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LA Marathon Date Change Not Settling Well with Some Runners

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Photo by kristi.nicole via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

This is what happens when you let politicians dictate how to organize a sporting event. In September, the City Council mandated that the Los Angeles Marathon change from a Sunday to a holiday Monday, citing "complaints from religious leaders, who blamed race-day road closures and traffic congestion for making it difficult for their congregations to get to church," according to the LA Times.

At first, that forced the new organizers of the race, a company from LA Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, to change the date to President's Day in February. But that drew complaints because not many runners and volunteers have the holiday off from work. So now the new date is Memorial Day, the last Monday in May--a much hotter and more popular day for family vacations and get-togethers, not races. A week later is the popular Rock n' Roll Marathon in San Diego.

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Tina Dupuy, Editor of FishbowlLA, sounds off in the LA Times Opinion section today about the date change. She, like many, are not happy. "This date change is like moving a minimally popular television to Friday night. It's a death rattle. It's about to be canceled for ratings." A running acquaintance told her "Great. First we don't have a football team, and now we don't have a marathon."

LA Marathon LLC President Russ Pillar still was positive when he spoke to the LA Times about the second date change to Memorial Day. "He said the complaints are balanced out by responses from other runners who 'are planning to participate now who couldn't when the race was to be held on Presidents' Day.'"