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L.A. Marathon

March 29, 1998

Re the article "On L.A. Marathon's New Fast Track, In-Line Is Out," March 22:

Last year the L.A. Marathon led other cities by introducing the innovative in-line skating race. The race attracted more than 2,000 skaters, more than any other in-line skating race in the U.S.

But this year our marathon has fallen to the back of the pack, seeking instead to chase its more established counterparts in Boston and New York. Wake up, Bill Burke. L.A. isn't like other cities. It never has been and never wants to be.

As for the characters with ski poles and parasails, so what? Flashy people like these show up at all sorts of events in L.A., making them more fun and memorable. Believe me, I also noticed plenty of oddballs among the runners last year.

L.A.'s flashiness has never interfered with its seriousness about sports. Did all of those celebrities sitting courtside at Laker games prevent the Lakers from winning back-to-back championships?

Mr. Burke, I really admired you last year for standing up to those arrogant runners who looked down on us skaters, but this year you've become a follower in leader's clothing.

DAVID MINES

Culver City

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