Los Angeles Marathon fever hits the Los Angeles Children's Museum today as the museum sponsors a scaled-down, indoor version of the race for kids ages 2 to 12. The purpose is to let kids experience the thrill and challenge of running a long-distance race as well as to clue them into all the hoopla that will surround the real race next weekend so they can follow it more closely.
This is the third annual children's marathon at the museum, and it gets more elaborate every year. Although children will be making banners (for the crowd to wave) in the workshop all day, activities will begin in earnest at 3 p.m.
Museum staffer Steve Jehring, a marathon runner, will lead the kids in warm-up exercises and then begin an imaginary race of several "miles," still in the performance space. Using guided imagery, he will help the kids to explore what they are "seeing" as they run and how they are feeling.
For the final sprint, the runners will spill into the museum proper, go up "City Streets" (an exhibit space), overlook "Sticky City," pass first aid and water stations and cross the finish line near the front door. Younger children will run at the back of the pack and even 2-year-olds are encouraged to toddle along with their parents. And for parents and children who want to participate in other ways, there are jobs as race officials and water monitors.
The Children's Museum is at 310 N. Main St. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is $4. Call (213) 687-8800 for more information.