SOAR! Team 2009, poised to take on the 26.2 Mile Surf City
"Coach, I don't know if I can
make it." She said it plainly as
her eyes welled with tears.
It was Mile 22, and 16 year old
Priscilla had just "hit the
wall", a term used by long distance
runners to describe a complete and utter
meltdown of mind, body, and spirit.
As I assessed her condition, trying to
find words of encouragement, I reflected
on the day's events. Priscilla was
having a tough day. Blistered by
Mile 6 and bandaged by Mile 10,
Priscilla had become dehydrated and
listless by Mile 19, and now at 22,
more than 6 hours into the race, she
stood at the edge of the abyss,
dangerously close to heat exhaustion.
"Listen kid, I believe in you.
This is just another race, and you and I
are going to finish this one together.
We're almost home. You own this thing.
Don't let it beat you."
She hung her head for a moment,
then met my gaze and managed a smile.
And in that moment, I knew that she had
dug deep, and found the strength and
inner courage to achieve the impossible.
Priscilla Hernandez finished the
LA Marathon on Sunday in 7 hours 22
minutes and 5 seconds, forever changed,
and you, my friends, were with us every
step of the way. For that, I am
Of the 25,000 or so official
registrants, just over 17,000 would
complete the full 26.2 . The winner
would cross the line in just under 2
hours 14 minutes, receive a check for
$100,000 dollars, and drive home in a
As for me, I'll keep my 7:22,
the memories of one kid's courage, and a
smile shared at 22.
the long run,