It’s the 38th Los Angeles Marathon on March 19, and you want to experience, in person, the spectacle when more than 20,000 runners from around the world take on the 26.2-mile course.
Maybe you promised to catch a glimpse or snatch photos of family or friends running? Or you wish to see the elite runners pounding the pavement somewhere along the course from Dodger Stadium to the finish line on Santa Monica Boulevard at Avenue of the Stars in Century City?
Now is the time to plan ahead to find your sidewalk viewing spot.
Wherever you’re starting from, you probably don’t want to drive. Many streets and some freeway off-ramps surrounding the route will be closed beginning in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Plus, where to park will be tricky — unless you’ve planned ahead.
Taking the Metro — the B Line (also known as the Red Line) from the San Fernando Valley, or the L Line (also known as the Gold Line) from the Pasadena area, are two possibilities.
If you’ve never ridden a Metro line, now is the time to study the schedules and plan where you want to be — and when.
The marathon begins at 6:30 a.m. with wheelchair participants, followed at 6:35 a.m. by the handcycle participants (using a cycle that is propelled by hand cranks), followed by the elite women at 6:45, and at 6:55 a.m. the elite men and the full field of runners.
The elite runners, by the way, are so fast that you might want to calculate your street position by reviewing the March 20, 2022 LA Marathon winners finish times. Those times from last year will help you spot the elites in 2023.
Last year, John Korir from Kenya was the men’s winner at 2 hours, 9 minutes and 7 seconds. Delvine Meringor, also from Kenya, flew down the course with her women’s winning time of 2 hours, 25 minutes and 3 seconds.
The 2022 wheelchair winners were Tyler Byers (1 hour, 49 minutes and 16 seconds) for the men’s group, and non-pro wheelchair participant Corey Petersen (3:32:31) for the women’s group.
The 2022 handcycle first place winners were Tavian Bryan (1:01:56) for the men’s group, and Beth Sanden (1:53:55) for the women’s group.
The maximum net race day finish time of 6 hours and 30 minutes is calculated by the time the very last runner crosses the start line. The half-way point, at about mile 13 of the course, is on the “Sunset Strip,” the eastbound gateway to the City of West Hollywood.
Timing and preparation is everything when you take public transportation to view the marathon. Check this page, Metro Rider’s Guide: www.metro.net/riding/guide/
In preparation for using any Metro lines on Sunday, you should purchase a TAP card in advance to save time on race day. A TAP card is an alternative way to pay, instead of paying cash for bus and train rides.
Buses accept cash if they are not “all-door boarding.” However, a TAP card is required to ride Metro rail routes.
Check out “How to Buy a TAP card: www.metro.net/riding/how-to-pay
Purchase a TAP card at a Metro station vending machine (all Metro Rail, Silver Line and Orange Line stations), at a vendor (www.taptogo.net/TAPLocator2) or online (www.taptogo.net) or by phone, 866-827-8646.
Information on Metro fares and TAP cards here: www.metro.net/riding/fares/
Check Metro’s Saturday, Sunday and holiday schedule section online to see what time you want to arrive at a few easy-to-get-to areas. Make sure you scroll to the end of timetables for the weekend hours section, and also the schedule for the direction in which you want to go.
If you’re coming from the San Fernando Valley, you may want — or need — to take the G Line (formerly known as the Orange Line) from the closest Metro bus station near you to Metro’s North Hollywood station. Get off the bus and take the underground passageway to the B Line (also known as the Red Line) station. Check the schedule and map for the G Line (Orange) here: bit.ly/3JkVMgL
A larger map of Metro in the San Fernando Valley is here: bit.ly/3wkTGd4. A large map of the bus and rail system: bit.ly/36oCn07
The three closest station stops to get to the marathon route from North Hollywood station are Metro’s Hollywood/Highland, Hollywood/Vine and Hollywood/Western stations.
If you leave early enough, you can ride to other stations, including Civic Center/Grand Park. Check the B and D Lines (Red and Purple Lines) schedule and map here: bit.ly/3KKgaIy. Remember to scroll down to the Saturday, Sunday and holiday schedule section online to see when you want to arrive. Also, scroll to the end of timetables for the weekend hours section.
If you’re coming from the Pasadena or East Los Angeles area, you may use Metro’s L Line (Gold Line) to get to Union Station in Los Angeles. From Union Station, you can catch Metro’s B Line (Red Line) for stops at Civic Center/Grand Park and other westbound stations that are near the marathon course. Check the L Line (Gold) schedule and map here: bit.ly/3IjPyMZ
Other ideas to get to the course:
Get the phone apps from the popular ridesharing services: