,000 who registered), plus 1,520th fastest man out of 11,468.

LA Marathon 2012 race result
LA Marathon 2012 race result
So that's my second ever marathon completed. Next on the agenda is the inaugural Hollywood Half Marathon on April 7, 2012, which should make for a nice recovery run, and then my training starts for my first ever San Francisco Marathon on July 29, 2012.

It's all about the medal
LA Marathon 2012 medal recipient
Let's hope my body and legs stay strong and I live to run many other days...

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