Reflections on Marathon High 2015: Learning from the Students

Jeff Knight was instrumental in starting Marathon High in 2012. He now runs Rogue Running Training.

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Part of me will always feel like Marathon High is still a baby of mine in some way. Thus, nothing makes me prouder than seeing the program grow and mature year over year. Its clear that in a short, 3-year period that Marathon High has gone from a “fake it till you make it” side project to a legitimate, high-impact non-profit. Its arguably the best after-school program in central Texas. No where else do you see students willingly taking on an absolutely scary task. As an adult, running 13.1 or 26.2 miles is a ridiculous task but to a young person, its near impossible.

Or so I think…

So year after year when I see these young people complete the Austin Marathon or Half, my whole perspective shifts. So while the program sets out to teach students that they can do anything if they work towards that goal, to me, its the students that do the teaching. MH is the best reminder that humans can do absolutely incredible things and that nothing can stand in their way.

I had one of those “Man, these kids are amazing” moments after the post-program party. I was out for my run on Saturday morning, a few miles from Rogue, when I saw a few kids wearing race shirts out in front of a bike shop on SoCo. I get a little closer and realize is some MH students. Not only had they gone for a 6+ mile run one week after the marathon, these kids had biked to Rogue and were now biking back home! Ha! Most of us haven’t even thought about exercise 7 days after a race; much less a bike ride, run and a bike ride. Whew!

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