Official Charity Highlights: Featured Charities — Students Off and Running (SOAR) & Corazon de Vida

Take a closer look at one of the ASICS LA Marathon’s Official Charities!
Featured Charity: Students Off and Running (SOAR)
Featured Charity: Corazon de Vida

KeevaThe 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 ASICS 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.
- SOAR Head Coach Kevin Sarkissian

The Santa Clarita Track Club’s SOAR program offers a six month 380 mile, marathon training experience to local youth in need ages 13-18 at no cost to participants or their families. Students committing to the 24 week training season are covered for all event registration fees, equipment, transportation, and training supplies at a cost of approximately $1,000 per participant.  Weekly goals are set in a non-competitive environment that stresses ‘the finish’ over ‘the win’.  Starting with a single mile, participants add miles each week until they are prepared to take on the 26.2 mile ASICS LA Marathon.

During training, coaches emphasize personal commitment, nutrition, conditioning, injury prevention, and general well-being.

Sponsor a SOAR student as they take the road less traveled:

Contact Info: Kevin Sarkissian, Director / Head Coach,   661-877-7024



What Inspires Daniel Sandoval, Marathon Runner and Long-time CDV volunteer to run for TEAM CDV?

“Running a marathon was on my bucket list for several years. Each year would pass and I’d tell myself I’d do it the following year.  But, when Corazon De Vida asked me to run the LA Marathon to raise money for the children, I knew that my time had come to step up and take on this challenge. What better way to accomplish a personal goal than to pair it with an important cause.  I ran the marathon with all of my heart and soul because I knew it would create an opportunity for these children to do great things in their life. With a strong enough reason people can accomplish anything their heart’s desire. I found my reason and I can hold on to that accomplishment for the rest of my life. You have more to gain by saying yes. Believe in yourself and make a difference!”

This year, each TEAM CDV runner will be assigned a child to run for and have a photo of their child to pin on their running Jersey.  Runners will even have an opportunity to meet their child in person!

Be a “HERO” to a child and join TEAM CDV!

Sponsor Daniel Sandoval to run the LA Marathon!

About Corazon de Vida Foundation

Since 1994, Corazón de Vida (“CDV”) has been supporting children that are orphaned, abandoned or neglected, living in orphanages in Baja, Mexico.  These orphanages represent a better alternative to living on the streets or under dangerous and abusive circumstances.  There is no government support for these orphanages, as Mexico does not have the same child welfare systems that exist in the US.

CDV’s focus is to provide life-sustaining support as well as hope, compassion and love. CDV not only financially supports orphanages in Baja, but also provides assistance through frequent cross-border visits by board members, staff, and volunteers.

We believe that every child’s life is valued and holds the same potential, excitement and opportunity as any other life. It is up to us to work together to make sure our care transforms into each child’s hope for the future.  Carlos is a great example of how volunteers can make a difference and help transform the lives of the children and in turn transform their own lives.

Hilda Pacheco-Taylor,, (949) 476-1144 x 3.

Volunteer feedback:

Join us on a trip to visit the kids!


SUNDAY, MARCH 15, 2015