Students Run LA- Absolutely Brilliant!

Yesterday, I went for a training run in the Santa Monica mountains, which I am quite fortunate to have literally at my doorstep.  With the LA Marathon a mere nine weeks away, I’m quite dialed in to my run training at the moment, and after my home race, I’ll be switching gears and getting ready for the 2013 triathlon season.

For me, integrating a balance of trail running, treadmill work, track sessions and, yes, a little bit of road now and then, has proven to be the formula that works best in terms of providing different training stimuli and minimizing risk of injury.  I find that if I do any of those too much, in particular running on hard, unnatural surfaces like asphalt or even worse, cement, it’s asking for trouble.

Oh, right.  Back to my point.

I typically see a variety of people on the trails: hikers, mountain bikers, joggers and friends out for a casual stroll, but it’s not that common to see kids out there.   Whether that is due to parents not getting out the door with children enough or possibly not being aware of the proximity of this amazing venue as an option for family activity, I don’t know, but it’s quite a shame.

However, yesterday proved to surprise me, in a good way.

I saw a group of about thirty young kids and what I suspect must have been their teachers, out for a training run/jog/walk (there were different groups) and all had their SRLA (Students Run LA) tee shirts on.   Granted, I was focused in on my own heart rate, pace, cadence, stride length and RPE, amongst the many other running things that I’m concentrating on during any training session, so I didn’t see them closely enough to know how old they were, but they were definitely young.

When I got home, I did a little research and found the following mission statement on their site:

“The mission of Students Run LA is to challenge at-risk secondary students to experience the benefits of goal-setting, character development, adult mentoring and improved health by providing them with a truly life-changing experience: The training for and completion of the LA Marathon® “.


I can vouch for how much being involved in sport has changed me for the better, and I can’t even begin to elaborate about how much what one learns in sport can so positively affect all other areas of one’s life.

I, for one, am signing up as a volunteer today.

How about you?

What a better way to affect change and help kids who are at risk also become healthier in addition to all the other skills they’ll learn while preparing for a race?


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