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Best Places to Watch the 2012 L.A. Marathon

A list of some popular places to watch the 2012 Honda L.A. Marathon.

For the third consecutive year, one of the largest marathons in the world is expected to bring more than 25,000 runners through Santa Monica next Sunday.

But even if you’re not running, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it live and in person.

"For one Sunday a year, the city can really embrace the marathon runners," said Mahmoud Juma, owner of Arch & Sole Running Outfitters on La Brea.

Click here to learn how to upload your photos of the marathon directly from your smart phone to Patch.

Runners of the 2012 Honda Los Angeles Marathon’s “Stadium of the Sea Course” will start off at Dodger Stadium and will cross the finish line near the intersections of Ocean and California Avenues.

Here is a list of a few popular places where spectators can view the race:

San Vicente Blvd. and Barrington Ave.

One of the favorite meeting spots for Track Club Los Angeles members to watch the race is at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, said Garrett Hamilton, manager at Top on Top in Santa Monica. Hundreds of people gather at the coffee shop to enjoy the race from this location, which is around five miles from the finish line, he said.

Hollywood Blvd. and Vine St.

This location tends to be super packed but is a very fun place to be, said Hamilton. Thousands of people gather in Hollywood to catch a view of the runners as they make their way toward Santa Monica Pier. According to organizers, participants will spend a majority of their race in Hollywood as they run alongside the Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and other iconic locations.

The finish line at California Ave. and Ocean Ave.  

The best place has to be the end because “you get to see the runners who finish and you get to really witness what it’s like,” said Hamilton. The finish can be very emotional, he said.

Juma agrees with Hamilton -- Ocean Avenue is where the drama will be.

"Maybe the runners will get their last amount of inspiration there when they see the finish line," Juma said.

(Editor's note: in Santa Monica before you leave home.)

“I like to stand at the finish line and watch the runners complete the journey,” said Mike Davis, five year Santa Monica resident. Last year, Davis stood in the pouring rain supporting a friend and thousands of other runners who had taken on the 26.2-mile challenge, he said.

“Watching the race gives me an inspirational feeling that cannot be explained,” Davis said. This year, he hopes for better weather, he said. 

Your favorite LA spot

Juma recommends watching the race with your favorite LA spot, whether it's the Grauman in Hollywood or right in your neighborhood.

"If you want to look iconically at what makes LA shine, for me, the backdrop is important," Juma said. "Pick a spot where you find an inspirational backdrop for LA."

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