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By Collin Breaux } Twitter: @collin_breaux

During normal years, students and educators gather in Los Angeles for Students Run LA, an event that encourages kids to stay on a positive path mentally and physically by training for a marathon.

This is not a normal year, though, and there is still wariness about big in-person events during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, educators in San Juan Capistrano pivoted, instead holding a modified run in March.

San Juan Capistrano educators held a small-scale local marathon run this year, instead of the usual run in Los Angeles, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Left to right : Blair Wood (teacher), Mary Carr (teacher), Carrie Bertini (San Juan Elementary School principal), Sara McHale (coach), and Lindsey Behm (teacher). Not pictured: Carla Kallen. Photo: Courtesy of Carla Kallen.

The adults met at Marco Forster Middle School on March 20 and ran a local route—with Marco Forster as the start and end point—while students cheered them on. The adult coaches who ran this year kept track of their run time, but did not run with students, as usual.

Lindsey Behm, a coach for the program and eighth-grade social studies teacher, said it was a positive experience. While the adults weren’t able to run with students, they were still able to keep inspiring them.

“Normally, we would have been around thousands and thousands of spectators,” Behm said. “At least we’re still out there representing the program.”

Not being able to run with the students was difficult, but one advantage of the scaled-down event this year was not having to take the usual long bus drives to Los Angeles, Behm said.

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