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Editorial

A spring in their steps

Harsh weather failed to dampen the spirits of those running the L.A. Marathon.

March 21, 2011

Ah, spring. In Los Angeles, the change of seasons from winter to spring is hardly the cinematic turn of events that it is in the East. Here, it is usually just a mild changing of the guard from pleasant weather to even more pleasant weather.

Well, not this year. Spring descended on L.A. like some diabolical personality-disordered spirit. It was as if spring thought it was winter and suddenly lashed the city with a nonstop storm accompanied by floods, wind, cold and power outages.

And it all arrived on the day of the city's annual rite of spring — the Los Angeles Marathon. The race's route from Dodger Stadium west to the ocean was hardly an idyllic tour as runners, some clad in plastic bags and ponchos, battled inclement weather as much as changes in elevation.

Yes, runners would rather be cool than warm. But this was a cold and sometimes torrential rain, not just a refreshing spritz, that doused them for 26.2 miles.

But run it they did. And we're not just talking about the elite runners. We're talking about the merely mortal, those who trained hard and those who didn't, the lean and the lumpy, the ones running in memory of a friend who died of sickle cell or to fundraise for a charity. Along the way, they grinned for cameras, high-fiving local TV reporters, swearing they were having the time of their lives. Some of the thousands evaluated for hypothermia chuckled at the medical fuss made over them after the finish line.

As pampered as we Angelenos are by our relentlessly mild weather, we are also a hardy lot when we need to be. And the thousands of runners who ran the marathon on one of the worst days in its history were great examples of perseverance and pluck in a town that gets laughed at for being soft. A record 97% of runners finished the race. Sometimes being sunny in Los Angeles doesn't just refer to the weather.

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