How students and teachers trained for the LA marathon


On March 8th, 16 students, and four teachers finished the 26.2-mile race from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier.

The week before the marathon, many students were preparing to get in shape for the big race. Thomas Lo, a math teacher and SRLA coach, helped his runners by giving them nutrients every day.

“Throughout the season I advise my runners to drink more water, stay away from junk food, and have a more balanced diet,” Lo said. “During marathon week, I receive donations of healthier snacks from teachers and staff that are distributed in a goody bag for the students.  Some of the snacks include trail mix, string cheese, fresh fruit, fruit cups, and fruit snacks.”

While preparing his runners for the marathon, Lo also prepared himself.



“The way I prepared for the marathon is the same as how my student-runners prepared.  Seven months of training, which included short runs, long runs, and strength training.  Everything that I asked my runners to do I would do myself, ” said Lo.

Another teacher at AJMS was also preparing for the marathon. Carl Finer, an investigations and English teacher, was preparing for his 11th LA marathon.

“We started running a couple of weeks after school started and started running at least two days a week, building up little by little,” said Finer.

A student runner was also preparing for the marathon as well. Student Andrew Ayala, an eighth grader, had this to say on how they were preparing for the marathon.

“In the bag, there were snacks that helped us carbo-load for the marathon to help us keep our energy up. We had to eat it all by ourselves and turn in the bag to refill it by the end of the day,” said Ayala.

Carbo loading is when you consume a large number of carbohydrates, especially in order to increase stores of glycogen in the muscles, before taking part in a sporting event.

Andrew didn’t have a plan for running the marathon.

“No, the only thing I knew that was going to happen was that I was going to get tired and walk a bit then start running. If I wasn’t tired then I would jog or walk at the water station to keep my energy up.  There was a certain point for like five miles I felt good and energetic, which was around mile ten, ” said Andrew.

With all this training, his marathon time really improved. He beat his previous time by an hour.

“Last year my time was 6:05. This year this time was 5:00:50, which was a major improvement,” said Andrew.

This would be the last year for the eighth grade runners before graduating. Lo is impressed.

“To my eighth grade runners, words cannot express how proud I am of you.  You have dedicated yourselves and sacrificed your time to train for something that very few have even dared to try, ” said Lo.  “Now you all can say that you have run a marathon.  Let that sink in. Be proud of this accomplishment and know that if you can do this you can do anything!”