Just about every marathonist has that one mile that they completely rock -- or rue. It can vary, right runners? People sometimes have a complicated relationship with Mile 25 -- you're nearly there but you've already run a long way -- but Mile 1? Pretty golden. You're fresh. You're limber. You're ready.
But then there's Mile 18. No one would argue that a little support would be just the ticket at about that point (call it just about the midway point of a marathon's second half). With that in mind runners who make Mile 18 in the Honda LA Marathon are greeted by the verve and claps of Cheer Alley.
"(H)undreds of local cheerleaders" will be filling up Cheer Alley on Sunday, March 18. Mile 18 is just after Beverly Hills, if you're trying to picture the course map. Once there, you may well see your own alma mater hues in the crowd: San Dimas High School, Torrance High School, and the Beverly Hills Tigers will all be represented, in addition to several other local squads.
cr: LA Marathon 2010
There's also a cheer competition for the cheerleaders of Cheer Alley. Top prize is $2,500, and the awards will be given on a host of merits, including overall spirit and showmanship.
And if you're not part of Cheer Alley, but you intend to show up at the marathon to cheer on a friend, remember you've got the happy people near Mile 18 to measure up to, regardless of where you happen to stand on the route. So best show with a pom-pom or a homemade sign or a big thumbs-up for the runners who need it most.