Updated at the bottom with tips for running in the rain. First posted at 3:37 p.m. Tuesday
You thought winter was over early, but March's stormy lion will finally visit us this weekend with a strong storm that might hit during the annual L.A. Marathon Sunday.
The National Weather Service today issued a "special weather statement" warning that rain will likely hit Friday and continue possibly through Monday.
The L.A. Marathon today gave participants ...
-"Use a garbage bag."
-"Wear a hat." (Genius).
-"Protect your electronics."
(Are runners that challenged?).
We feel bad for the Marathon. (Well, not really: Frank McCourt, the most-hated man in baseball, still owns it). The Academy Awards, the Grammy Awards and Rose Parade always seem to make Southern California look like the land of perpetual sunshine.
And the 27th annual L.A. Marathon could make us look like Portland.
The weather service in L.A. says that we should be prepared to see one-half to one and one-half inches of rain throughout the weekend, with snow levels as low as 2,000 feet and the usual whiting out off roadways such as the Interstate 5 Grapevine.
It states, in all-caps no less:
A COLD FRONT LIKELY SPREADING PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE ENTIRE FORECAST AREA. BEHIND THE COLD FRONT...A VERY COLD AND SLIGHTLY UNSTABLE AIR MASS WILL BRING A THREAT OF SHOWERS SATURDAY NIGHT INTO SUNDAY...AND POSSIBLY MONDAY. SOME OF THESE SHOWERS COULD PRODUCE BRIEF HEAVY DOWNPOURS AND SMALL HAIL. CONDITIONS WILL ALSO BE FAVORABLE FOR ISOLATED WATERSPOUTS ACROSS THE COASTAL WATERS.
Yeah. So run, L.A. Run for your lives.
[Update at 5:18 p.m. Tuesday]: Marathon organizers are ready for what would be the second cold-and-rainy run in as many years.
Marathon spokeswoman Besty Hoffman sent the Weekly a list of storm preparations that include:
-10,000 plastic bags at the ready.
-200 Mylar blankets known as heatsheets will be available at medical stations; 500 will be available at the finish line.
-18 shuttle buses will be ready to transport cold, wet winners at the finish line; other buses will be used as warming stations.
-Other buses will follow the last runners.
-Vans will be picking up quitters from miles 6 through 23.
-5,000 rain ponchos for volunteers.
-Heaters at medical stations.
-Tents for "gear check" areas and announcers' platforms.
-Shelter at Dodger stadium.
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-Coordination with the L.A. Fire Department, the Santa Monica Fire Department and the American Red Cross, which will have blankets, to be ready for those suffering from cold, chills and worse.
[Update at 4:28 p.m. Thursday]: L.A. Marathon medical director Glenn Ault today unleashed this list of tips for rain-soaked participants:
-Wear shirts made of "technical" fabric that wicks away moisture from the body. Avoid cotton, which soaks up moisture and gets heavy, and if you wear layers, choose light layers that you can shed during the race.
-Avoid cotton socks; wear socks of thin fabric that wick away moisture.
-Wear a trash bag or moisture repellent poncho while waiting for the race to begin; discard it when the race starts.
-Have a friend or family member bring dry clothes and dry socks for you to change into halfway through the race, and after the race.
-Wear a body lubricant or Vaseline to reduce blistering and chafing.
-Consider wearing a cap or jacket made of breathable fabric, and gloves if the air is cold.
-When running, avoid metal manhole covers and painted white lines on streets, which can become slick in wet weather.