Jennifer Lam runs with Students Run LA at the 27th annual L.A. Marathon. / Photo by Jonathan Olivares.
I joined about 23,000 runners anxiously anticipating the finish line for the 26.2-mile trek from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica at the 27th annual Los Angeles Marathon.
As a member of Bravo High School’s cross-country and track and field teams, I ran the L.A. Marathon last year and decided to train for the marathon again this year. I trained through Students Run L.A. (SRLA), a program offered to secondary students that promotes physical fitness, discipline and goal setting while training for participation in the L.A. Marathon.
Although this was my second time at the race, it was not an easy task. I trained from October to just a week or two before the big day. Throughout my training I gradually increased mileage participating in fun races such as the Hansen Dam 18-mile Friendship Run, and the Universal Back Lot 10K Run where participants were able to run through the sets of Psycho and Desperate Housewives. Along with training by the SRLA program, I also trained separately with my high school through long runs and Yasso 800s, which are consecutive 800-meter sprints.
For me, Sunday’s race also served as a tour of the city. We ran passed many famous landmarks located in Los Angeles such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood sign, and Beverly Hills. Unlike last year’s rainy weather, runners this year were greeted by sunshine and cheers from bystanders throughout the course.
I don’t believe anything can mentally prepare a person for the 26.2-mile race because anything can happen along the course. I had an overwhelming joy inside me and was on the verge of tears as I came closer and closer to the finish line, hearing the waves along the beach and my name being cheered. I will never forget this experience because not everyone can say they’ve run a marathon.