Preparing for LA Marathon: What You Need to Know

Street closures, stormy weather and crashing cyclists: see how your weekend could be affected by the race

By Jonathan Gonzalez, Jesse Gary and Elita Loresca
|  Friday, Mar 16, 2012  |  Updated 6:01 PM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
The expected high winds and heavy rains have already led to the cancellation of at least one local parade, and if you're planning on running in Sunday's L.A. Marathon, the weather could be a big problem. Patrick Healy reports.

The expected high winds and heavy rains have already led to the cancellation of at least one local parade, and if you're planning on running in Sunday's L.A. Marathon, the weather could be a big problem. Patrick Healy reports.

Photos and Videos

Preparations for a Wet LA Marathon

The gentle stream of the LA River will likely become a torrent of water when the rain arrives later Friday. In advance of that, preparations are underway to lessen Mother Nature's impact. Jesse Gary explains what's being done.

Weather Forecast: Friday, March 16, 2012

Here's a look at today's weather forecast.
More Photos and Videos

The 27th annual Honda LA Marathon is this Sunday, and whether you're lacing up your shoes or just looking to avoid it altogether, it's important to know how the race and the events surrounding it will affect you.

Rain is expected to hit Los Angeles this weekend, making the race a little more interesting for participants.

With the marathon also comes street closures, and with street closures, come thousands of cyclists looking to ride the empty roads.

More than 23,000 racers of all ages are expected to participate in the marathon's "Stadium to the Sea" course, which runs from Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine down to Santa Monica.

The course, which was first raced in 2010, runs through downtown LA and onto Sunset Boulevard, into Hollywood.

Beginning at 6:55 a.m. for wheelchairs and 7:24 a.m. for most of the field, marathoners will make their way through West Hollywood and Beverly Hills before crossing the 405 Freeway, ending the race at the Santa Monica Pier.

But even if you're not planning on partaking in the race, here are some things to look out for this weekend.

Street Closures

Marathons are 26.2-miles long, so it's no surprise that there will be numerous street closures along the course.

All route roads will be closed by 6 a.m. and will reopen on a rolling basis after the last participant has passed.

Some major closures include Temple Street, which will be shut down between Alameda Street to Glendale Boulevard from 4 a.m. to approximately 10:20 a.m.

Expect Hollywood Boulevard to be closed until noon between Hillhurst and La Brea avenues.

Sunset Boulevard will be closed from Highland Avenue to Doheny Drive. Sepulveda Boulevard will also be shut down from South Santa Monica Boulevard to Wilshire Avenue.

Other non-route street closures are expected as well.

Freeways will not be closed for the race, although some ramps will be shut off.

Some major ramp closures include the Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Boulevard ramps on the northbound 101 Freeway until about noon.

The southbound 405 ramps at Santa Monica Boulevard will be closed until about 2:30 p.m.

Race officials also warn drivers to adhere to "No Parking -- Tow Away Zones," as parking rules will "strictly enforced" at the owner's expense.

Winter Storm

Yes it's Los Angeles, but it's also still winter, meaning that marathon participants will have an extra battle ahead of them: rain.

NBC4 meteorologist Elita Loresca predicts "wet and breezy" weather for Sunday, with highs in the upper-50s.

Race organizers are planning for rain and have set up safety precautions and tips for racers.

They have ordered 10,000 plastic trash bags for marathoners to wear, as well as 23,000 mylar blankets or heatsheets at the finish line.

About 6,000 rain ponchos have been ordered as well.

Heaters will be available at the finish line, and warming buses will stationed at the course's 10 medical stations, set up by the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Organizers recommend that participants wear water-resistant fabrics.

They also suggest that racers have friends or family members bring them dry clothes.

Crashing Cyclists

Six years and counting.

That's how long hundreds of cyclists have managed to "crash" the LA Marathon, and this year is no exception.

The "crash" is organized by Wolfpack Hustle, a local cycling group that famously raced an airplane across Los Angeles County during "Carmageddon."

Cyclists, as many as 1,000, will come together around 4 a.m. Sunday morning to ride the same marathon path just hours before it begins.

"[Twenty-six] miles of LA streets with zero cars – a cyclist's dream will become a reality," a blogger wrote on the Wolfpack Hustle website.

And the cyclists even plan to ride in the event of rain or "earthquakes, or locusts, or nuclear holocaust event."

That's dedication.
 

 Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: iPhone/iPad App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Running Dry
Coverage of the California drought. Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out