Week 28: Return to Sunday

Guest blogger Andrea Cavanaugh is my personal savior during this busy Easter week, filling in with a post about the possible return to a Sunday marathon -- though not until next year. I wrote an LA Times op-ed on the subject in March, and Andrea adds a whole 'nother perspective:

Three Los Angeles City Council members made a motion this week to return the LA Marathon to a Sunday in March in 2010.

As those who have followed the soap opera "As the LA Marathon Turns" over the past two years know, the race was moved to a holiday Monday this year after the City Council caved in to a coalition of religious leaders. The church leaders complained that holding the race on Sunday - the day marathons are held in cities around the country - disrupted their services.

The drama continued to unfold as the organizers abruptly changed the date from mid-February to Memorial Day - May 25. A day that's far more likely to be blazingly hot than any day in February or March.

The City Council members who introduced the motion to return the race to a Sunday in March were responding to pleas from runners but also, more practically, to greatly reduced participation and the absence of network television coverage - both of which run counter to the city's interests in developing the race into a world-class marathon.

So religious leaders be damned - the City Council has finally come to its senses. I'm glad that City Council members Tom LaBonge and Janice Hahn introduced their motion - complete with comments about What Would Jesus Do if faced with a Sunday marathon - because I think they're acting in the best interests of the city and the race.

However, they aren't doing a thing for me. I'm not one of those dedicated souls who run the marathon year after year. This is it for me. This is my year. I won't be doing this again. I think running a marathon is insane. This belief, which was fairly fuzzy when I embarked on this adventure, became far more concrete on the day I completed my first 20-mile run. That was the day that my running bra and my skin melded together in the heat into a new substance that was neither animal nor vegetable.

I'm terrified about the prospect of running a marathon on a hot, smoggy day. Fortunately, future participants in the LA Marathon will be less likely to face this prospect if the race is held in March in years to come.

I know the city's religious leaders probably aren't happy about the bid to move the marathon back to a Sunday in March, but I hope they will turn the other cheek and pray for cool weather on Memorial Day. I think that's what Jesus would do.

6:12 PM Saturday, April 11 2009 • Link •  
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