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Students at HOLA know and appreciate the importance of staying active and healthy. A contingent of young runners in the Bridges middle school and PAT high school programs are currently in the midst of training for the grueling ASICS LA Marathon next March. Lizbeth, Aileen, Olympia, Itayu, Chastidy, Thomas, Pedro, and Lauro have joined Students Run LA (SRLA) after learning about the program from HOLA staff and their teachers at school. They were all inspired by the opportunity to complete such a difficult challenge, and the offer of clothes, running shoes and other freebies certainly didn’t hurt. The youth train hard every week, meeting Monday, Wednesday and Friday to to run between three and six miles, working their way up to 26.2 miles, the full distance of the race. When asked what are their favorite things about running and training for the marathon, the youth had a variety of great answers, including: “I like being outside and getting fresh air,” “I like to stay fit and healthy,” “it’s a form of expressing myself,” and “running gives me something to do besides watching TV.” All of them agreed that their biggest motivation is the sense of accomplishment they get from running such long distances, distances that are beyond the ability of the average person. They are all familiar with the obesity epidemic in America, especially among low-income families, and they try to persuade their other friends to, if not run 26 miles, do their best to stay active and healthy.

HOLA is proud to have our students join Students Run LA, whose mission 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 ASICS LA Marathon.



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