Running Around the LA Marathon on Race Day in Santa Monica

Friday, 18 Mar 2011, 3:26:00 PM

Mirror Staff

Margaret Molloy

Once again runners will cross the finish line in Santa Monica as they complete the Honda LA Marathon presented by K·Swiss on Sunday March 20. With Santa Monica hosting the finish line, a huge influx of tens of thousands of people will come into the small city by the sea.

For some, navigating to the course-related areas and festivities may pose a challenge. For others, navigating away from these areas may be vital. Whatever the case may be, in this piece you will find everything you need to know or where to find it.

The “Stadium to the Sea” course will enter Santa Monica heading westbound on San Vicente Boulevard, then southbound on Ocean Avenue to the big finish at California and Ocean avenues.

For a map of the LA Marathon Finish Line in Santa Monica, click HERE

For a map of the LA Marathon route, click HERE

With the family and friends of more than 25,000 runners and spectators joining the regular Sunday traffic in the city, parking in downtown Santa Monica will be very difficult, so plan ahead. If possible, it is best to walk, bike, or use public transportation to reach the event and to cheer the runners along.

A comprehensive parking and transportation management plan for the marathon that has been worked out by officials will balance the needs of participants, spectators, and regular Sunday visitors and residents in Santa Monica.

Please note the following policies are in effect for all city-owned lots and structures on Sunday, March 20, the day of the race:

Midnight to 6 a.m. Reserved pre-sale parking for race participants only in the Civic Center structure and lot, and South Beach Lots 4 and 5 (2030 Ocean Avenue; 2600 Barnard Way). All other city-owned lots and structures are closed to the public during this time.

6 a.m. to 6 p.m. All lots and structures will be open for general public parking at special event rates which will be posted for the public.

After 6 p.m. All lots and structures in the area will be open at regular Sunday evening rates.

Please note that no traffic can enter or cross the race course from 6 a.m. on Sunday until police reopen the streets to the public. In Santa Monica, this means that traffic cannot enter or cross at any point along San Vicente and Ocean Avenue between San Vicente and Colorado Avenue. Streets should likely reopen by 5 p.m. that day.

The westbound lanes of San Vicente Boulevard will be open, however, please note that all left turns will be prohibited. The eastbound lanes of San Vicente Boulevard will be closed to traffic during the event. Main Street will be closed between Pico Boulevard and Colorado Avenue to through cars. Ocean Avenue north of Pico will be open to northbound traffic for cars going to the Viceroy Hotel and to pick up runners after the race.

The Moomat Ahiko ramp will be open for cars headed onto northbound Pacific Coast Highway, but it will be closed to cars headed southbound on Pacific Coast Highway. The California Incline will be closed. The Sunday Farmers’ Market will be open as usual.

Be advised that no free Main Street Farmers’ Market parking will be available in the beach lots on March 20, so plan to park elsewhere on that day.

All Big Blue Buses will operate as close to their regular Sunday schedules as possible. However, routes 4 and 9 will not be in service Sunday. Big Blue Bus customer-service representatives can provide real-time schedule, shuttle, and detour information via phone at 310.451.5444 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. all day on Sunday.

For Santa Monica service changes and race day details to the Big Blue Bus Sytem, click HERE for a printable map. Or visit the City's interactive map by clicking HERE

Specific route detours and stop closures are available on the website

The CityTV cable channel 16 will provide parking and traffic information, road closure information, and other Marathon-related information starting on Saturday, March 19, the day before the race takes place. The channel will be updated during the entire Marathon. CityTV is on cable channel 16 on Time Warner and Verizon FIOS.

Either I-405 or Pacific Coast Highway is recommended to the public as a means of crossing the racecourse to access anywhere north of San Vicente Boulevard.

You may not participate in the race unless you already registered – participation is capped at 25,000 runners. Only registered runners are allowed to run the course. Anyone without an LA Marathon bib will be directed off the course immediately by officials.

Officials have urged everyone to keep in mind that the LA Marathon is a total community effort, and the hard-working runners need your support and encouragement at every single mile to make it to the end. Residents are welcome and encouraged to visit the race route and to cheer on and inspire the runners as they complete the course. For people who would like to lend a hand beyond cheering and clapping, there are several volunteer positions open and available in which you can help with events such as the pre-race dinner, water stations, finish-line activities, the clothing check and more. Visit for more information on how you can volunteer during the Marathon.

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