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Students Run LA run the LA marathon

Updated: Apr 8

Photo from Elizabeth Clark

On Sunday, March 17th, the famous LA marathon took place. The marathon was put on by the McCourt Foundation and has been a Los Angeles tradition since 1986. Over 20,000 participants ran in the race, pushed passed impossible odds, and completed the full 26.2 miles through determination and grit. Among those participants are some of Eagle Rock’s very own students from the club Students Run LA. 

“Students Run LA is an amazing club,” says 9th grader Charles-Henry Lubatti, who was a marathon finisher himself. “It gives students an opportunity they would never get otherwise.” If entering individually, participants of the marathon must be legal adults, at least 18 years old. Teenagers aged 16-17 are allowed to run if their parent or guardian signs a waiver. This means that all kids 15 and under wouldn’t be allowed to participate in this cherished event - unless they are running through Students Run LA. The nonprofit program exists in schools across the state and is instrumental for many students who consider long-distance running a passion. 

Photo from Elizabeth Clark

The students in Students Run LA have been training hard for the marathon; they started with practices two days a week while they were still working on building strength and endurance. As they began to run longer distances, the club added a weekend practice as well. Although it was hard work, everyone there had the motivation to show up every day and train as hard as they could. The club ran together up to a distance of 18 miles, still an amazing feat, but short several miles of an official marathon length. With March 17th approaching steadily, the runners continued to train as hard as they could to prepare themselves for the full distance they would have to face. 

Photo from Elizabeth Clark

On the day of the race, the students had to meet at the school super early in the morning, getting to the Dodger Stadium by 4 am since the race started at 7. This was the moment everyone had been training for; all those hours of running and practicing would finally be paying off. Seventh grader Kazuo Andrade ran the marathon for the first time this year;  “My highest point in the race was probably around mile 18 because I saw my family,” they said. “My lowest point was around the 20s. There's a turnaround and I just got really tired. It wasn't fun at that point.” Maya Rose Yu, a seventh grader as well, agrees. Her highest point was when she saw her family, but the hardest part came during the final stretch of the run. 

Photo from Karen Montes

“A marathon can be broken up into two parts: The first 20 and the last 6,” remarks Charles Henry. “The first part you know you can do, you’ve trained for it and you’re full of adrenaline. But the last part is where you start to deteriorate, your body gets tired and you’re drained mentally. You can’t even really process how it feels until a bit later. Like, when I finish I get my medal and just try to find a place to sit down. It doesn’t really hit me until a few hours later when I realize wow, I just ran a marathon.”

Photo by Scott Martin-Rowe
Photo by Scott Martin-Rowe

“I think I’ve gotten a lot better at blocking out my nerves,” Charles-Henry continues. “I got really nervous before my first marathon, but this year I ran my third, and now I know how to block out my stress and just focus on what I need to do.” Charles-Henry is an experienced marathon runner by now, having been training for nearly three years since seventh grade. “Crossing the finish line at my first marathon definitely felt the best, I just remember feeling so accomplished,” he notes. Maya Rose adds on as well, saying “I would definitely recommend 7th graders to complete the marathon.” It’s never too early to start pushing towards feats, even if they seem hard. Students Run LA is an amazing program; it has brought certain students of Eagle Rock closer together. It allows runners to accomplish a goal they would otherwise have to wait for. And, most importantly, it teaches you how to persevere through tough challenges, never give up, and work hard to accomplish anything you put your mind to. 

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