I’ve been an annual participant in the Los Angeles Marathon since first running/walking/limping/crawling through the Northridge Quake damaged streets in March 1994. Thankfully in ’95 they implemented the L.A. Marathon Bike Tour, and from that year forward I have happily opted to set bike tread, not shoe tread, on the course. Then came 2003 and bolstered and cajoled by my dear friend and fellow B.la contributor Cybele, who had entered the marathon, I resolved to do both. So I got myself to the bike tour start line at 5 a.m., and like the 12,000 other participating cyclists greeted the sunrise by rolling through the traffic-free streets of our city. But unlike 99.94% of those 12,000 cyclists, I then biked back up to downtown from USC, changed in the cab of my truck into some dry marathon gear, met Cybele in front of the Central Library, and with the other 18,000 entrants made our way across the start line and the beginning of a 26.2-mile walk that ended ó thanks to some wicked blistering of my feet ó almost 8 hours later when we crossed the finish line, far beyond our planned finish window of 6 to 6.5 hours.
Draped in one of those foil blankets with my medal around my neck, I immediately vowed never ó never ever ó to do something so functionally ignorant again, which lasted all of two days when I started to get angry that I held Cybele back from a time goal she could have easily made without me limping and wincing along beside her. Telling her I was in if she was ó and boy was she ó I signed up for both events again. Unfortunately as the 2004 date drew nigh, Cybele was forced to withdraw and a bout with the flu left me barely able to wheeze my way through the bike tour this past March before smartly bailing out of what became one of the hottest marathon days in the event’s history.
But having signed up for both the bike tour and marathon two years running, the L.A. Marathon sent me the following email last night telling me I’m “bi” and that’s fine with me:
From: Los Angeles Marathon
Subject: Spa On Wheels Shuttle For Biathletes
Dear L.A. Marathon and Acura L.A. Bike Tour participants,
You asked and we listened! In a recent survey, several of you mentioned how much you enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the City of Los Angeles Marathon presented by Honda and the Acura L.A. Bike Tour, but expressed frustration in getting from one event to the other. To address that concern, this year we’ll be providing an exclusive shuttle for participants of both events, termed the “Spa on Wheels”
shuttle. The shuttle will offer mini neck, arm, shoulder and foot massages, and will provide Sparkletts water, Gatorade, and Clif Bars over the three-mile transport. Secure storage for cycling equipment will also be provided.
Well boy howdy if that wasn’t just what I needed to get my biathletic backside over to the L.A. Marathon website and enlist for what will be another long day that hopefully won’t take the “fun” out of functional idiocy.