Out of Office: Running with Sun Valley Magnet


My name is Naomi, and most days I work out of the Students Run LA office in Tarzana. Many people do not know this, but Students Run LA has a small but mighty full time team (only five people!) that work throughout the year to ensure the program runs as smoothly as possible. Say hello to any one of us on race day near bib pick up or wandering the course– we would love to meet you!

This past Monday, I had the pleasure of running with the students at Sun Valley Magnet. Running with groups is one of my favorite parts of the job because I get to hear from the students and their leaders in their neighborhood. They share ideas (unfortunately I don’t think we will be giving everyone a Fitbit this year but if anyone has connections let me know ;)) and let me know the real impact SRLA has in their daily lives. Each run with a group gives me new inspiration for the work that I do.

On Monday, we ran a four mile group favorite and when I asked students, why? — they said it was flat, they could see the turn around point, and there were not a lot of stoplights. I was very glad to have an “easier” course because these students have been training hard– they are getting in great shape!

I started my run with four students, and learned about their running methods. Sometimes they run alongside a friend, sometimes alone, sometimes the group stays together. They told me that they usually only played games on long runs, but I introduced them to a game I used to play where we tried to come up with food that matches each letter of the alphabet…for some reason we struggled with K, but it was still fun.


I asked these students, all returning for their second marathon with SRLA, how they thought this year would be compared to last. They were all in agreement that there would be nothing like finishing their first marathon, but they are glad they know what to expect.

I made it through the run– shoutout to Aaron for sticking with me the whole way– and got back to campus where I heard about favorite snacks, dreams, and marathon goals. These students have big dreams, and I know they are developing the skills to make them happen.

The run (and team) would not have been possible without the incredible leaders. The communication required to coordinate everything amazes me; the unique stories they have about their SRLA connection are truly incredible. Sun Valley Magnet, thank you for welcoming me to your run.

For public runners wondering how they can run with an amazing community, register for one of our races. For family members and alumni who have felt the impact of Students Run LA on their life, email me at naomi@srla.org to let me know your story.

Still not sure how to get involved? Make a donation! No amount is too small in helping SRLA students learn to make their dreams come true.