Runners Complete L.A. Marathon Course Representing the Student Body Scholarship Association

Marathon Runners battling the uphill part of the marathon course on First Street and Grand as they listen to the resounding beats of the Taiko Drummers.

Only a few strides away from the 26.2 finish line

One Runners Story:


As a first time marathoner Colleen Yorke braved the unknown, mental and physical fatigue along with the elements to complete the March 9, 2014, event in the time of 4:05:44, but it wasn't easy.


From the sounding of the foghorn signaling the start of the race, Colleen one out of 25,000 runners quickly found herself grouped behind a mass of humanity.

Colleen Yorke

As a first time marathon runner, as racing rules dictates, Colleen was automatically placed in coral 6 to start the race instantly putting her at an early disadvantage. Elite runners and those with marathon experience and proven times under their belts or maybe I should say under their shoes, where placed in corals 1 and 2.


So before she could take her first step onto the 26.2 mile course Colleen found herself sardined behind thousands of runners. Yorke who had previously set a personal finishing time goal of 3:35 found herself for the first mile jousting through a herd of runners before she was finally able to catch up with her group which was running at a 3:35 marathon pace.


Now settled in, for the next 12 plus miles Colleen never broke stride until she neared the 13th mile marker. There, she lost her footing and stumbled nearly falling to the asphalt road. However, she was able to remain upright, but then it happened. Expending too much energy at the starting line to catch up with her group, Colleen like most who have or have-not run a full marathon hit the dreaded wall. It was there when she began second guessing herself as to whether or not she had what it took to finish the race. 


But even with the discomfort of aching thighs she persevered and continued pushing onward and many times upward while battling her inner thoughts of if she could indeed finish the race. Then out of nowhere, a runner appeared handing her orange slices and a bottle of electrolyte water which she consumed. For the next two miles the runner talked Colleen out of her "low spirited" demeanor as she then began regrouping mentally. Now instead entertaining negative thoughts, Colleen decided to focus on the scenery.


From that point on she rallied off the hundreds of spectators who were cheering on the marathon runners while taking advantage of the cups of water, gels, bagels and salt sticks being handed out by the many volunteers who lined the course, as the hot unforgiving California sun continued beaming down on runners. Several miles later thanks to an ingenious apparatus which allows runners wearing microchips to view personal encouraging messages and even short videos which were previously posted online that could be viewed on a large on-course monitor as runners ran past strategically placed sensors which then activated personal messages for each individual runner to read.


Colleen herself had seen several posted messages directed specifically to her including one from Dr. Lynn a cancer survivor which help motivated Colleen to keep running. Pushing through the physical pain in her legs and what I'm sure seemed an eternity, like a stranded nomad in a heated desert who's vision through extreme thirst propels him forward to that small water well he sees only to realize that once he reaches the well it was nothing more than a mirage. So too after hours of running along the 26 mile course nearing her physical limits and suffering from extreme exhausted Colleen too is now within eyesight of the large numbers 26.2 miles prominently place atop the 20 foot orange marker.


But unlike the stranded nomad, this is no mirage; it's actually the official finish line of the L.A. Marathon and it's only a few hundred yards away. With one foot still strong enough to plant itself in front of the other Colleen soon crosses the finish line where she then falls to her knees. Though physically spent, her collapse was not from exhaustion, but from sheer elation and pride that she had officially ran a 26.2 mile marathon conquering all the challenges it had hurled at her. It was then while still on her knees that a volunteer draped an official 2014, L.A. Marathon ribbon and medal around her neck.


"Yes, it was a challenge. Yes, there were low points. And folks... we did it! We are Marathoners."

Colleen Yorke

SBSA L.A. Marathon Photos

Here are just a few of the hundreds of photos taken by SBSA at the March 9, 2014, ASICS L.A. Marathon. Once again, we would like to thank Colleen Yorke and Michael Parante for running on behalf of our non-profit organization.

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