LA Marathon 2020

On Sunday, I ran my first LA marathon and my 15th marathon overall. I decided on the LA marathon as one of my close friends from Ken’s Business School class lives there and we decided to run it together. It was a glorious day — made even better to be with a good friend in a spectacular setting. WHY DON’T I LIVE IN LA????


Bib pick up downtown. All I wanted was a shot with some palm trees, and my friend, Katie, was a good Instagram Husband and took a million shots for this one. YOLO.

The marathon took place on Sunday so the day before, we went down the street (to the ocean — literally less than a mile away from her house) and went on an east 3 mile run. Man, how amazing would it be to have this as your daily run?!?!?!

We carbo loaded all day Saturday. On Friday night, we went to my new favorite restaurant, Gjuelina, and loved it so much, that we went back for lunch on Saturday. It was my heaven of pizzas and vegetables galore.

We met a very famous dog, Aspen the Mountain Pup who has 291K followers on IG. INSANE! People kept stopping the dog left and right and recognizing it — only in LA.

Race morning. 3:30 am.

Throw away clothes in the kitchen and us eating our breakfast.

Despite the LA traffic that morning (crazy accident on I-10), we made it to the start.

Start line. Sadly, my only picture of the actual race. Even though I carry my phone the whole run, and I wanted to take pictures along the way, I didn’t for whatever reason. It was a gorgeous and HARD route. Who knew LA was not flat? So many hills.

My new friend, Justin. We ran side by side from mile 3-22. We never spoke except two times when he (and then I) fell back. We motivated each other to come keep up with one another. Having him side by side with me made all the difference mentally. At mile 22, I went ahead, but he found me at the end of the race to thank me and say how much it meant to him to have me by him. He said that this was a big marathon for him — 20th marathon and the year he is turning 50 — and that at mile 3, when we started at the same pace and passing the same people, that it was a sign. These types of stories make all the difference to me and really helped me throughout the whole run. Justin is a dean at Dartmouth and lives in Vermont with his family, so yes of course, I invited him and his family to stay with us if ever in NYC.

Post race, pre food, all I ever want is champagne and….

Nachos. Best nachos I have had in a long time.

movie and rest


Thank you to my amazing friend for hosting me and being the most fun, funny, loving and wonderful friend. If only we lived closer together…….Then I took the red eye home back to NYC. It was almost more painful than the run itself. And it took me almost as long to get back to Katie’s house from the marathon as it did to run the race. But I did see Gwyneth Paltrow — so it made it all worth it. My race time was a 3:14 — my personal record — and all I wanted was to break 3:15, and I did it. I am happy and proud. So very happy. And of course, I know I can be even faster…….Chicago 2020 here I come.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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  1. Congratulations on your PR, that’s amazing!!! + I don’t know whats cooler.. seeing Gwyneth Paltrow or meeting a beautiful (famous) goldie!

  2. Wow! What an incredible accomplishment and trip. This is truly inspiring. Btw those nachos look delicious. Perhaps a recipe to share?

  3. Not only did you get to achieve your incredible accomplishment but you also met a famous dog! Omg, what an amazing self-fulfilling trip 🙂

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