Walking In LA: Misery Loves Company

So if you didn’t blow off my post a few days ago about those unfortunate few of us “duathletes” being left unsupported by organizers of this year’s L.A. Marathon events, you learned that come March 4 I’m one of them there crazy sunzabeeches planning on doing both the bike tour and the marathon and that I don’t need no marathon peeps’ help to do them as I’m pretty sure I’ve worked out a successful if semi-frantic way to get from the end of one and the start of the other involving a potential indecent exposure violation by using my truck as a dressing room and then a dash to the 7th Street Red Line station for a subway trip to Universal City.

But another thing that needs work is my training. Biking, not so much. I do enough of that to know I’m good to go there. But as I’ll also be attempting to complete the marathon on foot — walking, mind you — in somewhere around six hours, I need to start getting my ped on and quick. And one way I’m going to do that these next few weeks is by rapidly building up to taking a long walk. A r-e-a-l-l-y long walk.

Drawing inspiration from Franklin Avenue’s MIke and Maria and friends who a couple months ago walked the 16 miles from the downtown beginnings of Wilshire Boulevard to its end in Santa Monica, I started looking around town at other avenues and boulevards and it didn’t take long for me to settle on the one, the only, the Sunset Boulevard. Thus it will be that after mustering at nearby Philippe’s for a 6 a.m. breakfast I will set out at 7 a.m. on Saturday, February 10 from Union Station and hoof it the 24 miles all the way through the wide variety of socio-economic strata to Gladstones on Pacific Coast Highway at the other end.

Why am I bothering you good people with such lunacity? Mainly because I’m functionally delusional as evidenced by having the silly idea that there might be those among you who’d see this as an opportunity for ridicule to get up before the dawn on a Saturday morning and do this unique thing instead of normal weekend stuff like sleeping in or recovering from Friday night’s hangover or watching TV cartoons or drinking coffee or blogging or yardwork or shopping or movies or carwashing. If that’s true, post a comment with an address or just email me directly and I’ll keep you posted as to any further details or convincing as you might require.

19 thoughts on “Walking In LA: Misery Loves Company”

  1. Just be careful as it goes through Holmby Hills…not really much of a sidewalk there. A friend of mine walked along Sunset from Westwood to Guitar Center, not knowing how far it was. We all thought he was crazy.

  2. I might join you from Silverlake, it’d be a fun walk, but nothing’s fun at 6am, except sleeping. If you’ve got an ETA for Sunset/ Hyperion, I’m down. I love a good walk. How long do you think it’ll take to get to the PCH? This is a brisk walk, not a stroll, right?

  3. Thanks for the tip Evan, and how very L.A. that it would be through one of the wealthier stretches of the street wherein we might face the greatest risk.

    Would love to have ya along Pinky. I’d hazard if we start out at 7 a.m. that we’d pass Hyperion somewhere around 8 a.m.

    And at this point I’m not really banking on it being a quickstepper. While I’m hoping to maintain a 4 mph average during the marathon I’m really just looking to Sunset for the distance. So to muddle things I’d say it will be more than just a stroll, but less than brisk.

    As to timefame, going by the fact that it took the Franklin Avenue wild bunch 8-hours plus to go Wilshire’s 16 miles I’m guesstimating this walk could be as long as 12 (including several rest/lunch/snack breaks).

    The good news is that for you and anyone else who might want to join in for just a bit, you can stop after a couple miles or 10 and catch the No. 2 MTA bus back to wherever you started.

  4. This walk should be much more challenging than along Wilshire, because of the hills.

    Also, do you have a copy of Charles Moore’s “Los Angeles: The City Observed”? It’s out of date, but there’s a whole chapter devoted to architecture along and off of Sunset.

  5. that weekend should prove to be quite a walking one…i was planning on posting today over on my blog the 6th street stroll…walking 6th street from san vicente to a lovely downtown drinking establishment (either on flower or main). it will be a lovely 7(+) mile jaunt on my personal favorite street in LA to celebrate a special day in my life. having been a part of the original wilshire walk people, i had difficulty between miles 9-11 and had to cut out at wilshire.

    have fun on your walk, more power to you!!!

  6. wow, Sepulveda would be fun, but the coolest part might be sidewalk-less, the part through the sepulveda pass. then for a real exhibit of the diversity of LA we could walk the length of Western! ;-P I am so excited about this, I was thinking about it on my walk this afternoon, and how fun it would be to walk through areas I’ve only sped through. I’ll bring the Cytomax!


  7. As a true City Nerd, I’ve walked Sunset from wood to wood (Hollywood to Westwood), and it IS dangerous as you leave the sidewalks of Beverly Hills and enter back into the City of LA. You have to pass through UCLA to find sidewalks again. I got there when it was dark, which was not safe at all. So, my suggestion would be to get through that section well before dusk.

    I’d love to join you… but that darn anonymous thing keeps getting in the way! Have fun!

  8. Going along UCLA should be fine, with Circle Drive (I refuse to call it Charles E. Young Drive) right there along Sunset, and when that ends still a fairly wide stretch with pine trees along the south side of the street.

  9. City Nerd, totally heart you, but that anonymous thing ain’t gonna fly as an excuse. After all, how’d we know you were THE nerd unless you said so or gave it away by being unable to stop yourself from spouting off bits of city arcana along the way, hmmmmm?

  10. I agree Travis, the Walking Dude is the king of L.A. sidewalks and thanks for the heads up. Through his site I figured out how to chart the Sunset Boulevard course using Google Earth and present it as a flyover.

  11. Thanks Edward, and keep in mind you obviously don’t have to do the whole dang nutty thing. Maybe join me for breakfast at Philippe’s and march just a few miles west? Might be a nice way to warm up for Shannon’s stroll on Sunday.

  12. Hi Don,

    I wish I could say the response has been overwhelming, but at this point so far the grand total is three (including me) and one other who’s considering. Plus my wife who’s gonna walk the first three miles from Union Station to Silver Lake.

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