Running the Los Angeles Surf City Marathon While On A World Cruise

He is currently on a world cruise, but being at sea didn’t stop this avid marathoner from running in the Surf City Marathon, in Los Angeles (LA) earlier this month.

Dr Reiter at the LA Surf City Marathon Race Expo. (Picture from Dr Anton Reiter).

Dr Reiter at the LA Surf City Marathon Race Expo. (Picture from Dr Anton Reiter)

Dr. Anton Reiter, 60, is an avid runner and he has finished 179 marathons to date, including five ultra marathons. The chairman of the 100 Marathon Club in Austria, Anton completes one marathon almost every weekend so he doesn’t need to train for his marathon races.

I recently interviewed the seasoned marathoner, who lives in Vienna, about his experiences in the Surf City race.

Anton, what made you run in the Surf City Marathon?

The idea is to run an official marathon race during my current world cruise and I found that this was the only marathon event that closely coincided with one of the stopovers – during my cruise.

The avid marathoner is all hyped up to start the race! Dr Reiter at the LA Surf City Marathon Race Expo. (Picture from Dr Anton Reiter).

The avid marathoner is all hyped up to start the race! Dr Reiter at the LA Surf City Marathon Race Expo. (Picture from Dr Anton Reiter).

How long did you take to complete this marathon?

I finished in 4hours 41minutes and 56seconds. My goal was to come closer to 4hours 30minutes, but we had a strong wind from the east and I had to brave different weather conditions, ranging from being very cold at the start (at 6:30 am) to having much warmer weather at 10am.

As you were on a cruise, what sort of training did you do for the marathon?

Leading up to the race, the ship sailed through the Panama-channel, then to Puerto Vallarta/Mexico. It was pretty hot along the coastline, so the members of our running group did not train in the mornings. Instead, I went to the gym and had some workouts there. In fact I didn’t train for the marathon, I just had the will to do it and of course relied on my basic knowledge in regard to the physical conditions. I ran 54 marathons last year – with no training.

Pacemakers lead the way, to allow runners to achieve their desired timings. Dr Reiter at the LA Surf City Marathon Race Expo. (Picture from Dr Anton Reiter).

Pacemakers lead the way, to allow runners to achieve their desired timings. Dr Reiter at the LA Surf City Marathon Race Expo. (Picture from Dr Anton Reiter).

How did you find running in the marathon, compared to other races?

The surf city marathon is a famous race with the motto, “surf, sun and run”. More than 10,000 runners participated in the half and full marathon. I was impressed by the fact that runners took part and were determined to finish – the Americans love to be sporty.

What was the most memorable part of your run?

The organization was perfect. We had lots of water stations offering plenty of energy gels, bananas, isotonic drinks, bretzels and other nutrition snacks. The stations were manned by volunteers – 90 % were young people from schools. The kids were shouting “good job” or “you can do it”.

I was most impressed by the fact that so many runners who never could run the full distance, were at the start. The course was open for more than seven hours, and the organisers waited until the last participant/walker had reached the finish line before closing the race. The motto seems to be “just take part”, even if thousands needed four or more hours just for the half marathon. This is really impressive – in Europe, many (marathon) races close after five hours.

Runners celebrating their achievements after finishing the Surf City Marathon.

Runners celebrating their achievements after finishing the Surf City Marathon. Dr Reiter at the LA Surf City Marathon Race Expo. (Picture from Dr Anton Reiter).

How would you rate your Los Angeles race experience?

The medal we got is very nice – a painted mini surfboard is fixed on it.

My plan is to become a so-called 50 stater (to complete one marathon in each of the 50 states in the USA) once I retire from work. I have run marathons in the USA – but I still have 45 to go – to be a 50-stater. I consider the Surf City Marathon as one step closer to collecting more marathons away from home.

What was the most challenging part of the race?

The most challenging part of the race for me was the last four miles after the turn around – on the way back to the start. A strong wind blew and because the course was quite steep, I had problems with my new trail running shoes – they did not seem ideal for this.

LA Surf City Marathon medal 2014.

LA Surf City Marathon medal 2014. Dr Reiter at the LA Surf City Marathon Race Expo. (Picture from Dr Anton Reiter).

Would you take part in the Surf City Marathon again?

I will not fly over the Atlantic and the USA continent for a further marathon in California – one is enough for the 50 stater ambition. But if I lived in the area I would of course run any marathon here.

Would you recommend the Surf City Marathon for those who are thinking of doing a race in the USA?

California has a high reputation, so to run a marathon here counts a lot. But the most famous one is the New York City Marathon.

When and where is your next marathon on the cruise?

This will be the invitational trail marathon on March 15th in Singapore organized by the F1 Runners Team. I am also in contact with a Professor of mathematics in Honolulu about a friendship marathon there.

More About Marathoner Dr Anton Reiter

web counter
web counter

Share this page with your friends!

Leave a Comment