So after completing the Los Angeles marathon three years in a row, I got to talking with Brian and Mike about them joining me this year. After much cajoling and a bit of building up the experience, they both agreed. I soon learned that, for some people, agreeing to do something and actually doing it were different things. Brian Day, a man of virtually no physical exertion over the span of an entire lifetime, took the plunge and registered in late December. Mike Tellez, a man whose Adonis-like physique is intimidating to men and an aphrodisiac to women, continually gave his word. The day after the deadline, his response to our questions was, "I was never going to do it." So be it.




It was during the 6:00 a.m. drive to the Gold Line that the seriousness of the undertaking began to dawn on Brian.




Hazy shades of Spring bode well for 26.2-mile day.




Brian takes advantage of an old runner's trick: spraying deodorant on your feet to help avoid blisters.




On the Sierra Madre Gold Line Station bridge, Brian now began to question his decision-making skills.




And there's my beautiful Terri who showed her intelligence by driving separately so she wouldn't be forced to wait for us at the finish line.




On the train ride Brian made the first of 29 calls to Mike, though this one went to his voicemail. Each one ended with one of us calling him a pussy. Every. Single. Time.




Terri, ever the intrepid athlete, used the stairs, while...




...Brian and I took advantage of the escalator. As Brian said, he only had 26.4 miles in him for the day so he needed to conserve that extra 0.2.




A shot of the masses at the starting line from Universal Studios across the 101 freeway.




And this is what it looked like from the crowd.




Chasing butterflies.




The anxious crowd.




A call to Mike. His voicemail, again.




Two bad mother-- Shut your mouth!




I'm not sure if the close-up of the back hair is worse...




...or the full barefoot shot.




Looking at this guy all inked up, sporting the cool locs and punkish hair do gives on the impression that he is pure hipster. That is until I spotted the cassette he was popping in his Sony WalkMan. Now I had to wonder: was the dude being ironic with the Old Navy vest?




Damn Skippy!




I love the look on the locals' faces watching the madness of 26,000 people making the conscious, premeditated choice to pay $100 to wake up before sunrise on a Sunday morning to run/walk/crawl over 26 miles.




Per marathon tradition, at the start of the race runners discarded their extra layers by throwing them into trees as they passed. The four blue hats are actually in mid-air.



Everybody now, "I Love L.A."




Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was at the starting line, but I was disappointed that marathon-regular Muhammed Ali was a no-show.




Look at how far ahead of the pack we are.




Life: it's all relative.



Mile 0.25... yes, that's essentially one lap around the track.




Universal City.




Brian threw his hands up at Mile 1 and yelled, "I made it!", much to the amusement of those around us.



Everybody Mariachi!




It should have come to no surprise that at our 22 minute mile pace...




...we were going to get passed by old ladies.




I hope the cop was yelling at this kid not only for having his bike on the marathon course, but also for his ridiculous outfit.




The Hollywood Bowl.




The lady at the bus stop reminded me of the old man in Ghost World that waited for a bus on a discontinued route.




In preparing for the marathon I gave Brian all the advice I had, including on proper attire. He paid good money for running socks and a special shirt (he chose orange) and underwear so his nipple and nuts wouldn't end up a bleeding mess. 2 1/2 miles into the marathon he admitted he had doubted me on one part and needed to rectify his mistake. For a hint, check the ground.




Yes, he had begun chafing, so we had to veer off the course and duck into as park so he could change his chonies. This, of course, begs the question of whether he was going to carry these things for the next 24 miles.




This was going to be some homeless guy's lucky day.




What the hell was this truck doing here?




In case you were wondering, we were just past Mile 3.




Making the turn at Hollywood and Highland.




No bathroom breaks necessary for this guy.




This guy came out just for me.




You may have noticed from the other pictures that Brian forgot his sunglasses. No problem when Providence has your back. We found some suh-weeeet Elvis shades lying in the gutter on Hollywood Blvd. The King may be dead but he was watching over us this day.




Homeless people with creepy ventriloquist dummies. There's a screenplay here somewhere.




22-minute mile pace still intact.




Need inspiration to keep going? Stop off at the poetry station.



Watch and listen.




Your shot of poetry wearing off? Hit the ice cream cart.




Stunned at the discovery of his retarded ice cream, it was clear that Brian forgot the first rule of patronizing such an "establishment": Caveat Emptor, Canus Femalus! (Buyer Beware, Bitch!)




I, however, was satisfied (although I can't explain what's going on with my lips).




Two hours in and still going strong.




A Hot Dog on a Stick crew. This is what makes the Los Angeles Marathon so unique.




Making lemonade.




When Brian saw the West Hollywood cheerleaders he told me to take a picture with them. I pretended I didn't hear him and pulled out my camera, directing him to get between them. Suckah!




Along the way Brian found an unopened miniature bottle of Blue Ice vodka. (Bonus points to Shaft for resembling the poster for the the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.




Naturally he opened it. He even dared me to dare him to take a sip. It needs to be pointed out that this is the same guy who feels the effects of one beer and begins slurring his words after two. I explained to him that I was responsible for his well being on this adventure and that I could not look into his wife's eyes if something happened to him because he got drunk off a bottle of booze found in a Los Angeles city gutter.




So I performed a radical intervention by knocking the Czarist firewater from his hand. You can measure the force of my swing by the length of the splash marks. Brian will thank me in the morning.




Entering Little Korea found me cold-lampin' with the shorties.




And maybe even experience the local delicacies at one of their restaurants. Wait a minute...




A combination of being a bit parched, but tired of the water/Gatorade tables, it was snowcone time.




