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L.A. Marathon Called 'Shining Star' on Horizon

March 22, 1986

While the memory of Los Angeles still lingers in my aching legs, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the City of Los Angeles, the marathon race organization committee, the sponsors, the spectators and the race volunteers for putting on the most impressive first-time marathon that I have ever seen. The first Los Angeles Marathon was as impressive and successful as I found the 1984 Summer Olympics to be.

I must admit that I did not run in the marathon under the best of circumstances: I took the "redeye" in from New York, and arrived at the start line precisely nine minutes before the gun went off.

I had no problems with the first 14 miles, but then I found myself so tired that I was tempted to drop out of the race. This was not deemed to be, however. I am happy to say that, just when I was at my lowest, the combination of the wonderful race volunteers and thousands of spectators quite simply "turned me around."

I found that it was virtually impossible to drop out of this race, when I had so many people cheering me--and the other runners--along. The volunteers and the spectators, together, generated an aura that made every single runner feel both important and proud of themselves. It was impossible to let these people down, so thanks to them, the City of Los Angeles and the race organizers, I proudly finished my 66th marathon.

Apart from participating in 66 marathons, I have watched more than 100 marathons throughout the world. I, like many others, was initially skeptical about the Los Angeles Marathon, and doubted that it would be a success. However, based on what I saw that weekend, and when judged in comparison with the many other marathons I have witnessed, I feel that this marathon is the new "shining star" on the horizon, along with the Boston and New York City Marathons.

My congratulations to the City of Los Angeles, the race committee, the sponsors, and the volunteers and spectators who made this event the overnight success that it turned out to be.

FRED LEBOW

Director

New York City Marathon

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