Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Si Se Puede! Yes You Can! (LA Marathon, Memorial Day 2009)

Finish Line photo
cruising along around mile 10
start line
I ran the LA Marathon yesterday in 3:53:04 (my 3rd best marathon time ever) with my friends Justin Davis (Brea, CA) who finished with my identical time and Cletis Rogers who finished in 3:59:34. Clete was with Justin and I until around mile 21. I finished 1,205 out of 14,139 finishers (according to the website but that seems kind of high).

It was a fun and thrilling 26.2 mile "block party" on the streets of downtown Los Angeles. I saw and ran through so much cultural and ethnic diversity. I heard much more Spanish (and other languages) on the sides of the street than English! There were so many little hispanic children cheering "Si Se Puede! Yes You Can!" That made it really fun. The above photo was taken a few minutes before the start in the jam-packed starting line crowd.

ONE MORE NOTE: Something else I remembered about the LA Marathon that was really significant that I wanted to mention in my report - at the start line I sure saw a lot of young students who were lined up. It started to dawn on me that there were no shorter distances and all these kids were running the full marathon! I was guessing there there weren't just hundreds, but possibly even thousands of these students running the LA Marathon. I passed literally hundreds of them in the last half (some started out running way too fast!), talking to several, and encouraging as many as I could. I was so impressed by their stamina, resolve, determination and guts. One 16 year old kid from India told me how he trained for the marathon, how many languages he spoke, what his inner-city LA school was like and how much his knees hurt at mile 21!

From the SRLA website: ...more than 3,500 students participated in Students Run L.A. These students were 12 to 19 years of age, with the majority being high school students, ages 14 to 18. The students were a diverse group: 54% were male and 46% were female; and 75% were Latino; 13% were White; 7% were Asian; 3% were Black; and 2% were Pacific Islander, Native American, or of other ethnic backgrounds.

I thought this whole Students Run LA thing was pretty special: http://www.srla.org/about.php