Los Angeles Triathlon Club
Race Report
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Club Member: Jennifer Kramer
Race: LA Marathon- My Longest Open Water Swim of The Year, By Jennifer Kramer
Distance: Marathon
Race Date: 03/20/11
Submit Date: 04/18/11

Roughly 23,500 people signed up to run the LA Marathon in 2011 and only 19,890 finished the race. 2.92 inches of rain, an all-time record, filled the streets of LA and Santa Monica (and my Saucony's) that day, according to the LA Times. Thousands were evaluated for hypothermia (25 of those were taken to hospitals). How is it, then, that Marcos Geneti broke the LA Marathon record by almost a full 2 minutes (2nd fastest debut race in marathon history)??? Me not know. But this is MY race report, not his...so here's my story. My alarm went off at 3:31am (I always set the alarm on a 1 otherwise my 9 minutes of snooze time would guarantee my conscious life to begin on an odd number and that situation would simply not be acceptable.) Oscar, Jamie and I were picked up by the amazingly generous Eve, who seemed strangely alert and excited to drop us off at Dodger Stadium (Thank you!!!) At 4:45am, we found Summer and huddled behind the glorious concession stand to escape the cold wind. 2 hours later, we made our way to the starting corrals and anxiously waited for the gun to go off. 30 minutes before the gun goes off, dude next to me, in a thick accent, points to his Garmin 405 and asks me if I could show him how to use it. Really?!? The race started nearly 20 minutes late, but the emcees (one of whom was really freakin' hot!) did an amazing job of letting the crowd know there were delays and the reasons behind those delays. At exactly 7:38am, the gun goes off and Summer and I cross the start line. As I make eye contact with my boyfriend (or so I thought), he announces on the mic, "There goes Harry Perry!!!". Summer thinks it's a naughty nickname Konrad has for me, but turns out it's that famous Turban Roller Skating/Electric Guitar Playing Guy from Venice running just ahead of us. I wondered why people made such a big deal about the hill at mile 4. Then, I got to mile 5 and realized they meant *this* hill. Miles 6-11, we saw Steve, Brent, Kristen, Jed, Nicola, Jabus and Brian. These miles were so much fun! We then saw a slew of others at the first LATC tent (thank you David and Alison!) I love the fact that I belong to LA Tri Club and get to see so many familiar, happy faces. I could have been invited to a birthday party and still seen less friends than running a stretch of 5 miles during the LA Marathon!!! LATC Rocks!!! Somewhere on Sunset before West Hollywood, I overheard a woman on the side of the road, "I feel so sorry for these people." (Note to those sidelining a race: We. Can. Hear. You. Please make your statements positive.) Somewhere between Boys Town and the VA, things started to get progressively less fun... * Mile 18: Stopped at a porta potty *many* hours overdue. I tell you this because a race report isn't a race report without a poopy story. * Mile 19: The wheels came off and what was once laughter at how absurd it was to run in this intense rain, now became a little whimper as my body started to shake and I couldn't warm up. I see Cat and Jeff and postponed the inevitable hypothermia for a moment as Summer took off, increased her speed and raced strong! (Thank you so much, Summer. The first 18 miles were incredible and fun with you!!!) * Mile 22: Lululemon support had insane crazy energy! They were awesome! * Mile 22.1: Thoughts no longer diverted, I was really hurting. * Mile 23: Wondering if I could skip my ice bath since it was 48 degrees by this time (which should have been OK since it was an even number) * Mile 25: Found a huge cheering squad kickin' it out front of my apartment (Anna, Eve, Stephanie, Gary, Jen, Jeff- Thank you!) and lifted my spirits for...well...the time it took me to pass them. * Mile 25.5: Can see the finish chute in the distance. Fortius Tent to the right. (Riptide and tons of other familiar faces!! Yeah!!!) The last half mile was oddly silent, aside from the Mylar blankets and trash bags people were wearing thrashing in the wind and rain. I was excited to hear my boyfriend call me across the finish but didn't know at the time that they had lost their power about 45 minutes prior. Without music, emcees, and less people at the finish, the end seemed eerie and anti-climactic. I needed a tub filled with hot molten lava to warm up, so it didn't bug me so much at the time...but I did miss hearing my boyfriend's voice at the finish. Huge thank you to Anna for miraculously showing up when I needed someone to turn the key to my front door for me and be there to witness the worst calf cramp of my life. It took me a good 40 minutes to thaw out but when I did, I reflected on the day and what has become my racing in a nutshell... ...I do this for fun. I joined LA Tri Club in '06 to meet healthy people who, like me, found more enjoyment out of watching the sun come up than go down. I took swim lessons with http://www.triathlontrainingseries.com/ (Acme Coaching back then) and did my first Ocean Swim with Tim Bomba and "Polar Bear" Steve. I showed up to my first Westside Ride (It's On!!!) not knowing anyone and scared because I couldn't clip out of my pedals. I went to Konrad's Ocean Speed Circuit committing myself to one loop *if* I could find someone to go with me. I had signed up for 16 races that first year (even number) and was practically on auto pilot, throwing myself into a new world. I'm still the same middle-of-the-pack age grouper I was back then (but a faster/stronger middle pack age grouper!!!), but now I'm immersed in a family full of inspirational people. LA Marathon was the only race I had planned this year. I'm not sure which other ones I'll do but I do know that I love being outdoors and experiencing all aspects of life. Sometimes that means a quick dip in the Pacific Ocean while the sun is shining in 80-degree weather surrounded by hundreds of my friends in LATC...sometimes it means running the last hour of a marathon, cold, wet, and alone. I love all of it. All of these things, pieced together, build up who I am and I find all aspects of it thrilling. Thanks for reading.

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