As the registrants for the Tommy Scott Memorial LAX Run know, a highly unusual event necessitated rescheduling the race from its original date of May 21 to June 25. After completing a 44,000-mile nautical journey from New Orleans through the Panama Canal to Marina del Rey, the 66,000-pound fuel tank known as ET-94 was scheduled to be delivered to the California Science Center on May 21 as part of a future exhibit with the retired space shuttle Endeavour. The massive tank’s trip through the airport property that Saturday morning would have greatly impacted the run by impeding the participants’ arrival and directly intersecting the race route.
Very early on May 21, the tank was loaded onto a 64-wheel trailer and started its 18-hour trek through 16 miles of Los Angeles and Inglewood surface streets. The tank’s transport drew large crowds and created quite the logistical challenge for airport travelers and motorists alike. Nonetheless, seeing ET-94 up close as it wound its way past the airport toward its new home at Exposition Park is one of those historical, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that one can only have in a diverse and dynamic city such as Los Angeles, says Marshall McClain, president of LAAPOA, one of the LAX Run’s main sponsors.
“As airport employees and Americans, LAXPD officers were excited about the opportunity to witness this event and provide support for the transport of the tank as it traveled through our jurisdiction,” he says. “Now that ET-94 has been successfully delivered to its permanent location, we are enthusiastically focusing on preparations for the June 25 race.”
Fortunately, the runners registered for the race will be moving at a much faster pace than the space shuttle’s tank, which averaged less than 1 mph during its trip across town. “With all courses certified and USATF-sanctioned, we are expecting a high turnout of elite runners,” says McClain.
The family-friendly run is a community-wide event that benefits the Tommy Scott Memorial Scholarship Fund, which for over a decade has provided outstanding young people with educational assistance to achieve their dreams. The race and memorial fund were named in honor of LAXPD Officer Tommy Scott, who died heroically on April 29, 2005, while protecting the aviation community from a man intent on crashing a vehicle into an airplane on the LAX runway.
The Saturday, June 25, event will kick off with an expo, festivities and opening ceremony prior to the half-marathon start at 7:30 a.m., followed by 7:40 a.m. 10K and 8 a.m. 5K starts. The course will begin and end at the Westchester/LAX Fire Station No. 5 at 8900 S. Emerson Ave., passing the Tommy Scott memorial site and running along the perimeter of the Los Angeles International Airport. An awards ceremony is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., and race cut-offs will be at 11 a.m.
“Officers look forward to a fun day of interacting with the community while honoring Tommy’s memory,” says McClain. “We encourage everyone to come out and join us for a meaningful event at a unique location, and to get some exercise while contributing to a great cause.”
Race registration is still open for runners. A packet pickup party and pre-registration will be held on Friday, June 24, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Road Runner Sports, 25359 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance. A $10 credit will be provided for store merchandise.
For those who want to participate in a capacity other than as a runner, volunteer opportunities are also available in a variety of areas (general setup, registration, water stations, course monitoring, post-race cleanup, etc.).
Visit laxrun.laapoa.com for further information and to register, volunteer, donate or sponsor. See you on race day!