On Sunday, March 9, 2014, some of the streets within Los Angeles County were handed-over to wheelchair riders, at least for a limited period of time. On that day, the racers in the wheelchair division of the LA marathon preceded the group of female racers. The starting time for the racers who would be rolling on wheels was fifteen minutes before that of the starting time for that latter group.
Among the men and women who would be competing with the clock, while rolling along on wheels, was Krige Schabort, the expected winner of his division. He and twelve other men had filled the elite field of that particular division. There were four competitors filling that same division’s elite field for female riders.
So, where did they plan to ride? Where were cars lacking in the streets, as those same paved roadways became the pathways for scores upon scores of rolling wheels? The day of the race, Los Angeles Times published a map of the route over-which the marathoners would travel.
According to that map, the starting-line would be located at Dodger Stadium. From there the runners/riders would travel to the L.A.’s downtown area. Then, they would be going northeast, in the direction of Hollywood Boulevard, which would take them into West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Finally, they were expected to make their way down Santa Monica Boulevard and into the City of Santa Monica. Thus, the finish line would be located at a spot where spectators could enjoy a great view of the Pacific Ocean.
Every marathoner in each division would follow the same route. The LA Times indicated that the fastest racer in the men’s group and the women’s group would each receive $25,000. It did not state what prize would be awarded to the fastest of those who would rely on the swiftness of a special mode of transportation, one that allowed the rider to speed-along at a pace that exceeds that of a conventional wheelchair. At least, that publication helped the residents of Los Angeles to become a bit more familiar with the athletic skills of those who do not feel limited by their disability.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.