Firstly, a huge to thank you to everyone who helped make this weekend so great by donating to either the John Ritter Foundation or to BlindStart. Both of these charities kept me pushing forward all weekend and the friends on those two running teams are incomparable. I’m lucky to have the opportunity and the ability to run for great organizations.
Brooklyn & I arrived at LAX late Thursday night and promptly made our first In-N-Out Burger stop at midnight before heading north of town to her parents’ house where we were staying for the weekend. The last time I had In-N-Out was in late November on a layover in Dallas flying home from the Route 66 Marathon. It was well due for another Double-Double.
Friday morning we were up early. My buddy Aaron was flying in at 10 so I drove to LAX to pick him up. (and stop by In-N-Out again… for the 2nd time… in under 12 hours) On our way out we got stopped in traffic for a little while waiting for President Obama to drive past on his way into the airport. In a world where Southern California traffic is already terrible they never need the POTUS to come to town.
After we finally made it out of the traffic we went to meet Tony Duenas. Tony is a blind runner from LA that I was going to be running the marathon with on Sunday. We ran a few miles around Silver Lake to let me practice giving instructions to him about the terrain and learn a little about him. His story is pretty incredible and I’ll share more later.
Saturday was a busy day. We were up early again and on the road to downtown LA for breakfast at EggSlut with a few bacon loving friends. The food was incredible! Then we went towards the convention center to watch the U.S. Olympic Team Marathon Trials. The top 3 male and female finishers of the marathon will be going to Rio in August to compete in the Summer Olympics. It was incredible watching the best runners in the country race head to head across the LA city streets. They ran a loop course so we were able to see them pass by 10-12 times during the race. There was so much fan support on the road, it was great to see. If you know me, you are aware that I can go pretty fanboy over Shalane Flanagan. This turned out to be one of my favorite pictures from the day, cheering Shalane and Amy Cragg as they are racing past.
After the trials it was one meet up after another. First was a stop at the #WeRunSocial meet up where the selfies and Girl Scout cookies were flowing like the water in the Nile. Then I met with the BlindStart crew for a few team photos with the blind runners, their guides, & Diana (Tony’s beautiful guide dog). Then we had to go by the Nuun booth for a photo and meet and greet with all the Team Nuun runners.
After leaving the expo we were off to Hollywood for dinner with Team Ritter at Mel’s Drive In. We toured the Hollywood Museum next door, ate an incredible dinner, listened to stories about John and his impact, and I was even able to snag a selfie with the John Ritter mural painted on the side of Hollywood High School across the street. Working with Team Ritter for the past year through the New York City Marathon and the Los Angeles Marathon has been absolutely incredible.
After dinner it was race prep, flat runners, hydration, and sleep. Wake up for the LA Marathon was coming at 3 am the next morning. Early to bed, early to rise.