America’s Journey Continues…

America, a 7th grader at Sun Valley Magnet, is in her first season with Students Run LA. Describing the magical feeling after a run, she captured the joy of SRLA in her first blog post. She also opened up about the challenges of juggling school and SRLA. In her latest post, America shares her feelings about running longer distances and tackling the SRLA 18-Mile Friendship Run. Rest assured, she’s ready & EXCITED for her next race – the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon!


Hello, it’s America — yes, once again! I think that it was the most difficult and physically challenging to train for the 18-mile race since I wasn’t running or training like myself. To be honest, I wasn’t really trying in the long runs —  I was really only giving 60% since we were on winter break during most of the training. Even my leader knew it wasn’t like me.

Every Saturday long run, I was not trying. I would walk instead of running it all. I was able to see how mad or stressed the leaders were about everyone training like me. I would also go a bit late to some of the practices on the weekdays and could not finish all of the 6-mile runs. However, it came to a point where I was tired of not giving my best that I started to train like myself, again. Just before the Friendship Run, I was really training like myself. We all started at a tempo run of 11-minute miles but most students fell behind –  just 3 students and the leaders kept going and started a tempo pace of 10-minute miles. I was one of them! I was so excited and really happy that I was training just like how I used it. It was challenging workout but really amazing. Even the coaches were surprised and happy. They really supported me. That run really motivated me for the 18-Mile Friendship Run.

I ran the 18-Mile Friendship Run at Hansen Dam. I was really excited and nervous because it was going to be one of our major races before the marathon. It was really fun experience since after the race we were going to have a pot luck.

It was early around 6:00am and we were all at Hansen Dam. We were all getting our stuff ready for the pot luck. It was really windy, but when we started it got really hot and dry. I was, of course, running with my friends but through the 5th mile I left them and kept going. As I kept going, I felt out of energy so I took the small snacks — sure people were looking but I was happy I was eating my gummies. I caught up to two of my teammates and we ran the rest of the miles together. Around Mile 11, I caught up to some of our other teammates but they started to sprint and then we kept trying to catch up to them for the rest of the race.

The race was not a big challenge but it was a great experience. My favorite part of the race was the location. It really was amazing to see all of the plants around and the tall mountains around. Also it was great to see how the dam was starting to get water since it hasn’t been  with water for a long time. For some reason after the race, I still felt really good and full of energy. The day after the race, however, was not a good day. My legs for sure were really sore and even sore for the next day, too. It was all worth it – the race was a great experience!


America, that’s just the beginning of a great race experience! In a few days, you’ll be joining more than 2,800 teammates, along with 400 SRLA leaders, on the race course of the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon! Your team looks great and ready to go! You can support these students and their SRLA teammates by making a donation here.