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First and Foremost, Marathon Is a Footrace

February 27, 1988

In Julie Cart's revealing story on the Los Angeles Marathon (Feb. 18), I was somewhat misquoted. I didn't make the marathon a simple either/or, as quoted ("What is a marathon supposed to be? Is it supposed to be an athletic event or is it supposed to be a showcase for advertisers?") I did ask what a marathon should primarily be.

A sponsored marathon must, of course, showcase its advertisers--and to the greatest advantage possible. But, a marathon remains a footrace first. And, if a marathon fails to provide a leading field worthy of its other aspects, when it has the wherewithal to do so, it does a disservice, I think, to its advertisers and other supporters.

DON PAUL

San Francisco

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