AIDS Project LA Runners Share Marathon Thrills, Pain

Members of AIDS Project Los Aangeles' marathon team share their experiences during a cold, rainy run

March 21, 2011

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They wore the same red shirts with the same logo, but members off AIDS Project LA's Team to End AIDS had different reasons for running the LA Marathon.

Runners stopped by Mile 15 and shared some of their stories Sunday. Most said they felt great, but weren't so sure about what Monday morning would bring.

"I lost my brother to AIDS in 1991," Madonna Cacciatore. "I'm running for him.

"I feel great. We've been pummeled. It's been raining the entire course. I'm going to have a very long ice bath tomorrow."

As for the day after, Cacciatore said she felt great psychologically and emotionally.

"I'm still here, just don't ask me to walk," she said Monday.

She said her team raised $280,000.

The race started at Dodger Stadium on dry pavement, but downpours and driving winds developed 30 minutes into the race. There was ankle-deep water in Brentwood, and cold, wet winds lashed the finish line -- not ideal conditions for Will Stewart's first marathon.

"It was one of those things on my bucket list. This year, I got the APLA pamphlet. I'm not getting any younger. It's not getting any easier.

"The run has been ok. I feel somewhat numb from all the coldness and the rain."

In APLA's endurance training program, runners are trained for marathons, half-marathons and triathlons.

"It's a great and important fundraiser for AIDS Project Los Angeles," said APLA executive director Craig Thompson. "These 160 folks are going to raise more than $250,000 for our programs and services to help us end the AIDS epidemic in Los Angeles."

Donate: AIDS Project Los Angeles