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Team SOAR Celebrates Victory at LA Marathon XXV, Sunday March 21, 2010!

A Proud Display of Gold!

SOAR Takes Wing at LA Marathon XXV!

Fourteen Valley students successfully completed the grueling 26.2 mile "Stadium to Sea" Los Angeles Marathon Sunday March 21st.  Sponsored by Students Off And Running (SOAR), a division of the Santa Clarita Track Club, this program dedicates itself to offering Santa Clarita Valley youth the opportunity to participate in a fully supported, 22 week 370 mile marathon training program while challenging themselves to accomplish something truly extraordinary in a non-competitive arena.

Smiling and looking more than a little tired, team co-founder and Head Coach Kevin Sarkissian reflected on the day's events:  "I couldn't be more proud of the level of determination these kids showed today.  Just committing to the SOAR program is tough enough considering all these guys have going on at home and in school.  Couple that with a long, tough six month training season, running in every condition imaginable, and you really get an understanding why today really gave collective testament to their inner strength. I mean how often do you see the average teenager getting out of bed at 2am to run 26.2 miles, it just doesn't happen," laughs Sarkissian. 

Less than 1% of Americans ever complete a full marathon. SOAR is not about recruiting seasoned Valley high school athletes, the program looks for any kid with heart, kids that are willing to commit to a truly life changing experience.

Now completing it's third year of operation, the results continue to be impressive.  Parents, teachers, and participating students alike report better focus in school, increased positive social interaction, and dramatic improvement in overall physical health. 
Donations of new running equipment, gift cards to athletic retailers, and monetary
donations are appreciated.  Donors should visit or contact Kevin
Sarkissian at 661-877-7024 for more information.

Watch the 2010 Team Video Click Here!

"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 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 eternally grateful.

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 new car.

 As for me, I'll keep my 7:22, the memories of one kid's courage, and a smile shared at 22. 


Yours for the long run,

Coach Sarkissian

2010 Students Off And Running (SOAR)


Santa Clarita Track Club's Students Off And Running (SOAR) helps youth at risk living in Santa Clarita build life skills and establish healthy relationships with peers and adults through training for and competing in a Marathon.


Santa Clarita Track Club's Students Off And Running (SOAR) aspires to be an after school program available to all schools throughout the Santa Clarita Valley that uses the vehicle of marathon training to empower students and provide them with tools for a healthy and constructive future.


The ultimate goal of SOAR is for students to participate in a truly life changing event: running a marathon. Beyond achieving a fitness challenge few can aspire to, students walk away from the program with a lifetime of lessons. In addition to increasing physical fitness and activity, students gain knowledge about health and nutrition, see alternatives to risky behavior, increase self-esteem, build resiliency to current and future obstacles, learn how to set and achieve goals, and develop positive peer and adult relationships. Students also gain the potential to translate their remarkable accomplishment into improved school performance and academic success. Seeing the fruits of their hard work upon crossing the finish line will provide SOAR students with the confidence they need to succeed both in and outside the classroom.


SOAR establishes running groups at participating schools and implements a seven month training program.  Each running group operates under the guidance of volunteer adult Coaches who role model commitment and perseverance by training mile for mile with student participants in preparation for the marathon.  Coaches may be teachers, school staff or community members and need not have prior running experience. Running groups maintain a 6:1 student-Coach ratio allowing for valuable one-on-one adult-student interaction. Weekly goals are set in a non-competitive environment that stresses endurance building as opposed to speed.  Starting with one mile the first week participants gradually run additional miles each week until they are prepared to take on the 26.2 mile course. During training, Coaches emphasize messages about nutrition, exercise, conditioning, injury prevention and general well-being.  Coaches also use this time to mentor students and create a supportive environment where students can talk about personal, family and academic challenges and develop the confidence to apply themselves and overcome those challenges.

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Training Progress

Week 1          Week 2         Week 3
Week 4          Week 5          Week 6

Week 7          Week 8          Week 9 Week 10        Week 11        Week 12
Week 13        Week 14        Week 15 Week 16        Week 17        Week 18
Week 19        Week 20        Week 21

   Final Team Stats 2009/2010

2009/10 Event Schedule

2009/2010 Event Schedule

2009/10 Event Results

Hip Hop Classic 5K, Nov 14th
Santa Monica Venice 10K, Dec 12th
13.1 LA Half Marathon, Jan 10th 
Surf City Half Marathon, Feb 7th
SRLA Friendship Run, Feb 21st 

LA Marathon XXV, March 21st
2009/10 Event Reminders
October 6th
October 8th
November 14th
Training Calendars

October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010

February 2010
March 2010
Master Training Schedule 09/10
Sark's SF 1/2 Training Plan 2010

2010 Marathon Info

Info for Families and Participants Marathon Tips for First Timers!LA Marathon Team Itererary!
MapQuest To Dodger Stadium
MapQuest To
Finish Area
 Marathon XXV Course Map

Projected Student Splits 2010
Student Tracking Race Day!

Post Season Events

D & D Mud Run, Sun April 25th
D & D Final Info Packet
D & D Permission Slip
Mud Run Tips!
Fight It! 5K, Sat May 15th
Fight It 5K Permission Slip
Team Dinner, Fri May 21st

Nutrition and Training

Performance 101

Press Releases

November 11, 2009
December 7, 2009
January 10, 2010

Waivers and Trip Slips

Parent Understanding
Participant Waiver
Team Physical
LA Marathon Expo Trip Slip
LA Marathon Trip Slip


2007/2008 SOAR
2008/2009 SOAR

2009/2010 SOAR
2010/2011 SOAR
2011/2012 SOAR
2012/2013 SOAR
2013/2014 SOAR


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