After months of multiple pandemic-induced delays, the annual Los Angeles Marathon will return Nov. 7 for its 36th edition, debuting a new route that will bring the finish line to Century City. The 26.2-mile race brings together athletes from all 50 states and more than 67 countries, passing through Beverly Hills for miles 16 and 17 before ending on the Avenue of the Stars.
“We’re excited about the 36th run in the Los Angeles marathon and Beverly Hills has been a great partner for the event,” Dan Cruz, Head of Public Relations for the L.A. Marathon, told the Courier. “The new route is truly going to showcase what everyone knows around the world, that Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the West Coast.”
“We are thrilled to welcome the LA Marathon back to Beverly Hills,” said Beverly Hills Mayor Bob Wunderlich in a statement. “We hope our iconic streets inspire and bring a spring to the steps of the runners as they enter the final third of the race.”
As a first, the 2021 L.A. Marathon will finish in Century City on Avenue of the Stars, as opposed to its traditional endpoint in Santa Monica. This represents a potential boon to the hospitality industry, according to Howard Sunkin, a representative for The McCourt Foundation, which organizes the race.
“There’s a unique opportunity now for hotels in Beverly Hills to be benefited largely as a result of that decision,” Sunkin told the Rodeo Drive Committee/Special Events City Council Liaison at an October 2020 meeting. “Runners historically like to stay at the finish line.”
The marathon brings significant foot traffic along with it. Cruz told the Courier that organizers anticipated 13,000 contestants this year, a significant drop from its all-time high of 25,000 last year. Cruz attributed the decline to the lingering effects of the pandemic and the schedule change from the spring to fall.
The L.A. Marathon will follow health and safety guidelines dictated by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Attendees are encouraged to socially distance and wear masks along the route.
The funds raised by the race will go toward The McCourt Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting patients and families affected by neurological diseases and disabilities.
Much of Los Angeles Country grinds to a halt during the marathon. Beverly Hills will see major road closures and parking restrictions on Sunday from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m., including: Doheny Drive closed from North Santa Monica Boulevard to Burton Way; Burton Way closed from Doheny Drive to South Santa Monica Boulevard; South Santa Monica Boulevard closed from Rexford Drive to Rodeo Drive; Rodeo Drive closed from South Santa Monica Boulevard to Wilshire Boulevard; Wilshire Boulevard closed from Rodeo Drive to South Santa Monica Boulevard; and South Santa Monica Boulevard closed from Wilshire Boulevard to Moreno Drive.
Additionally, there will be a detour in effect on the western border of Beverly Hills, at Wilshire Boulevard and North Santa Monica Boulevard, as well as at Moreno Drive and South Santa Monica Boulevard until 5 p.m. All local businesses will remain accessible.
“The Los Angeles marathon is the greatest event in L.A.–26.2 miles of sights and sounds celebrating the diversity of Los Angeles [and] showcasing landmarks,” said Cruz. “Running through Chinatown, downtown, Little Tokyo, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and our new finish line on Avenue of the Stars, this is truly going to be a celebration that we’re very much looking forward to this weekend.”