It’s the 38th Los Angeles Marathon on March 19 and you want to experience the spectacle in person when more than 20,000 runners from around the world take on the 26.2-mile course.
Maybe you promised to take a look or take photos of family or friends running? Or do you want to see elite runners sprinting across 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 curbside viewing spot.
Regardless of where you start, you probably don’t want to drive. Many streets and some freeway off-ramps surrounding the route will be closed as of early Sunday morning. Also, where to park will be tricky, unless you have planned ahead.
Taking the Metro: Line B (also known as the Red Line) from the San Fernando Valley, or Line L (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 am with the wheelchair participants, followed at 6:35 am by the manual bicycle participants (using a bicycle powered by cranks), followed by the elite women at 6:45 am and at 6:55 am the elite men and the field full of runners.
Elite runners, by the way, are so fast that you might want to gauge your position on the street by checking out the finish times for the March 20, 2022 Los Angeles Marathon winners. Those times from last year will help you figure out meet the elites in 2023.
Last year, John Korir from Kenya was the men’s winner in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 7 seconds. Delvine Meringor, also from Kenya, flew around the track with her winning women’s time of 2 hours, 25 minutes and 3 seconds.
The 2022 wheelchair winners were Tyler Byers (1 hour, 49 minutes, 16 seconds) for the men’s group, and non-professional wheelchair entrant Corey Petersen (3:32:31) for the women’s group .
The 2022 manual bike first place winners were Tavian Bryan (1:01:56) for the men’s pool and Beth Sanden (1:53:55) for the women’s pool.
The maximum net race day finish time of 6 hours and 30 minutes is calculated at the time the last runner crosses the start line. The halfway 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 are everything when taking public transportation to watch the marathon. Check out this page, Metro Rider’s Guide: www.metro.net/riding/guide/
To prepare to use any Metro line on Sunday, you should purchase a TAP card in advance to save time on race day. A TAP card is an alternative form of payment, instead of paying cash for bus and train rides.
Buses accept cash if they are not “boarding at all doors”. However, a TAP card is required to travel on Metro rail routes.
See “How to buy a TAP card: www.metro.net/riding/how-to-pay
Buy 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 the Metro Saturday, Sunday and Holiday schedule section online to see what time you want to reach some easily accessible areas. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the hours for the weekend hours section, and also the hours 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 to the North Hollywood Metro Station. Get off the bus and take the underground passage to the B Line (also known as the Red Line) station. Check the schedule and map of Line G (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 train system: bit.ly/36oCn07
The three closest stations to reach the marathon route from the North Hollywood station are the Hollywood/Highland, Hollywood/Vine, and Hollywood/Western Metro stations.
If you leave early enough, you can travel to other stations, including Civic Center/Grand Park. Check the schedule and map of Lines B and D (Red and Purple Lines) here: bit.ly/3KKgaIy. Remember to scroll down to the Saturday, Sunday and Holidays schedule section online to see when you want to arrive. Also, scroll to the bottom of the hours for the weekend hours section.
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 Line B (Red Line) to stop at Civic Center/Grand Park and other westbound stations that are close to the marathon race. Check the schedule and map of Line L (Gold) here: bit.ly/3IjPyMZ
Other ideas to get to the course:
Get phone apps for popular ride-sharing services: