The Los Angeles Marathon's new Westside-bound route, designed to showcase “the best Los Angeles has to offer,” is called the Dodger “stadium to the sea” course — and that sounds suspiciously similar to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's most-beloved pet project, the planned “subway to the sea.”
Though not a blueprint by far, the route comes close to the planned subway line at times, chugging through Beverly Hills on Wilshire Boulevard and then on Santa Monica Boulevard toward Westwood for a spell. (The marathon would start far north and east of the subway to the sea, however). The mayor has pushed hard for the subway, lobbying to make it a cornerstone of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's nearly $400 billion Long Range Plan, and pushing to put it on a 10-year fast track for construction. He's also been a marathon booster, praising Dodgers owner Frank McCourt for his course-changing leadership.
“Since taking over the marathon, Frank McCourt and his team have led a successful effort to deliver a route that highlights what makes Los Angeles the premier city in the world,” Mayor V states. “With the collaboration of our friends in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and the Veterans' Administration, we are truly excited to host an event that showcases the best Los Angeles has to offer.”
It must be a dream route for the mayor, who has found much of his political and financial support along those same gilded corridors in the liberal-but-moneyed Westside. It's almost as if Mayor V could run the course with a trademark smile and a donation bucket in-hand.
At the least, the route from Elysian Park to Santa Monica will shine a light on the mayor's favorite side of Los Angeles — west — even as he grew up on the east. Already, the marathon reports, runners are signing up in droves, and officials say they'll be forced to cap participation at 25,000. If only the mayor's beloved subway, if it every opens, could get that many takers in a day.