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VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
Los Angeles Marathon
Photos from the 2010 LA Marathon
Arzenia Redcross, Chief of the Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation and Treatment Program
"I have been running marathons for many years and I’ve run over 30 of them. For the past three years, I have suffered from injuries and haven’t been able to participate. However, I became excited when I learned of the new course, and that it would be going through the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center grounds. So, I trained differently and smarter to avoid re-injuring myself, and it worked!
In my opinion, this was the best route the LA Marathon has ever created. I was very excited and got a burst of energy when I ran through the campus. Along the way, I had the opportunity to give my running group a history lesson and tour of the campus to charge them up."
Larry Foster, SACC Voluntary Services
"I got involved in the LA Marathon to challenge myself and to see if I could cross the finish line within a decent time. I also participated to show other people with disabilities that you don’t have to be a spectator just because you have a disability; you can be involved no matter what. You can do anything you put your mind to, just do it a little differently. If you can finish the marathon (disabled or not), you can do anything.
As I turned the corner going into the south gate of the West LA VA Medical Center, I saw all the flags posted along the marathon route on VA grounds and immediately felt a surge of pride; pride in being a Veteran and a VA employee. Seeing all my friends and coworkers at Miles 20 and 21 kept me going through one of the most difficult parts of the course. If you make it this far into a marathon, there are a lot of thoughts racing through your mind, and it’s hard not to get a little emotional, but you have to stay focused on the task at hand and keep pushing yourself. It’s not only a physical race, but a mental and emotional one. Your body wants to give up and quit but your mind and heart keep pushing you forward. There is a great tug-of-war going on inside.
Going up the hill under Wilshire Boulevard and turning left at the chapel was brutal. However, the flags, friends, and our commitment to help heal wounded Veterans motivated me."
Laurence Rubenstein, Director GRECC
"I have been running marathons for about five years, and even though I ran the LA Marathon five years ago, I wanted to run this one because of the new route and the involvement of the VA.
Running through the West LA VA Medical Center campus was a wonderful experience and it was great to see how well the VA team prepared for the event. The flags were inspiring, and all the volunteers were great."
Robert McLarty, Dental Clinic Coordinator/Lab Director
"When I found out that the 25th LA Marathon included specially-chosen historic and cultural sites across Los Angeles, I couldn’t resist doing it. Running past Hollywood and Vine, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, right down Rodeo Drive onto Wilshire Miracle Mile, and past Century City were some of the unforgettable highlights.
I started training for it in December, which is really late, and although I had been running nine miles weekly, I quickly bumped that up to 30 miles a week.
Reaching Mile 21 on the WLA VA grounds indicated I was getting close to the end of the course, but going up the hill under Wilshire Boulevard on Bonsall Avenue almost did me in. I was on such a runner’s high as I entered the grounds I was able to make it all the way through the VA, but was exhausted when I got to San Vicente.
Running through the West LA VA campus was also an emotional experience for me. Seeing friends and coworkers cheering us on, was so encouraging. I enjoyed the American flags lining the route – what a nice patriotic gesture.
The LA Marathon is now one more activity I can check off my “bucket list.” This is the fourth and last marathon that I will participate in – as of February 17, 2010, I finished 40 years of service here at the VA."