Each year, the city of Los Angeles clears a path through traffic-choked streets from east to west for a marathon that in March drew 24,000 runners. Now, a coalition of civic, business and political leaders wants to add another race on the same weekend in March 2016: the U.S. Olympic marathon trials. The city has put in a bid, and on Sunday a delegation from USA Track and Field, the national governing body, will come to Los Angeles to evaluate it as a site.
If the city's bid is successful, the trials will be held here to determine which U.S. marathoners go to the
Yes, that means back-to-back marathons. As a plan, it's ambitious, unpredictable — Marathon-ageddon? — and kind of exciting. We think USA Track and Field should go for it and Angelenos should put aside their fear of traffic for one weekend.
The cities that host the trials traditionally run them the day before their local marathons, so that's not unusual. They are two very different events. The L.A. Marathon will probably have 20,000-plus competitors running from
So, sure, there would be more traffic. But it is worth the inconvenience. It would cost taxpayers nothing. The funds are privately raised, and the economic boon to businesses could be substantial. Officials estimate the impact on Houston when it hosted the trials in 2012 was $20 million in hotel, restaurant and other expenditures.