SRLA Teams Honored by the Board

SRLA Teams Honored by the Board

     “If you want to run, run a mile.  If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon.” This is exactly what 41 students from Kranz Intermediate School and Madrid Middle School did as part of their school’s Students Run LA (SRLA) program.  The above quote, by Czechoslovakian long-distance runner and three time Olympic gold medalist, Emil Zátopek rings true for the student runners, as conquering the 26.2 mile Los Angeles Marathon proved to be life changing.

      “Training for and running the marathon was definitely hard, but so worth it,” said Jennifer Jimenez, 7th grader.  “Finishing the race taught me that I can push myself to the limit and with hard work and determination I can achieve anything in life.”

       Led by their school coaches, David Dorf from Madrid and Alice Shum from Kranz, as well many other assistants and volunteers, the student teams trained for 6 ½ months logging over 500 miles with practices, races and mini-marathons leading up to the March 18 marathon. 

       “These kids did a fantastic job training and each one of them finished the marathon,” said Dorf.  “We are extremely proud of their efforts and their perseverance.  Over the past 6 ½ months they’ve run enough miles to equal running to Las Vegas and back, and that is truly impressive.”

        Both schools have offered the SRLA program to students for several years.  The Los Angeles based organization provides students throughout the L.A. area the chance to realize a goal through training for and running in the marathon.  The SRLA organization provides students in the program with two pairs of sneakers and race day uniforms, as well as entrance into mini-marathons and other races prior to the L.A. Marathon.  Over 3,200 students from 175 schools participated in SRLA this year.  

         Running the iconic “Stadium to the Sea” course, the students ran from Dodger Stadium to the Pacific Ocean passing many of L.A.’s worldfamous landmarks.  Bands, cheerleaders and other entertainers were stationed at mile markers throughout the race providing motivation for the runners.  Kranz, Madrid and District staff members, as well as family members gathered at mile marker 22 to encourage the students and cheer them on as they closed in on the finish line.

     The SRLA teams were recently honored by Mountain View School District’s Board of Education for their outstanding achievement.

         “What an amazing accomplishment!” said Jacqueline Saldaña, MVSD’s Board of Education Clerk.  “Congratulations to all the students and adults who ran the marathon and thank you to all the coaches and volunteers who helped the students achieve their goal.  We are so proud of all of you for your personal achievement and for representing our schools and district so well.”

       In addition to the stellar athletes, the Board members also acknowledged the coaches and parent volunteers. 

     “We appreciate the time and effort of the coaches and volunteers who provided this extraordinary experience for our students,” said Adam Carranza, Board Member.  “It is a phenomenal achievement and one they will be proud of for a lifetime.”

     Madrid’s team dedicated their run to teacher and former SRLA coach, Merce Chavez who is ill and unable to participate this year.  The group wore headbands with #Team Merce and carried her positivity, belief and courage with them as they made their way through the marathon course.

     The accomplished marathoners proudly wore their L.A. Marathon medals around their neck and “Marathon Finisher” sweatshirts to the Board Meeting where they received certificates and accolades for their achievement.  The students agreed that completing the marathon was a life-changing experience that challenged them mentally and physically, and required a lot of time and sacrifice.  But, in the end, showed them that they are capable of reaching their goals and that nothing is impossible!

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