26.2 miles "from the stadium to the sea."
The L.A. Marathon has been a staple in the City of Angels since 1986. On Sunday, the Chargers assembled a 13-person relay team for the race which included General Manager Tom Telesco, linebacker Denzel Perryman, Chargers Sr. Director of Player Engagement Arthur Hightower, Charger Girls, Chargers super fans and yours truly.
While all of us (sans Perryman) spend our Sundays watching the team, today, we became a part of it. Having never run a marathon or in a marathon, I had no idea what to expect.
It didn't disappoint.
People from all over the world flock to this event to take in the sights and sounds of Los Angeles. It's an incredible international event, and the male and female elite division winners both hailed from Kenya. They clocked in at 2:11:52 and 2:34:23 respectively.
All 13 of us were stationed at different mile markers along the marathon route and handed off a football to the next runner. Telesco kicked things off at Dodger Stadium (Mile 1) and Perryman was the anchor for the finish in Santa Monica. Channeling my inner Melvin Gordon, I ran from Echo Park to Los Feliz. Along the way, we were encouraged by the outpouring of support from Los Angeles' own as they lined the streets cheering on the runners.
While it's indescribable to see over 24,000 people participating and pouring everything they had into the race, the most inspirational moment came at the very end of the Chargers relay. Perryman had a very special running buddy, Asher Stewart, who is a seven-year-old adaptive athlete representing Angel City Sports.
Angel City Sports is a non-profit which creates sports opportunities for those with "physical differences and impairments." While Stewart said running with Perryman was a "really, really good" experience he'll always remember, it was also unforgettable for the thousands who watched the pair cross the finish line representing the Chargers.
Thirteen Chargers runners participated in a 26.2-mile tour of Los Angeles as a corporate relay team in the Skechers Performance L.A. Marathon on Sunday.