30 Years and Running: Students Complete LA Marathon with Honda’s Support
A busload of volunteers from the Honda Community Action Team (HCAT), descended on downtown Los Angeles last month to cheer on 2,500 Students Run LA (SRLA) athletes and other runners completing the 26.2 mile Los Angeles Marathon.
The SRLA program inspires at-risk youth to achieve their dreams by training for, and completing, the LA Marathon. Honda has supported the program since 1997 and contributed more than $2 million to provide, nutrition, training, uniforms, and support SRLA scholarships.
Wearing Honda red at the finish line, volunteers waved foam fingers, blew noisemakers and held up directional signage to help the students through the crowd of spectators to Tongva Park, where they could safely make their way back to their final destination at the high school.
“A lot of the students are really tired,” said Victor Wilson, volunteer coordinator and team captain for 45 dedicated Honda volunteers. “So I try to pump them up.”
With more than 24,000 total athletes running the marathon this year, it helped that the students were easily identifiable by their fluorescent green shirts that say “Students Run LA” on the front and “Honda” on the back.
At mile 22, another group of Honda associates prepared to help struggling SRLA runners complete the last four miles of the marathon. There is an emotional component as well, since crossing the finish line marks the conclusion of a six-month training program.
“SRLA is about so much more than helping kids finish a marathon,” American Honda Corporate Relations Coordinator Teresa Philips says. “SRLA teaches young people that by setting goals, working hard and never giving up, they can go as far as their dreams will take them.”