Students cross the L.A. Marathon finish line

Since September, students from Rosemont Middle School and Crescenta Valley High School have given up their free time after school and met for early morning runs at the Rose Bowl to train for the Los Angeles Marathon.

On Sunday, that sacrifice and dedication paid off when all 37 students crossed the finish line.

“I saw parents who were excited; I saw parents who were relieved when their child crossed that line,” said teacher and running mentor Terry Parker.

Those students are members of the Crescenta Valley Running Club and ran as part of the Student Run Los Angeles program.

Parker is waiting to have knee surgery and didn’t run this year, but was at the race on Sunday to support his kids.

“We had some kids that had struggled [during the training], but they made it,” he said.

Many students were exhausted after the run, but all had huge smiles on their faces as they crossed the finish line. Some said they would run again. Others weren’t certain; they wanted their muscles to stop hurting before they made a decision.

“I know how they feel,” Parker said. “Around mile 18 to 24 I always say, ‘I will never run this again,’ then you cross the finish line and think ‘Well, maybe one more time.’”

On Sunday, the true accomplishment had not been realized by many of the students. They were just happy to cross the line and not have to meet at 7 a.m. for their Rose Bowl training runs.

And while many grownups who ran the marathon took Monday off to rest, the local students were in class, wearing their medals and basking in their accomplishment.

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