M. Terry / SFVS

The San Fernando High School students and faculty who ran in the LA Marathon on March 8 proudly show off their medals.

Whether it was their first time or a repeat outing, the San Fernando High School students who took part in the LA Marathon 2020 presented by Asics on Sunday, March 8, expressed various reactions to reaching the finish line after 26.2 miles of running.

The consistent reactions: soreness, and a feeling of accomplishment.

Freshman Nathan Campos, 14, joined older brother Samuel and sister Abigail in participating. The Campos were one of three sets of siblings from San Fernando High who had entered.

Nathan was running the marathon for the first time. He had been warned about “hitting the wall” — feeling exhausted or in physical pain — around Mile 20. That’s exactly what happened.

“When I got there, I stopped for a little bit,” Campos said Monday, March 9, as he and his fellow runners gathered after school to celebrate. “My friend Salvador helped me get back into the run. I knew if I stopped too long I (wouldn’t finish). But I ran again, from the 20-mile to the 24-mile mark, and I kinda sprinted the last two miles.”

Campos, who finished in 5:15, knows what inherently contributed to his fatigue.

“Next time I won’t carry a water pack on my back. Today my shoulders are super-sore.”

Mario Del Angel, 17, a senior, was also running in his first marathon. He produced an excellent time of 3:52. It was the fastest time by any of the SFHS students.

“I was trying to break four hours,” said Angel, who also runs cross-country for San Fernando High. “I just kept that constant mentality that I had to make [that time] and trust myself. There was a lot of self-motivation.”

Estefani Navarro and Jasmine Harr had their own race experiences.

Navarro, 17, a junior, developed a pain in her left shin and was reduced to walking and jogging after Mile 17. Although her time of 5:51 was, for her, unsatisfactory — “I wanted to break five hours” — she never thought of dropping out.

“It’s always important to finish,” said Navarro, running in her fourth marathon. She was also grateful from the assists from spectators. “They had brought water and snacks for us.”

Harr, 17, a senior, was running in her second marathon. She had trained harder, felt faster, and was looking to break six hours.

She had special help.

“Last year I ran it by myself,” she said. “This time I ran with my significant other (Ricardo). We both wanted to do it together, and ran in 5:16. We crossed the line together.”   

The 15 San Fernando High students who ran Sunday were part of a record field for the 35th race. Despite growing concerns regarding the expanding coronavirus outbreak, race officials said there were 27,150 people from all 50 states and a record 78 nations who had entered.