Marathon High pushes young athletes to the finish line

Marathon High (KXAN Photo)
Marathon High (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Even on Saturdays, school is in session at Marathon High. For senior Katy Pacheco, there’s nothing quite like the high of running.

“I used to hate running, but now I’m into it. I’m like I can do it,” Ann Richards School senior Katy Pacheco said.

Uphill and across town, Katy and more than 150 of her running mates take to the streets of Austin, training the body and mind. The cause at Marathon High serves a larger purpose, helping underserved students in at risk areas find their path through running.

“We saw the transformative nature of running a marathon and it being a really big goal that you’re not sure you’re going to be able to make and what a difference it made in people’s lives,” Marathon High program coordinator Ruth England said.

Every Marathon High School athlete starts their journey at Austin’s Rogue Running company, but there’s only one finish line for these students: the Austin Marathon.

“Last year, the starting line was really hard for me. I was like I really can’t do this. I’m not going to finish, and when I crossed that finish line I was like wow, I can do anything,” Pacheco said.

Katy’s new found confidence has her back in the program. Back for another 26.2 miles this weekend. Marathon High provides the outlet and the inspiration for others.

“When we adults come across the finish line, we click our watch and we kind of sit there and assess. The kids take it to the next level. We just don’t give quite as much as they do,” England said.

Running a marathon is a lifetime achievement, yet the finish line is only the beginning for these runners.

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