LA Marathon 2020 Crowds Far Smaller Than Last Years, as Runners Crossed Santa Monica Finish Line
Coronavirus concerns convinced many not to join crowds near the finish line. But many thousands came anyway.
March 11, 2020
About half as many spectators came to watch runners cross the Los Angeles Marathon finish line in Santa Monica Sunday. This as the runners finish the race near Wilshire Blvd and Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica.
There was an online petition to cancel the marathon, due to coronavirus concerns. But despite this, many people did come to cheer on mom, dad, or big sister. Near the finish line are many thousands, but many fewer than in 2019.
The event finishes about 1000 yards north of the Santa Monica Pier. North of Wilshire Blvd is the usual viewing spot to see people complete the race's final mile.
The weather was beautiful, the crowds were polite and enthusiastic. Traffic was snarled at closed intersections, but there were noticeably fewer vehicles competing for limited parking than in past years.
The Police were vigilant, though perhaps less stressed than in recent years, as they had far fewer spectators to oversee. "Yes, there are many fewer people than in previous years," Officer Alvarez told our reporter.
The LA Marathon (formerly the City of Los Angeles Marathon) is an annual running event held each spring in Los Angeles, California. The 26.219 mile footrace has been held every year since 1986. This years race is the 35th annual. The marathon is currently sponsored by Asics, and thus its official title is LA Marathon 2020, presented by Asics.
Over the course of its 33-year history, the LA Marathon has become one of the largest marathons in the country with more than 25,000 participants, thousands of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of spectators.
The race "Stadium to Sea" course, draws runners from all over the world to take a tour of Los Angeles running past major LA landmarks.
The "Stadium to the Sea" route was not the original route: the original route started at Exposition Park and ended at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and a route around the turn of the millennium both started and ended in Downtown Los Angeles. From 2007 to 2008, it started south of Universal City and ended in Downtown Los Angeles.
The current route starts at Dodger Stadium (Frank McCourt, the current owner of the Marathon, once owned the Los Angeles Dodgers) and ends in Santa Monica.