On March 18, more than seven months of hard work will finally pay off for the runners of Ánimo Pat Brown’s Students Run Los Angeles marathon club.
The club consists of 42 students and 6 teachers, which will attempt to finish the annual 26.2 miles of the LA Marathon.
These students have been preparing themselves since the beginning of the year by running one to two miles, two days a week. The runners are now up to 20 miles, which has been tremendous progress for these students, especially for those first time runners such as junior Daniel Lezama.
“I felt happy, I couldn’t believe it. I was surprised at myself, I didn’t think I was able to finish 20 miles, when I was done I told myself that if I could finish 20 miles I know I can finish 20.6 miles,” Daniel said.
Their longest run yet has been 20 miles on Saturday, February 25, when they ran in the South Bay area from Manhattan Beach up to Playa del Rey, down to Hermosa Beach and back.
“I do feel that I am ready for the marathon because I am actually aiming to have a better time than the first year,” senior and third year SRLA runner Flora Hernandez said. “I also want to accelerate instead of just staying where I was in the beginning of my first year.”
These SRLA students have worked very hard and most of them have been very proud to be part of this program. Although many students have dropped out since the beginning because it was either too hard or they could not manage their time wisely.
“I knew that if I was going to join Baseball I wouldn’t have the time to manage both SRLA and Baseball; there was no way I could be in both without them crossing over each other,” junior Juan Gomez said. One member was actually kicked out of the program–not because he was not doing what he was suppose to do, but because he had other matters to attend to that he couldn’t make it to some of the races “I got kicked out because I had a Quinceañera practice. I wasn’t able to go to the races so Ms. Hanson just kicked me out,” sophomore Jose Saucedo said.
Even though many people have dropped out or were kicked out many of them are still in it and are going all the way. Many of these students, such as Flora, have been part of SRLA for more than two years.
“This is my third year in SRLA and I feel relieved that it is going to be the last year to meet this great accomplishment,” Flora said. “I’ve had enough.”
Students who have been participating are also trying to set a new record for themselves to show a sign of improvement and achievement.“I will try to beat my time this year, because every time I finish a race it equals a great sense of accomplishment because not everyone can do it,” Flora said.
Many students also use SRLA as an after school activity that will keep them healthy. “After being in SRLA, I have literally lost 15 pounds, which has been progress for me and my body,” Daniel Lezama said. “It helps us stay in shape and it helps me relax,” junior Elizabeth Aquino said.
SRLA keeps students occupied a few days a week instead of going straight home. “I feel proud that I am part of SRLA because I am not going straight home but actually doing something after school,” freshman Exsavier Maldonado said.