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Rock 'n' Roll Marathon coming to Los Angeles in 2010

November 19, 2009 |  1:13 pm

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series is coming to Los Angeles.

The Competitor Group, which owns the series of marathons held around the country, announced today that it will open a new half-marathon in L.A. Scheduled for Oct. 24, 2010, the run will replace the City of Angels Half Marathon, which has been held since 2006 on the first weekend in December. Peter Englehart, president and chief executive officer of the Competitor Group, said an agreement had been reached with the nonprofit group Grove of Hope to replace the City of Angels event, but he did not disclose the terms of the deal.

“We’ve been blessed with several other good markets on the West Coast, but L.A. was the missing piece to the puzzle,” Englehart said. “As we grow our company, it’s important to have a presence in L.A., so this was an opportunity we were looking for.”

Officials expect 15,000 to 20,000 runners to sign up for the inaugural 13.1-mile race. Englehart said there are no immediate plans for a full 26.2-mile marathon, but he sees the event as a warm-up to the L.A. Marathon, which is held in March.

Russ Pillar, president of the L.A. Marathon, which recently announced its new “Stadium to the Sea” route, said he welcomed the half marathon to L.A.

“We at the L.A. Marathon are excited about anything that improves the health and wellness of everyone in our great city,” Pillar said.

The Rock 'n' Roll series races are known for their entertaining routes, and the L.A. version will feature live bands, themed water stations and cheerleaders along the course. The series began in 1998 in San Diego, and there are now 14 events.

“They’ve found a niche,” said John Bingham, a columnist for Runner’s World magazine who will be an announcer at the race. “The idea of competing is not as important as the social experience, and I think they’ve captured that.”

The 2010 race will utilize the existing point-to-point course that takes runners from Griffith Park near the Los Angeles Zoo, along the L.A. River, down Sunset Boulevard, near the edge of Echo Park Lake and finishes at the Los Angeles Civic Center.

-- Baxter Holmes