We arrived at the Civic Center subway stop a little after 7AM. A man, holding a hand-made poster, got off the train with us.
"Do you have a runner in the marathon?" I asked him.
"My wife and daughter," he said. He told them he'd be waiting at Disney Hall, but had no idea how to get there and so followed us upstairs. As we emerged, we could see helicopters overhead.
"Quick!" I yelled. "The elite runners are approaching!" Professional runners leave before the amateurs: first the women, followed several minutes later by the men. Despite the time advantage, no woman has ever won the L.A. Marathon.
We made it to Grand Ave. just as the last few elite women runners were passing by.
"Go, women, go!" I shouted, clapping madly as our new friend headed toward Disney Hall.
After a few minutes, the helicopters reappeared as TV trucks suddenly zoomed around the corner. They were tracking the elite men, who were running in a close pack. They were so fast I hardly had time to cheer. Other non-elite runners soon followed, as we strained our eyes looking for Mike, who said he'd be wearing a green hat and blue jersey.
What a great way to spend a Sunday morning! I think we'll be back again next year, even if we don't know any of the runners.