L.A. Marathon offers new finish line for 2021 race

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Independent Staff Report

LOS ANGELES — More than seven months later than it would normally be held, the 2021 Los Angeles Marathon will be held Nov. 7 with more than 25,000 runners expected to take part in the 26.2 mile race.

Normally held in March, the marathon this year was pushed back to the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Celebrating its 36th year, the Los Angeles Marathon will begin once again at Dodger Stadium, but it will now conclude at Century Park in Century City, rather than in Santa Monica as in previous years. Instead of the old Stadium to the Sea theme, the race is now being called Stadium to the Stars course. 

The McCourt Foundation, which stages the race in conjunction with the city of Los Angeles says the route change locates the finish line among some of the best-known landmarks and within easy access of hotels, transportation and the entertainment areas of Westwood, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and the westside. The new course follows most of the 2020 course from its traditional start at Dodger Stadium into Brentwood where it will double back on San Vicente, Sepulveda and Santa Monica boulevards to Avenue of the Stars.

“We’ve been thinking about the next evolution of the Marathon for a few years,” said Murphy Reinschreiber, chief operating officer of the McCourt Foundation. “Finishing on Avenue of the Stars allows for a more vibrant and exciting finish experience than previously possible. We expect the closing miles and finish line to be the highlight of the must-do, world-class experience that is the Los Angeles Marathon.”

Race day won’t end at the finish line as the Avenue of the Stars location allows many options for post-race activities including a larger Finish Festival, concerts, sponsor activations, club and group gatherings, and VIP entertainment that were limited in the event’s previous footprint. 

Bayelign Teshager of Ethiopia was the men’s winner and Kenyan Margaret Muriuki was the women’s winner of the 2020 Los Angeles Marathon that was held at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

A record field of 27,150 runners from all 50 states and 78 countries took part in the race 

Among the runners entered in this year’s race is Jocelyn Rivas, who is trying to become the youngest women to complete 100 marathons.

Rivas, who is serving as the marathon ambassador, was 17 when she ran her first marathon, the 2014 Los Angeles Marathon. 

Rivas was born in war-torn El Salvador with a broken back, feet and neck. Her doctors thought she would never walk.

She said finishing the 2014 Marathon changed her life forever, describing a unique feeling that told her nothing was impossible. She said when she runs, she feels the most alive, the happiest and the strongest. 

The portion of the route through West Hollywood remains unchanged.

The route brings runners into West Hollywood just past the halfway point of the race along Sunset Boulevard at Marmont Lane, just west of Crescent Heights Boulevard. From the Sunset Strip, runners will turn left onto San Vicente Boulevard; then right (onto Santa Monica Boulevard; then left onto Doheny Drive, where they will enter Beverly Hills at Beverly Boulevard.

Mayor Lauren Meister welcomed runners and spectators to the city for the race and post-race activities.

We’re doing everything we can to make sure residents, businesses and visitors are aware of the marathon taking place to ensure that impacts are minimized and we encourage runners to make it a safe experience for everyone by getting fully vaccinated, by wearing masks when it’s required and by adhering to social distancing when it’s possible,” Meister said. “The Sunset Strip is home to numerous one-of-a-kind music venues, hotels and restaurants and the Rainbow District on Santa Monica Boulevard is a glittery slice of Route 66 at the center of the region’s LGBT community and activism.

Street closures in West Hollywood include Sunset Boulevard between Marmont Lane and San Vicente Boulevard; San Vicente Boulevard between Sunset Boulevard and Melrose Avenue; Santa Monica Boulevard between La Cienega Boulevard and Doheny Drive; and Doheny Drive between Santa Monica Boulevard and Beverly Boulevard. 

Parking will be prohibited along the marathon route with “no parking” signs posted prior to the event. Vehicles in violation will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.

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