More than 25,000 runners will journey 26.2 miles from Dodger Stadium to the shore of Santa Monica during the L.A. Marathon this Sunday, which also happens to be Valentine's Day. Whether you are looking to cheer on runners or avoid the spectacle altogether, we've got all the details you need.
1. Plan your route around the marathon.
Driving in L.A. during the marathon can be a tad complicated since the route requires the closures of several roads and freeway ramps. Check the interactive Commuterama map to see which roads will be closed and when.
2. Park your car.
For runners, pre-race parking is available both at Dodgers Stadium and in Santa Monica. A guaranteed shuttle service for runners is available with pick-up spots at Union Station, Santa Monica and Downtown L.A. hotels. Visit the L.A. Marathon shuttle website to make your reservation.
The finish line is where the excitement is, and spectators will probably want to head there at some point during the race. If you get there by car, however, parking in Santa Monica could seem a bit daunting. Luckily, L.A. Marathon has a real-time map of parking lots — and their costs — hosted by ParkMe. These parking lots open at 7 a.m., so you can stow your car early in the day.
3. Traveling around the marathon route.
Unless you are one of the many thousands running the marathon, it's likely you will want to venture around the 26 mile route by car or public transportation.
The L.A. Marathon spectator guide provides a list of viewing areas near Metro stops. There are 10 different locations to view the marathon along Metro's Gold Line and Red Line.
Additionally, Big Blue Bus will operate a free shuttle from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. around Santa Monica and to a bus hub located on 11th Street between Olympic Boulevard and Colorado Avenue.
4. Weddings, music and cheerleaders — Oh my!
Throughout the course there will be entertainment and support for the runners. More than 400 cheerleaders, 50 bands and 90 cheer zones will be present along the marathon route, according to L.A. Marathon's media guide. Plus, since the marathon is on Valentine's Day, at mile 10 a justice of the peace will be performing wedding ceremonies and vow renewals, NBC 4 reports.
For spectators looking to watch near an entertainment zone, here is a breakdown from L.A. Marathon of where to find the live entertainment.
Premier entertainment centers will be located at:
- Mile 2: Chinatown- Broadway/ Alpine
- Mile 4: Hongo Taiko School- 1st/ Grand Ave
- Mile 7: Earlez Grille- Sunset/ Fountain
- Mile 8: Salvadoreans- Hollywood/ Prospect
Entertainment Stages will be located at:
- Mile 1: Stadium Way and Elysian Park Avenue
- Mile 3: 1st Street and Main Street
- Mile 10: Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street
- Mile 11.5: Sunset Boulevard and La Brea Avenue
- Mile 18: Santa Monica and Avenue of the Stars
- Mile 20: Sepulveda Boulevard and Ohio Avenue
- Mile 21: San Vicente and Barrington
- Mile 25: San Vicente Boulevard and Ocean Avenue
5. It's hot out here for a run.
Sunday's forecast is looking rather toasty, with temperatures expected to reach the high 80s, according to the National Weather Service forecast. According to the L.A. Times, the start time of the race was moved up in an effort to keep runners in the cool air longer. If you are running or watching other people run, pack your sunglasses and hats, and be sure to slather on the sunscreen (like you always do). It's a day filled with record-breaking possibilities — for both the runners and the heat.