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 SOAR Rocks LA XXVIII! Team 2013 Completes the 26.2 Mile Los Angeles Marathon!
 Congratulations to Our Student Athletes! We are Proud of You All!


Watch the 2012 Team Video Click Here!

Watch the 2012 Bonus Reel! Click Here!


March 17, 2013

Students SOAR to New Heights at LA Marathon XXVIII!

Sixteen Santa Clarita Valley students successfully completed the 28th running of  the Los Angeles Marathon Sunday March 17th amidst more than 24,000 other  participants from all over the globe.  Supported 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 sponsored, 24 week marathon training program while challenging themselves to accomplish something truly extraordinary in a non-competitive arena.

Having just finished his 20th marathon  himself, Head Coach and program Director Kevin Sarkissian reflected on the day's success as his last student runner crossed the finish line Sunday,  "We couldn't be more proud of the level of determination our students brought to LA today.  With everything these kids have going on at home and in school, just committing to the SOAR program is tough enough.  Couple that with a long, tough training season,  training in every condition imaginable, and you really get an understanding why today gives collective testament to their inner strength. It’s not often that you see the average teenager getting out of bed at 2am on a Sunday morning to run 26.2 miles,"  Sarkissian commented. 

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.

“I think the real power behind SOAR’s success is the consistency and commitment demonstrated by everyone tied to the program .   Parents, coaches, and community supporters alike commit to being there mile for mile with each and every student, regardless of  ability or personal conflict. This commitment  remains absolute from day one until our final runner crosses the finish line safely on marathon day,” said Sarkissian.

Now celebrating its sixth year of success, the results continue to impress with the program reporting an astounding 100% marathon completion rate for all SOAR participants since beginning in 2007. In addition, parents, teachers, and students alike report better focus in school, increased positive social interaction, and dramatic improvement in overall physical health.

Persons interested in supporting or participating in the program should visit or contact Kevin Sarkissian at 661-877-7024 for more information.  



 The Road Less Traveled

"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


2011 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
Week 22      
Week 23

   Final Team Stats 2012/2013

2012/2013 Team Info
Team Roster 2013
Coach Contact Information
Coaches / Race Promoters Only

2012/13 Event Schedule

2012/2013 Master Event Schedule
LA Cancer Challenge 5K, Oct 28th
Calabasas Classic 5K,  Nov 11th 
Santa Monica Venice 10K, Dec 8th
SOAR Jingle Bell 10 Run, Dec 15th
13.1 LA Half Marathon, Jan 13th 
Surf City Half Marathon, Feb 3th
SOAR 20 and Team BBQ, Feb 23rd
Mardi Gras Madness 5K, Mar 2nd
LA Marathon XXVIII, March 17th

Down & Dirty Mud Run - TBD

2012/2013 Event Results

LA Cancer Challenge 5K, Oct 28th
Calabasas Classic 5K,  Nov 11th 
Santa Monica Venice 10K, Dec 8th
13.1 LA Half Marathon, Jan 13th 
SLRA Friendship Run, Feb 10th
SOAR 20 and Team BBQ, Feb 23rd

LA Marathon XXVIII, March 17th
2013 Event Information

Los Angeles Marathon
Sunday, March 17th!
Event Trip Slip

Training Calendars

October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013

February 2013
March 2013
Master Training Schedule 12/13

2013 Marathon Info

LA Marathon Trip Slip 2013
Info for Families and Participants  Marathon Tips for First Timers!
LA Marathon Team Itinerary!
MapQuest To Dodger Stadium
MapQuest to Finish Area
 Marathon XXVIII Course Map

Projected Student Splits 2013
Event / Race Instructions
Student Tracking Race Day!

Post Season Events

D & D Mud Run Reg Form
D & D Race Info - SOAR 5K #1
Mud Run Tips!

Nutrition and Training

Performance 101
Nutrition for Distance Running
PowerBar Product and Performance Datasheet
Team Recipes
Vitamin Chart
Mineral Chart
SOAR's Nutrition Powerpoint

Press Releases

November 11, 2009
December 7, 2009
January 10, 2010
March 21, 2010
February 16, 2011
March 16, 2011
March 20, 2011
July 20, 2011
Mardi Gras Madness PSA

2012 Waivers / Trip Slips

Parent Understanding
Participant Waiver
Team Physical
Team Permission Slip for Events


2007/2008 SOAR
2008/2009 SOAR

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


SOAR Mardi Gras Madness 5K
Mini Madness 1K
Saturday, March 2, 2013

Registration Now Open!



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