It was the best of races, it was the worst of races.
Two different marathons, two very different experiences.
The San Francisco Marathon ended at AT&T park where the Giants play. The LA Marathon started high on a hill at Dodgers Stadium.
The San Francisco Marathon, though hilly was a fun and joyous experience. The Los Angeles Marathon was a 26.2 mile crowded grind from start to finish.
San Francisco started in waves. LA started in one crowded mob that never seemed to thin out.
San Francisco was an easy 26 mile run where nothing hurt. In LA, I was four days recovered from a stomach bug and at mile 7, it came back. For 19 mile, I felt nauseous every time I drank water or put anything solid on my stomach.
In San Francisco, this old hippy raced toward upon the corner of Haight and Ashbury and danced to the Grateful Dead. In LA, I came to Hollywood and Vine as the Doors played in my head. I was disappointed that I couldn’t get both signs (Hollywood and Vine) in the same photograph.
The San Francisco Marathon had a really cool medal. The LA Marathon had a smaller medal with a tacky green glass shamrock in the middle.
For running both races back-to-back, I was awarded the LA/SF Challenge Medal. It’s somewhat embarrassing to admit it, but the truth is, that the extra medal is why I signed up for the LA Marathon.
I had wanted to run the LA Marathon since I first saw it on TV back in 1987. I have checked that one off the list. I don’t really have a need to run that one again. I learned about San Francisco’s marathon about 3 hours before I signed up. I look forward to all the future opportunities I might have to run San Francisco again.