By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
Everybody loves a marathon (except maybe preachers and priests because people can’t get to Sunday church service) and the city of Los Angeles is a perfect place to run one.
The LA Marathon (as well as other city marathons) often results in massive road closures. It takes huge effort and coordination to organize an event like this. Congratulations to Marathon organizers and volunteers for their dedication to putting on this annual event.
It was a huddled mass of medics, TV crews, media personnel, and marathon volunteers waiting for the first runner to cross the finish line. My camera was getting soaked, and I hadn’t brought along any towels or plastic to cover it, so I feared my photography would be done before the first runner broke the tape. In the city of sunshine, the rain was pouring down hard.
I was watching the big digital clock, while I love LA played through the loudspeakers in the downpour, and at two minutes and 6 seconds the huddled mass broke from the shelter of the photo bridge, to get a closer look at runner number one coming down Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica.
It was two minutes earlier than I had expected to see someone and it wasn’t Wesley Korir. By the time I wiped my rainsoaked lens with a Starbucks napkin (not recommended), Markos Geneti was blazing through the finish line tape.
26-year-old Markos Geneti of Ethiopia set a new course record by crossing the finish line with a time of 2:06:35. It was the fastest marathon time ever run in California and it was his first marathon. Geneti won $125,000 plus a 2011 Honda Insight EX Sedan. His fastest mile recorded was a 4:44 for mile 23.
Nicholas Kamakya of Kenya (photo left) had crossed the finish line by the time I had turned my attention from Geneti. With his right hand to the asphalt of Ocean Avenue, Nicholas Kamakya paused for several moments.
Kamakya (also age 26) completed the LA Marathon with a time of 2:09:26. It was a fast marathon time, but nearly 3 minutes shy of the record-setting time of Markos Geneti.
In planet chiropractic’s LA Marathon Guide it was mentioned that runners should be prepared for wet weather. With rain already falling in the early hours, few seem prepared (including myself) for the mass downpour and driving winds that persisted throughout the day.
It was as if the elite runners were racing against the storm, with weather and winds increasingly growing stronger, as each of the elites crossed the finish line. The worst of the rain and wind came for those not making the two hour and 30 minute mark.
With a time of 2:29:59, 29-year-old Los Angeles resident Brian Whitehead, made it with a second to spare (the LA resident finished 20th overall). Then the sky opened wide, unleashing rain and heavy winds, forcing hundreds of runners into hyperthermia, while they battled on to the finish. 23,542 runners had registered for the 2011 race, making it the 6th largest total in LA Marathon history.
Several of California’s top runners train in Mammoth Lakes. Taking second place in the women’s division, 27-year-old Amy Hastings finished her first marathon with a time of 2:27:03.
Hastings marathon debut has qualified her for the 2012 US Olympics Trials Marathon. She finished 31 seconds after the women’s division runner, Buzunesh Deba, who passed her on mile 21. Twenty three year old Buzunesh Deba finished with a time of 2:26:34, also winning cash, and a Honda sedan.
2011 LA Marathon results for all runners should be available via this link. Congratulations to all the finishers, organizers, and volunteers!