Michelle Gonzalez, Reporter/Photographer

The Students Run Los Angeles (SRLA) team trained for months for the LA Marathon that finally took place on Sunday, March 19. Venice High School students met up at 4:20 a.m. at Mark Twain Middle School. The marathon was 26.2 miles beginning from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier.

The head sponsor of SRLA, teacher Michael Smith, said, “Students were pretty motivated and showing up to the practices including Saturdays.” He also said one SRLA member was injured one week prior to the race and did not compete, but all the other 27 team members completed the marathon.

A member of the SRLA team, Kevin Figueroa said, “Before the marathon, I was a bit nervous because the marathon is a very tough race. After, I felt tired and happy,” Figueroa continued. “Even though it took me seven hours and 22 minutes, it felt amazing to finish what many people don’t do.”

It was Figueroa’s fourth marathon. “I actually joined because I wanted to challenge myself. My dad told me that he started to train for the marathon and I heard my school was training for the marathon, which motivated me to join,” referring to when he first joined SRLA team in middle school.

Junior Juan Hernandez, three-year marathon runner, said he felt accomplished. “I felt great because I accomplished a goal that not many people set.” He said he’s planning to run next year as well. “I didn’t know about SRLA. I found out in an announcement (in the beginning of freshman year) and I decided to check it out. But I decided to stay because I knew it would benefit my health and I would be more fit. At the end I just enjoyed running,” continued Hernandez.

Another SRLA team member, Jason Salazar, said it was his first year running and joined because of his friends. “My friends made me join. To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it, but I went to practice all the time during the week and put some hard work into it.”

Roy Garcia said, “The marathon was a bit easy this time since it was my third one but after the 18th mile, it began getting tough.”