Sunday, March 21, 2010

LA Marathon

An early morning, even for the Kuska's.. We headed downtown to Silverlake to join friends and neighbors of the Grieves, to root on Hamish who is running his first marathon.

We staked out a great spot in front of a nice coffee shop. And as we sipped hot chocolate and rubbed the sleep from our eyes, we looked up the street for any signs of movement.

Olive must have been confused why all these people gathered so early to watch an empty city street. But always the optimist, Olive went ahead with our strange custom and stared on with us.

And soon the first signs of life, as police cars and tv trucks came over the far horizon, being chased by a large graceful pack of Kenyan super atheletes. They were stunning to watch lope by in person. They were larger, more muscled and tensely efficient than I ever imagined.

In seconds they were gone only followed by a long silence. This was only mile 7 but they had already motored up a large lead.

Ive run three marathons in my life, with a personal best of 4:44:00. The Kenyans, who usually win, tend to finish around 2:08:00.

(It makes my thighs explode in pain to contemplate such a pace for 26.6 miles. I just dont see how its humanly possible..)

With that thought in mind, we went back to our coffees and small talk. The kids keeping watch for Hamish, or anyone else for that matter.

And soon the first of the rest of the 'pack' started to trickle by. Georgie (in the green) offers her support while the boy next to her has a surprise of his own.

Now this dry river bed was coming to life. Runners, clapping, shouting, pounding. Music started playing and families started waving.

Over here!!!

We find the man of the hour and he swooped by for a couple kisses and high fives. He soon hustled off into the masses and had an incredible race.

Olive still was a bit confused.. Just where were all these people going? and why?

I think this Bulldog looks more exhausted than any of the runners we saw..

Running the marathon brings out the best of LA, and its sense of humor. These burlesque girls were handing out doughnuts, cokes, and beers for any weary runners. Many stopped to get a photo, and many left guzzling cokes.

Hmmm. Maybe I was approaching these marathons the wrong way..

You would see all kinds. Children and their balloons, old men and their soggy grey tshirts, women wearing pink, running for charities, and a son running in memory of his mother. We saw the jogging Elvis 's, drag queens, barefoots, and amputees all running and smiling (most of em).

And as thousands and thousands ran by, Rebecca saw her good friend and coworker, George Leon. (Oddly enough, I sang karaoke with the guy in Tokyo once and he marveled the Japanese with his 'Hit the road Jack'). Anyways, there he was was some friends, happy, sweaty and smiling. And soon he hit the road leaving us wondering what a small world this planet really is.
You are incredible George and never cease to amaze and surprise us.

And soon the numbers thinned and we all started talking about breakfast and getting back to our fat, lazy lives.. :)

You'd think watching 25,000 Angelenos run by would be a scary moment for a little girl. Olive seemed pretty chill about the whole idea.

She still had that perplexed look on her face,

but was having fun.

We stayed for another hour and somehow found a gap in the runners to make it across the street. We made it back to our car and ventured home for breakfast.

Later that day we found out the Hamish, after all his days/weeks/months of training, finished in 3 hours, 15 minutes, 6 seconds.

Which if you've ever ran, he was doing sub 7 1/2 minute miles (26.6 of em!!).

Not only does he qualify as 'most awesome athelete ever' in my book, he qualifies for the most prestigious race of them all: The Boston Marathon.

Later that week when he had some days to recover, I asked him if he will continue to run, he sorely mumbled "never again."

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