I hope a spell check is "comming soon."




Do you think Blue Ice vodka would do?




10 miles without a problem.




This was not the case for everyone, though.




A scene that would be repeated many times this day.




Ice cream and snowcones take their toll.




This guy came for the social scene as we watched him over and over again attempt to strike up conversations with people. I walked up behind him just as he was saying to this lady, "When I got out of jail in '73..." Ain't nuthin' but a G-thang, baby."




13 miles down. Of course, 13.2 miles to go. Fack.




A sign of things to come.




Some dude in Mayan/Incan/Aztec garb.




I appreciate his efforts to hide his buffalo wing and soda for the photo.




The site of the Coliseum reenergized Brian.




We hadn't seen a time clock in a while and now we understood why: we were so far back they were taking things down.




Fight on!




Another runner bites the dust while Brian calls Mike a pussy for the 16th time.




Near starvation, Brian was drawn to the Colonel's 11 herbs and spices.




"I'll have two of everything."




The Chicken Snacker combo. Yeah, booooyyy!




20 minutes later we were back in the race, although the empty freeway on/off ramp was super creepy.



Welcome to the Los Angeles Zombie Marathon.




Team Orange.




More than 15 miles down and I'm still hamming it up. Mr. Beer Gut in the background ought to be doing a bit more walking.




WWJED? (What Would Jesus Escandon Do?)
Side note: Dear God, I do not endorse Brian's pose. Sincerely, Eric.




The clean-up crew was slowly catching up to us.




OK, maybe "slowly" was a poor word choice.





Weeks before the marathon I told Brian that if he simply made it 18 miles I would treat him to a steak dinner at Lawry's. I underestimated my friend.




An homage to Kobe in front of his office.




As the L.A. streets were being reopened...




...it was a strange feeling to be passing through other people's daily lives.




Come on , shake your body baby, do the conga.




By Mile 20 the distance was taking its toll on Brian. Yes, the mind was willing but the body began to revolt.




To get an idea of how slow Brian was moving at this point this was one of three different homeless guys that actually tried to motivate him to finish the race.




Brian suggested we stop off at this bar for a few minutes. The security guard not only asked for ID but also frisked us. I didn't think much of it because this was a more seamy area of L.A. and, really, one can never be too safe. As we entered I saw that it looked like your run-of-the-mill dive bar. But Brian was a bit confused, mumbling something about girls. Unbeknownst to me Sam's Hof Brau is an all-day strip bar and we just happened to walk in at the one minute when the ladies were taking a much-needed break. As we walked outside Brian complained to the guard about the lack of entertainment. Just then a well-endowed lady came to the doorway and attempted to entice us back inside by covering herself with only the curtain (it can be seen in the photo) but showing ample cleavage and sticking out a long leg wearing a stiletto heel (that cannot be seen because I was too scared to pull out my camera). Needless to say, I was the hell outta there.




Mile 21 and we were losing ground to the city sanitation trucks.




Mmmmm, menudo.




Brian was still laughing at his trickery when we passed a more obvious establishment catering to gentlemen.




Brian was not amused by the fact that we were actually walking away from downtown L.A., AKA, the finish line.




On the bridge overlooking the railroad tracks I caught a couple of dudes adding their artistic touches to the city.




Finally we were (very slowly) heading in the right direction.



I filmed this guy to show how slow our pace truly was. Not only did he pass us, we were passed earlier by a guy leading his developmentally-disabled friend/brother by a leash, then later (I swear I am not making this up) we passed by a blind man. Yes, it was a long day.




The 6th Street Bridge is about ten stories high. Zooming in on this shot reveals...




...the dog from The Sandlot?




An apple sat on a railroad tracks, feeling mad and cross. Along came the 7:45...toot, toot, applesauce.




Is that a chicken hawk on the microphone?




This makes up for whatever I missed at Sam's Hof Brau.




Brian couldn't make it across the street before the light changed. Here he almost gets run over. Later an MTA bus honked at him and Brian pulled a Tiananmen Square and stood in front of it with both middle fingers raised.




These people were both very excited and inspirational.




A downtown L.A. sunset.




I don't know, but I have to admit I'm a little afraid.




LAPD on pimped out Segways.




At least they're not coming for us.




This sight is just a cryin' shame. Why? Well, Brian and I have a dream to someday own one of these old movie theaters so we can show really cool movies in much the same style as New Beverly in L.A. or the The Rialto in South Pas. You can still see the old Warner Bros. logo crudely hidden by the diamond. Pathetic. If one of us ever wins the lottery this place is ours.




At this point, hope was all Brian had left.




This picture is significant not only because the end is near but also that No Stopping sign now hangs in my classroom..




The taillights at the end of the tunnel.




Brian Day, soon to be a marathon finisher.



Victory!




Brian has his timing chip removed.




A Brian was receiving his medal he said, "Even Chewie didn't get one of these." Classic.




Who's the funny white guy _that's a sex machine and totally fly? _SHAFT! Ya damn right!




A final message for Mike Tellez.




We ate some food and headed home at 7:00 p.m. Now the real race began. Would we make it home before the trains stopped running at midnight?




Brian did not appreciate me taking pictures of his extremely slow gait.




A look at the 210 freeway through the Gold Line grate.




Back at Brian's Matt showed off the bling.




Sarah took her turn.




The Day family.




At home my only "injury" (besides the obligatory blisters) was a strange bruise on the top of my left foot.




The final time: 10 hours and three minutes. I don't see it as 20,000 people beating me but 6,000 still behind me.



On marathonfoto.com I took screen grabs of the following pictures.