Letters to the Editor: An L.A. Marathon in bad air quality? Feels like normal again

Runners near Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles
Runners turn onto Grand Avenue near Disney Concert Hall during the L.A. Marathon on Nov. 7.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: It was true, alas, that participants in the L.A. Marathon on Nov. 7 got their “taste of normality” in their 26.2-mile run.

At the Dodger Stadium start, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District website, the air was unhealthful for sensitive groups — the young, the old, diabetics and those with preexisting lung or heart disease. As the runners entered the downtown area, the SCAQMD rated the air there as unhealthful for all.

While local news sources gave detailed reports on weather along the route, none I saw bothered to consider what kind of air the athletes were breathing. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that breathing fine particulates, the offending pollutant Sunday, has been linked to heart attacks, reduced lung function and premature deaths.


Mike Jelf, Lomita


To the editor: Sunday morning. One extra hour of blessed sleep. Open eyes. Turn on the TV. It’s marathon day in L.A. Watch the dedicated runners from Los Angeles and around the world push themselves to the limit.

Monday morning. Open paper. Look for the beaming faces of the winners. I see photos of locals but none of the winners. What gives?

I can only wonder if the winners had been Angelenos, would their faces have been on the front page? But they are not locals. They are international competitors — all the more reason, in my eyes, to splash their faces across the front page.

I am sad that the winners — John Korir of Kenya and Natasha Cockram of Wales — didn’t get the public recognition and glory they deserved.

Jill Gluck, West Hollywood