Breaking news in marathon land

The date for the 2009 LA Marathon had been changed -- again-- by the Frank McCourt team. The first change pushed it back, from early March to Presidents' Day, Monday, February 16. The latest change was reportedly made to accommodate runners who don't get Presidents' Day off. The new new date is Memorial Day, Monday, May 25.

Here's an excerpt from the evolving LA Times story:

"We think the Memorial Day date does two things," [Russ] Pillar said during a phone interview with The Times. "It lets us honor the city’s wishes that we have the race on a holiday Monday, and it lets us create a better runner’s experience than we could have on President’s Day. We've spent a lot of time talking to all of our constituencies -– runners, charities, volunteers –- and while there's never a good time to be changing race dates, the fact is that this will give us enough time to put on a great event."

So they talked to charities? Okay, but apparently it was news to the AIDS Marathon folks, the group I'm training with on behalf of AIDS Project Los Angeles. My guess is this is going to further strain fund raising resources -- the training folks had already shortened the training season by a couple of weeks (to save money, I'm told) before the first date change was announced. With a limited fundraising budget that must now cover an additional three-plus months of work, this can't be good news.

Here's part of a memo to us, the runners, from the AIDS Marathon program director:

We've received some very surprising news today. The new operators of the Los Angeles Marathon are moving the annual race to Memorial Day, marking the second calendar change since September for the race that, for 23 years, has been run on a Sunday in early March. The new owners of the event have decided to change the date of the marathon to Monday, May 25, which is Memorial Day.

While this date change is completely unexpected, the good news is that we'll now have more time to train and more time to raise money for AIDS Project Los Angeles. To prepare you for the new race date, we have modified our training schedule. We'll be handing out the new schedule at the run site this weekend...

We have also extended the fundraising deadline to February 6. This means that you now have three full months, not only to reach the $1,600 fundraising requirement, but also to achieve your own personal fundraising goal. We hope you will take advantage of this extra time to raise even more money for people living with HIV/AIDS in the Los Angeles area.

12:27 PM Monday, November 10 2008 • Link •  
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