Los Angeles Marathon’s first years


After the success of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, interest in a local marathon led to the first Los Angeles Marathon on March 9, 1986.

Times staff writer Julie Cart reported in the March 10, 1986, Los Angeles Times:

For about 11,000 runners in Sunday’s Los Angeles Marathon, the Southern California promise became a reality – the opportunity to attain celebrity, however fleeting.

This attention was assured and the loneliness of the long distance runner was forgotten. A fleet of 26 cameras was pressed into service by a local television station, a truck filled with photographers roamed the course and reporters from national and international newspapers and magazines jotted notes in exhausting detail.

This was not the first marathon to be run in Los Angeles. It was, however, the first to bear the official approval of the City Council. Whether this particular 26.2-mile race will catch hold and, as its…

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