Kranz Intermediate and Madrid Middle School Marathon Runners Honored
May 9, 2014 • 614 views
Strong minds and strong bodies, that’s what members of the Kranz Intermediate School and Madrid Middle School Students Run L.A. (SRLA) teams have. Displaying unwavering courage, determination, endurance, and strength the athletes from Kranz and Madrid successfully participated in the 29th annual Los Angeles Marathon as part of the SRLA program. Twenty-six students from Madrid and 23 from Kranz were among the nearly 24,000 entrants for the event held March 9.
Running the 26.2 miles from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica, the students not only learned what it takes to finish the epic marathon, but discovered that hard work and determination will get them across any finish line in life. The Kranz and Madrid teams began training in September and participated in several running events including 5k and 10k runs as well as half marathons leading up to the final challenge of the 26.2 mile L.A. Marathon.
“Running in SRLA takes discipline, commitment and a positive attitude,” said Merce Chavez, SRLA coach for Madrid School. “We trained 3 days a week since September and the hard work paid off. It was a very hot day and a few of us had to overcome some struggles, but we all finished the marathon and I’m so very proud of the students.”
Through participation in SRLA, students learn to set goals and feel a great sense of accomplishment when they achieve their goal of completing the 26.2 miles.
“Setting a goal and reaching it is very affirming, especially a goal like the marathon,” said Chavez. “The students realize that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to.”
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the SRLA program has grown to include 3,200 students throughout California, providing them a chance to realize a goal through training for and running in the marathon. SRLA provides student runners 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.
“We couldn’t be prouder of our student runners,” said Alice Shum and Jacqueline Hernandez, Kranz SRLA coaches. “They were very dedicated and loyal to the program and worked extremely hard to reach their goal of completing the marathon. They can be proud that they’ve achieved something that many people aren’t able to achieve.”
Teachers, parents and coaches delight in the transformations that occur in the student runners as they gain confidence, find self-esteem, shed insecurity, and learn to believe in themselves.
SRLA – Marathon Runners Honored
“We appreciate the opportunity to have our students participate in the SRLA program and it is wonderful to see them work hard and discover their unlimited potential,” said Kranz principal, Ray Andry. “These students successfully accomplish a feat many adults couldn’t do. They come away with such a sense of accomplishment and learn that if they can run the L.A. Marathon then anything is possible!”
Along the marathon course, Kranz and Madrid staff members and parents could be found encouraging the students, providing refreshments and cheering them on.
“Our parent volunteers were wonderful,” said Hernandez. “At mile 16 one of our moms had refreshments for us and seeing a familiar face really inspired our kids and pumped them up to continue their journey and finish the marathon.”
Madrid eighth grader, Brian Arellano-Aguilar was glad he participated on Madrid’s SRLA team.
“Being in SRLA taught me responsibility and showed me about setting a goal and working hard to achieve it. I learned with hard work, determination and focus I can reach my goals.”
The student runners were honored by the Mountain View School District Board of Education for their outstanding achievement. Board members commended the students for their tremendous accomplishment and thanked the coaches, teachers and volunteers who worked so diligently to train the students. Special recognition was given to Ignacio Alvarado, MVSD bus driver who at 73 years of age trained and successfully completed the 26.2 mile marathon, being an inspiration to not only the students, but everyone throughout the District.
“Congratulations to all the students and adults who ran the marathon and thanks to all the coaches and volunteers who helped them achieve their goal,” said Mary Espinoza, MVSD’s Board of Education president. “We are so proud of all of you for your achievement and for representing your schools and the district so well.”
Proudly wearing their L.A. Marathon medals and “Marathon Finisher” sweatshirts, the students agreed that completing the marathon was a life-changing experience, and as a result they all have a sense of pride and confidence that can never be taken away.