38 and counting: Rick Wallace completes L.A. Marathon again

Rick Wallace poses for a photo after finishing the L.A. Marathon in 5 hours, 57 minutes, and 45 seconds. He finished in 5:57:23 last March. Contributed photo.

Rick Wallace’s athletic calendar is pretty full.

The 65-year-old began the week by playing in a seniors league baseball game and then competed in tennis and softball leagues the following days. 

Wallace, a former Malibu Times contributor, has been taking to the diamond and court much more recently since he retired from real estate. However, he still found time in his calendar to run in the 38th annual Los Angeles Marathon on March 19.

Wallace has completed the 26.2-mile spectacle annually since its inception in 1986. He didn’t train for this year’s marathon as much as he prepared for the race in past years, but still looked forward to crossing the finish for the 38th time. 

“It’s a good achievement,” Wallace noted. 

He was one of 20,000 people, including 18 Malibuites, that laced up running sneakers to participate in the marathon. 

Wallace finished the endurance spectacle in five hours, 57 minutes, and 45 seconds. He finished in 5:57:23 last March. 

Some of the speediest Malibu residents in the race included Andrew Litak, 37; Dashiell Ross, 32; Garrett Muscatel, 25; Ethan Pascual; and Thomas Pentz, 44. They each finished the marathon in just below or around four hours. 

Jemal Yimer of Ethiopia won the men’s division in 2:13:13. Stacy Ndiwa of Kenya was first to finish the race in the women’s division with a time of 2:31:00.

The race began at Dodger Stadium. The course took elite runners, wheelchair participants, and the running and walking general public through neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills before crossing the finish line in Century City. Most of the race took place on large swaths of Santa Monica, Sunset, and Hollywood boulevards. 

The marathon featured participants from all 50 states and 67 nations. 

Wallace was among the 107 legacy runners who had run in the 37 previous editions of the race to run again this month. He completed the final mile of event with two other legacy runners. 

Finishing the marathon again and participating in other sports on a weekly basis is something Wallace is proud of. 

“Doing what I have done at this age that I once considered to be ridiculously old I great,” Wallace explained. “I’m not feeling much different than I did in my 20s.” 

Wallace has completed eight other marathons since he began participating in the L.A. Marathon. His sights are set on running the 2024 version of the event and two more marathons, so when he finishes the L.A. Marathon in two years it will be his 50th overall marathon. 

Wallace acknowledged his latest marathon accomplishment with a celebratory post on Facebook — liked by over 150 — a day after the event.

In the immediate aftermath though, Wallace toasted his feat differently. 

“I took a nap,” he said. “Getting up super early in the morning and running a marathon made me tired.”