SBD/Issue 41/Events & Attractions

L.A. Marathon Move To Memorial Day Upsets Some Runners

The reaction among many runners to yesterday's announcement that the L.A. Marathon date is being shifted to Memorial Day beginning next year was "fast and, in many cases, furious," according to Greg Johnson of the L.A. TIMES. Many runners "already were upset" because LA Marathon LLC, which operates the race, "agreed to a city demand that the race be moved from its traditional Sunday in early March date to the Monday President's Day holiday that will fall on Feb. 16 next year." LA Marathon LLC President Russ Pillar said that "after studying the Presidents' Day date ... it quickly became apparent that many people wouldn't be able to run or volunteer because a relatively high number of employers don't observe the holiday." At that point, LA Marathon LLC "began studying other options." Pillar added that "potential dates are limited" because the city contract "limits the race day to a holiday Monday." Pillar "acknowledged that he had been hearing from runners who are upset by the switch to a Memorial Day race." He said that the "complaints are balanced out by responses from other runners who 'are planning to participate now who couldn't when the race was to be held on Presidents' Day.'" Pillar: "In all, we're confident in our ability to host a better event for all constituencies on Memorial Day and look forward to doing so." Johnson notes the 50 official L.A. Marathon charities that "rely upon the race to raise about" $1.5M in donations annually "also voiced concern over the Memorial Day race date." The new date "could cause scheduling problems for athletes who compete in several marathons each year," as it "bumps up against the popular San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, which will be staged a week later" (L.A. TIMES, 11/11).

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