Alumni Feature: Jocelyn

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As an SRLA Alumni, the Friendship Run has always been my favorite race. It's the race where most students get bored of the double loop but in my case, this is where I excel. This race you have to be mentally strong. I went through the first loop and I kept myself in a good 8min/9min pace. In the second loop, that's where you get a chance to do better. I would tell myself, you have already been through this, go faster, do it better. It pushes you. The only thing I am not a big fan of is how hot it is in Pacoima sometimes.

The cool thing about this race is also how it's focused on being a friendship run. In the photo above, SRLA was photographed for the Disney McFarland, USA movie which also focused on brotherhood and friendship. I was running with my running buddy (Kat on the left and myself on the right). It was such a beautiful race, I ran the last 6 miles with her. We held hands when we saw the finish line and we ran like girls: strong together! 

My favorite part of the course is when you're getting to mile 9 and there's finally a big cheer group. There's not much support on the course but seeing your mentors cheering for you is the most amazing feeling ever. Having my mom not support me on this journey back in 2014 and 2015 was hard but my mentors made my experience the best. I really looked up to them. Now I'm 24 marathons in and thanks to SRLA I was able to discover that I'm actually good at this. Thank you SRLA for being the great program you are and making kid's dreams come true. My dream was proving to my mom that I could run a marathon even though I was born with a broken back, neck and feet.

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