Completes LA Marathon XXIX!
Santa Monica, Sunday March 9th
Featured Charity of the 2015 ASICS LA Marathon!
Voted LA Marathon's Most Outstanding New Charity
Special Recognition - County Supervisor Michael
2012 LA County Board of Supervisors Award Winner!
2012 Nominee CA Governors Award for Physical Fitness!
2011 Special Recognition - Congressman Buck McKeon!
March 9, 2014
Students SOAR to New
Heights at LA Marathon XXIX!
Nineteen William S Hart students
successfully completed the 29th
running of the Los Angeles Marathon Sunday March
9th amidst an international field of
more than 25,000 participants. Sponsored by
Students Off And Running (SOAR), a division of
the Santa Clarita Track Club, this program
dedicates itself to offering Santa Clarita
Valley youth the opportunity to participate in a
fully supported, 24 week 380 mile marathon
training program while challenging themselves to
accomplish something truly extraordinary in a
Head Coach and program Director Kevin Sarkissian
shared his thoughts after safely bringing in his
last student runner Sunday: "We couldn't be more
proud of the level of determination our students
showed today. Just committing to the SOAR
program is tough enough considering all these
kids have going on at home and in school.
Couple that with a long, tough training season,
and you really get an understanding why today
gives collective testament to their inner
strength. It’s not often that you see the
average teenager getting out of bed at 2am to
run 26.2 miles, it just doesn't happen,"
Less than 1% of Americans ever complete a full
marathon. SOAR is not about recruiting seasoned
Valley high school athletes, the program looks
for any kid with heart, kids that are willing to
commit to a truly life changing experience.
power behind SOAR’s success is the consistency
and commitment demonstrated by everyone tied to
the program . Parents, coaches, and community
supporters alike pledge to be there mile for
mile with each and every student, regardless of
ability or personal conflict. This commitment
remains absolute from day one until our final
runner crosses the finish line safely on
marathon day,” said Sarkissian.
Now celebrating its seventh year of success,
the results continue to impress with the program
reporting an astounding 100% marathon completion
rate for all SOAR participants since the program
began in 2007. In addition, parents, teachers,
and students alike report better focus in
school, increased positive social interaction,
and dramatic improvement in overall physical
interested in supporting or participating in the
program should visit www.soar-sc.org or contact
Kevin Sarkissian at 661-877-7024 for more
The Road Less
"Coach, I don't know if I can
make it." She said it plainly as
her eyes welled with tears.
It was Mile 22, and 16 year old
Priscilla had just "hit the
wall", a term used by long distance
runners to describe a complete and utter
meltdown of mind, body, and spirit.
As I assessed her condition, trying to
find words of encouragement, I reflected
on the day's events. Priscilla was
having a tough day. Blistered by
Mile 6 and bandaged by Mile 10,
Priscilla had become dehydrated and
listless by Mile 19, and now at 22,
more than 6 hours into the race, she
stood at the edge of the abyss,
dangerously close to heat exhaustion.
"Listen kid, I believe in you.
This is just another race, and you and I
are going to finish this one together.
We're almost home. You own this thing.
Don't let it beat you."
She hung her head for a moment,
then met my gaze and managed a smile.
And in that moment, I knew that she had
dug deep, and found the strength and
inner courage to achieve the impossible.
Priscilla finished the
LA Marathon on Sunday in 7 hours 22
minutes and 5 seconds, forever changed,
and you, my friends, were with us every
step of the way. For that, I am
Of the 25,000 or so official
registrants, just over 17,000 would
complete the full 26.2 . The winner
would cross the line in just under 2
hours 14 minutes, receive a check for
$100,000 dollars, and drive home in a
As for me, I'll keep my 7:22,
the memories of one kid's courage, and a
smile shared at 22.
the long run,