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LA Marathon Suffering with New Date, Council Motion Seeks to Bring Back Sunday Option

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Photo by kristi.nicole via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr


Photo by kristi.nicole via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
A motion introduced by three City Councilmembers today will lift a ban that forced the Los Angeles Marathon this year to be held on a Monday holiday instead of a Sunday to avoid conflicts with religious groups. With not many choices at hand, Marathon organizers went with Memorial Day, which predictably proved difficult with low participation, limited broadcast availability and complaints from runners.

"The number of entrants thus far is less than in past years,” the motion states. “In addition, the Monday holiday requirement has restricted national television broadcast coverage, a critical element to the success of the Marathon.”

“It’s too late for this year, but we’ll get it changed for next year,” Councilmember LaBonge said. “Now, get out and train.”

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Memorial Day was also not popular because of the hotter weather. "The Los Angeles Marathon is an event that runners look forward to once a year in our city," said Councilwoman Janice Hahn. "Athletes spend months training and preparing for it, and they deserve to have it held not only on a day when the weather is cooler and safer for their health, but on a day when they can focus on competing against one another, not against a major national holiday. That's why I have asked for it to be moved back to the first Sunday in March."

The motion was referred to a committee where it will be scheduled for a hearing soon. Councilman Bill Rosendahl submitted the motion along with LaBonge and Hahn.