Meet Jennifer who is in her second year with Students Run LA and goes to Animo Jefferson Charter Middle School. This is her take on the event. This year 99% of all the students who started finished their goal of running the marathon, 3291 starters and 3250 finishers. That includes students and leaders. Wow!
My name is Jennifer, I’m fourteen years old and I’m an eighth grader at Animo Jefferson Middle School. I've been in SRLA for two years and it has been an awesome experience! I've created so many memories with my past two teams which was one part of why I joined SRLA. We have been practicing for a long time and have attended many events of running. From the first race I realized that it was going to be a fun time working to get to the marathon.
The day finally came for SRLA which made me feel very emotional not just because it was my second marathon but because I was struggling with a pinched nerve in my back which didn't let me practice. My hopes were lowering every single day and the marathon got closer but then I realized the many people that supported me and cheered me up. So as the marathon got closer my hopes started rising which started making me more positive. Then the day finally came and well I realized that the important thing was to complete the marathon for all our hard work with my team would pay off.
I’m also a journalist, which gives me more time to write and express myself, including about the past events from SRLA. As a team we have gone to the races from 3-18 miles plus the marathon (26.2 miles) and other events like ice skating, helping out little kids as they become runners, uniting with other schools to eat, having tough workouts, practicing with different schools, running to different places, and the most unforgettable moments of all were creating memories with my friends and even some people that I didn't talk to before.
The countdown started at my school, walking through the hallways and hearing my teachers and staff telling me that the marathon was a few days away. Every day made me feel so emotional. On Friday our team headed to the race expo to get our bibs and things for the marathon and after that we went to eat at a restaurant which was a fun time having with them one day before the marathon came.
On Friday night I had to sleep early and I just couldn't stop thinking of the marathon. Eventually, Sunday came and I woke up thinking if I would complete it. Waiting on the bus was making me feel so nervous and when we got to Dodgers Stadium it was kind of sad because we realized that it was the last SRLA event we were going to have as middle schoolers. Warming up for the 26.2 miles pumped me up and made me feel scared yet kind of relaxed. The race started and I feared that my pinched nerve in my back would come back and that it wouldn't let me run. Like around mile 15 it started hurting so I had to stop and walk part of it. Then I started having my English teacher’s voice in my mind: her saying “mind over matter” which helped me a lot and I continued to run but I had to run slow.
Photo by: Alejandro Guzman | Someone in a costume running.
I would like to thank all my coaches that have supported me throughout the SRLA year! Mostly, my coach, Carl Finer, because he has been there for our whole team and has took his time just to spend time with us. We look up to him because he has ran for a long time and has kept up with us no matter what.
Photo by: Alejandro Guzman | Carl Finer, SRLA coach running in the green SRLA singlet.
Next year I go to high school, so I won’t have the same team with me, but I know that they can count on me whenever because my SRLA middle school memories, I will treasure them and never forget about it. Well now I come realizing that the phrase that many people used, “Nothing’s Impossible” is actually true.
Photo by: Alejandro Guzman | People running, about to finish 26.2 miles.
Photo by: Jennifer Guzman A view of Santa Monica Beach.