ASICS LA Marathon 2014 Recap
This past Saturday night I did not eat a carb-filled dinner. I didn’t set out my running outfit, bib, shoes, GU, and water neatly on the floor before I went to bed. I didn’t think about what pre-race breakfast I was going to have in the morning. But I did set my alarm for way too early and I felt the same pain I’m sure many other runners did when they found out they’d be losing an hour of sleep due to daylight savings time. I wasn’t running the ASICS LA marathon myself. I was volunteering.
I committed to volunteering at the ASICS LA Marathon several months ago. My friend Heather works in PR and her firm was representing ASICS LA Marathon. She needed more hands on deck on race day and I gladly volunteered. I’ve always been so thankful for those who wake up early to help support all the racers. The ASICS LA Marathon is a special race to me because it was my first marathon (and only to date) that I’ve run and I have lived in Los Angeles for most of my life. It was a great opportunity for me to give back to a sport and a city that I love.
When I arrived to the Fairmont hotel at 6:30am (really 5:30am) I was sleepy eyed but excited. Heather and her team greeted me warmly and we headed over to the press room. I’ve been in many press rooms in my day for work, but never for a race. It was pretty cool. They had three big screen TVs and an announcer live on-site reporting about the race. The sponsors were very generous and I got set up with some sweet new gear for being a volunteer. What a nice surprise. I got a pair of the official ASICS LA Marathon shoes and a t-shirt. I fricking love the shoes. They are so comfortable and I got so many great comments on them! Nutribullet was also a sponsor and I got a Nutribullet blender to take home with me as well. I absolutely LOVE our Magic Bullet and use it daily so I’m really excited to make some juices with my new Nutribullet. AWESOME!
We grabbed some coffee and headed outside to do a walk through. The back door to the Fairmont literally opened up right into the finish line. I was stationed on the photo bridge, and my job was to make sure the people who went onto the bridge had the proper race credentials. One of the photographers stationed on the bridge was the infamous Rich Cruse (@CrusePhoto), who I’ve followed on Twitter for years. It was so great to meet him in person and he is just as awesome in person as his tweets are!
The sunrise was epic and it was very neat to see such a calm and peaceful empty finish line and know what range of emotions would come through this line in just several hours. I set up post and watched the wheelchair finishers come up first. They were inspiring. Then there was a lull and we all eagerly awaited the elite runners to finish. It was so cool to see them up close. They were all so skinny and fast. Some of them seemed to be hurting. One guy bent over and peed on a pole. That was a little TMI for me.
After the elites came through there was another lull and then the first of the finishers started to come in a little after the 3 hour mark. I had a great time watching the finish line and seeing all my friends come through. As the morning went on, it got very hot out and I was worried about people running in the heat. But everyone that came through seemed to be in good spirits for such tough and warm conditions. I downed about 4 bottles of water just standing there so I can’t imagine how the runners must have felt. Here are some pictures of my friends I saw at the finish line:
Most people had the proper credentials which made working on the Photo Bridge easy. But some didn’t understand why use of the photo bridge was limited this year when it was always open to all media in the past. I will be honest and admit that standing on the steps of the photo bridge at the finish line made me uneasy. I hate that even a part of me had to feel uncomfortable knowing that my safety could be in jeopardy, but I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t scared. What happened at the Boston Marathon last year will likely change the way I view big running events forever. It bums me out but that is just the way it is. I just had to trust that everything would be okay and thankfully it was.
Watching the look on people’s faces as they crossed the finish line also quickly eliminated my sense of fear. People were laughing, crying, screaming for joy. Some sprinted through with their hands in the air. Others walked. Some were limping. Some fell over. There were volunteers on hand called “Hot Runners” who helped people keep moving as they crossed the finish line. Wheelchairs were on hand in case people needed them. There was a team from USC Medical School onsite helping as well as Firemen and Police Men. I’ve always heard that the best in humanity can be seen at the finish line of a marathon and after spending hours at a finish line and congratulating the finishers I can tell you it’s true. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have volunteered at this year’s ASICS LA Marathon. If you’ve never volunteered at a race before I encourage you to do it. It’s a wonderful experience!
To all the 2014 ASICS LA Marathon Finishers: CONGRATULATIONS! Soak in your latest accomplishment and enjoy.
To all the sponsors – ASICS, Nutribullet, and others. Thank you for supporting the race!
What about you? Have you ever run a marathon or volunteered for a race? Are you scared to be at a finish line after what happened in Boston? Post in the comments and let me know!
The folks at Nutribullet were kind enough to give me an additional Nutribullet as a giveaway here on Fit & Awesome. I’m super excited to have this opportunity to offer such a sweet prize to my readers. Thank you, Nutribullet! Fill out the form below and enter for a chance to win. May the odds be ever in your favor!
**Disclosure: I volunteered at LA Marathon. As a thank you for volunteering, I received product from the sponsors. I asked the sponsors if they would be willing to share the love with my readers. They did. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own. Enjoy!**
Those shoes are pretty damn sweet!
I would have volunteered for a new pair of kicks.
Running Hutch says
So VERY cool! Thanks so much for volunteering and you’re right to be scared/nervous. I was actually wondering, when I was at mile 15, why they let the spectators crowd in so close to the runners. I know they were the “midpackers” but, it did get to the point that spectators had taken over one entire lane of the road, leaving the other half for the running crowd to squeeze through. Knowing that any large public gathering is a potential target always makes me pause and wonder…is it safe to be here?
Ashley @ The Broccoli Blog says
So cool! I wish Id been able to volunteer but I had a conflict that day that Id signed up for before I realized it was the marathon. Ive always wanted to volunteer at a race because volunteers are always so awesome to me.
Alyssa Curran (@LyssaCurran) says
I want a pair of those kicks! My hubs ran the marathon and I had an amazing time just standing there shouting out encouragement to the runners. So much fun. I’m also relieved (and saddened) to know I’m not the only one who had fears about what could happen at the marathon. This is what terrorism does, and it sucks. So glad everyone was safe.
~Alyssa @ DoubleChinDiary.com
Thanks for being a volunteer! And yes, it was crazy hot that Sunday! +_+
Wow you got awesome stuff for being a volunteer! I’m volunteering at the Philly Hot Chocolate 5k/15k packet pickup this Friday and I’m excited! I’ve never volunteered before but always appreciated volunteers at races so I’m excited to help runners out! I think I get a free shirt so that’s a great perk too!