SRLA kicked off its 24th season of training Los Angeles middle and high school students for the LA Marathon last week with our annual SRLA Leaders Training Conference. More than 450 teachers (and a few police officers and others) volunteer to serve as SRLA Leaders to train with the students. These individuals teach subjects as varied as math, drafting, biology, and physical education, at middle or high school level. Not all are runners. However, they all share a passion for helping young people succeed. They not only run several hours a week with the students, but they also teach them about health, nutrition and appropriate training, support them through difficulties, and travel with them all over Southern California to attend weekend races. The SRLA Leaders spend on average ten to fifteen hours each week in SRLA activities. By their example and diligence, these leaders teach their students life-long lessons in effort, commitment and success.
These amazing VOLUNTEERS will begin recruiting students to SRLA when school begins later this month. Then the adventure of SRLA begins again for new and returning students…to the LA Marathon on St. Patrick’s Day next year!
We hope you will choose to support our students and their Leaders along the way.
The day was cool, crisp and clear...the sun sparkled on the Pacific Ocean at the finish line...and 99.2% of the 2,856 SRLA runners got to see that beautiful sight, as they crossed the finish line of the 2012 Honda LA Marathon on Sunday, March 18th. The SRLA students are ages 12 through 19, in 7th through 12th grades They began their training in September 2011, and continued for the 26 weeks leading up the huge event. Besides getting into terrific shape (good enough to complete a 26.2-mile marathon), they learned that hard work and discipline yield success, both at the Marathon and in life! Their attitudes towards school and their education changed; their health improved; they stayed out of trouble; and their outlook about their futures changed, as they learned to set and achieve their goals. But they say it best...as one student wrote:
“My experience with SRLA helped me do better in school and set higher standards for myself. When I entered high school in 9th grade I had a ‘careless’ lifestyle, school was unimportant to me, and my grades showed it. In 10th grade my best friend convinced me to join SRLA. Slowly my health habits started changing. I started waking up earlier, sleeping earlier, and doing better in school. For the 3 consecutive years that I was in SRLA my grades greatly improved because of SRLA. I also stayed away from drugs and alcohol. My goal now is to go to Cal State Long Beach just like my coach did."
Thank you to all of our supporters for helping us provide at-risk teenagers in Los Angeles this tremendous opportunity to participate in a glorious community event (the Honda LA Marathon) and to have the life-changing experience of training for and completing a marathon!
The Honda LA Marathon is coming up on Sunday, March 18th, and the 3,000 SRLA runners will be ready for it. They have been training at one of 165 middle and high schools around the Greater Los Angeles area since last September, building the strength and endurance to complete 26.2 miles. In the process, they have learned to enjoy running, eat more healthy foods, and set a goal and achieve it. On Sunday, February 16th, they ran in SRLA's annual 18-Mile Friendship Run at Hansen Dam Recreation Area in the northeastern San Fernando Valley. They completed two difficult loops around the park and across the dam, and are now ready for a full Marathon. Thank you for all of your support for these marvelous teenagers. Please look for them on Marathon Day! They'll all be wearing Nike Volt singlets, and should be quite visible as they run along the course. We hope you will come out and cheer them on! (And if you can't, we hope you will follow them on KTLA Channel 5.)
Our 2011-12 season is well underway. We have welcomed another 3,000 middle and high school students at 165 schools around Southern California to train with SRLA for the Honda LA Marathon next March. They have been training since September at their individual schools with their volunteer teacher/leaders, and have entered three community races: a 5K and two 10K races. They have earned their first pair of shoes and will continue to increase their mileage, as they prepare for two half marathons and the18-Mile Friendship Run. As they train, they are learning step by step that hard work and persistence lead to success, both at the Marathon and in their lives.
Check out the SRLA Billboards that are now up in Los Angeles County. They're at Olympic and Grandview near Downtown; at 228th and Western in Carson; and at White Oak and Roscoe Boulevards in the San Fernando Valley.
SRLA is kicking off our 23rd season of marathon training and mentoring for at-risk students in the Los Angeles area. Over the summer, we provided training to our volunteer teacher/leaders (the “SRLA Leaders”), who are now recruiting students to SRLA. (We will train 3,000 students over the next 26 weeks for the Honda LA Marathon next March.) This year we have 15 former SRLA students who are now teachers and SRLA Leaders of their own groups. (The photo below is of 7 of these SRLA Alumni/Leaders.)
We thank all of you for your generous support. We are looking forward to a tremendous year.
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