I’m writing this review as a first time marathon participant (so be gentle). As far as the organization/expo and all the pre-race glitz go, I totally loved the hype. Despite the fact that due to new ownership, the LA Marathon date was changed to a later time in the year (ie HOTTER time) we were blessed with cool, overcast weather.
The course itself was flat and fast for the first 13-15 miles with approximately 3 hills. The hills weren’t as challenging as the kind you would find in Northern California, so they were fairly decent.
The course was also very well laden with tons of supporters and more than enough water and gatorade to keep you hydrated. Towards the last 8 miles or so volunteers were handing out fruit (oranges, bananas, coconut) and they had a salon pas station to numb your calves and knees if you were in pain. That particular station was actually my saving grace. My knee had given out on mile 18 and the anesthetic helped me ignore it as I limped the rest of the way to the finish line.
There were bands all along the course, a few drummers, cheerleaders (middle school and high school) and the finish line festival was fun. The best part (aside from finishing) was the massage stations at the end.
I’ll definitely do the LA Marathon next year (although I think they will be changing the course again). It wasn’t the most scenic parts of LA to run through, but I enjoyed every painful minute of it nonetheless.