It’s the 36th Los Angeles Marathon on November 7, and for once you will personally experience the spectacle as more than 27,000 racers from across the United States and around the world take to the 26.2-mile track.
Maybe you promised to catch a glimpse of family or friends or want to see the elite runners knocking on the sidewalk somewhere along the track from Dodger Stadium to the new finish line in Century City.
It’s time to plan ahead to find your sidewalk viewing spot.
No matter where you start from, you probably do not want to drive. Many streets and some highway entrances around the route will be closed from the wee hours of the night. In addition, it will be difficult to park unless you have planned in advance.
Taking the subway – 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 options.
If you have never driven any of the subway lines, now is the time to study the schedules and plan where you want to be – and when.
The marathon starts at 6.30 with wheelchair and hand bike participants, followed by the elite women at 6.45, and at 6.55 the elite men and the full field.
The elite runners are fast, so you may want to calculate your street position after the 2020 winners’ finish times. Bayelign Teshager, from Ethiopia, was the men’s winner in 2 hours, 8 minutes and 25 seconds. Margaret Muriuki from Kenya also flew down the field with her winning time for women of 2 hours, 29 minutes and 27 seconds.
The maximum net race day end time of 6 hours and 30 minutes is calculated by the time the last runner crosses the starting line. The halfway point, about 13 miles off the track, is on the Sunset Strip, the eastbound gateway to the City of West Hollywood.
And just like for runners, timing and preparation are everything when you take public transportation to see the marathon. Check out this page Metro Rider’s Guide: www.metro.net/riding/guide/
In preparation for using metro lines on Sundays, you should purchase a TAP card in advance to save time on marathon day. A TAP card is an alternative way to pay in cash for bus and train journeys in the system. At the moment, bus travel is free, but a ticket must be paid to ride on the tracks.
Buy a TAP card at a metro station, at a dealer or online. Information on metro prices and TAP maps here: www.metro.net/riding/fares/
Check out the Metro’s section for Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays online to see when you want to get to a few areas that are easy to get to. Be sure to scroll to the end of schedules for the weekend class section and also the schedule for the direction you want to go.
If you are coming from the San Fernando Valley, you may want – or need – to take the G-Line (formerly known as the Orange Line) from the nearest Metro bus station near where you live to Metro North Hollywood Station. Get off the bus and take the underground passage to the B Line station (also known as the red line). Check the schedule and map for G Line (Orange) here: bit.ly/31gwxv6
A larger map of the Metro system in the San Fernando Valley is here: bit.ly/2PSaRwC
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 travel early enough, you can drive toward downtown Los Angeles to other stations, including the Civic Center / Grand Park. Check the B- and D-lines (red and purple lines) schedule and map here: bit.ly/2IptYdk
If you are coming from the Pasadena or East Los Angeles area, you can use the Metro L Line (Gold Line) to get to Union Station in Los Angeles. From Union Station you can take the Metro’s B-line (Red Line) for stops at the Civic Center / Grand Park and other westbound stations near the marathon track. Check out the L Line (Gold) schedule and map here: bit.ly/3cVoVSC
Other ideas to get to the course
Get phone apps from the popular carpooling services:
Useful websites for marathon information, dining and accommodation along the course in different cities