As you may or may not know I have a rule against running any more marathons in California before I finish up my 50 states goal. In 2008 I decided to break that rule and signed up (and paid for) for the Big Sur Marathon and the Catalina Marathon, with plans to run the Big Bear Marathon in the fall. A few days before Catalina I got the news of my stress fracture in my right tibia. The first two were officially DNS and the third I never signed up. I was healthy enough by year end to run the St. Jude Memphis Marathon in December 2008, my one and only marathon that year.
As you also know I'm a sucker for a gimmick. My hometown marathon, the Los Angeles Marathon, is mixing things up a bit this year with yet another new course and new date. This will be the 25th running of the LA Marathon. The last time I ran it (and swore to never run it again) was the 20th running. The new course is a point-to-point course starting at Dodger Stadium and running to the beach in Santa Monica. The marathon was traditionally run on the first Sunday of March, for 23 years, until last year when they changed the date twice finally settling on Memorial Day. Registration was significantly down from prior years. This year it has moved back to March but a couple of weeks later. Another nice change is the 7:20 a.m. start. The race has traditionally started at 8:30 or so to enhance TV coverage, but in LA often put us into the heat of the day, as evidenced by the 93 degree day in 2004 when I ran it the first time. This year my friend Terry is running it hoping to qualify again for Boston in 2011. Joe and his nephew John are running it. So at the risk of taunting the running gods I've signed up.
The 25 anniversary, new route, home town appeal, Terry, Joe and John - how could I not run it. I'm not sure I'll run with Terry. I have nothing to prove so there's little to gain by attempting a 4:00 marathon. I'm not sure what Joe and John are planning pace wise. It might be fun for the three of us to run together, but if John is hoping to break 4:00 as he did in San Diego, he might consider running with Terry. Who knows?
Let's just hope the running gods are kind to me this time around.