A note from the TRM program director (Mike Araiza)

Today is Tuesday, the day by which all 221 students and 55 mentors should have returned to school or work, nursing sore muscles and other aches and pains, while showing off their medals and telling “war” stories of their battles with 26.2 or 13.1 miles the previous Sunday. The realities are far from this scenario. Students and mentors are at home, as they have been for the past 2 weeks, looking to survive the coronavirus while at the same time trying to reconcile training 4 days a week for 26 weeks to only to be told that the Modesto Marathon has been cancelled.  This would seem especially disappointing to two of our high school seniors who were preparing to run their 6th Modesto Marathon as a TRM student. This should have been the cap to roughly 3000 miles of running, rain or shine, over this 6-year period.

Not to diminish the accomplishments of the other 219 students, they all were amazingly dedicated this year, I wanted to give special recognition to our two 6-year students. Helping with this is Deb Kleinfelder, TRM Mentor at Prescott Junior High School, and Paola Campos, Ceres High School Junior, TRM student and team mate of Enrique for the past 5 years who next year will join the 6 year club herself.


Submitted by Debbie Kleinfelder:

Shannon Paulson has participated in the Teens Run Modesto program for the last six years at Prescott Junior High, each year training and completing the full marathon.  With the cancellation of the 2020 Modesto Marathon, Shannon took to the East La Loma trails and completed her sixth full marathon on March 20, 2020.

She is a master at balancing a very busy schedule.  Each year Shannon not only works hard training, but is always willing to help other students/ mentors.  Her positive attitude and willingness to help out has been an invaluable asset to our program.    Over the years Shannon has been an excellent student mentor for the young students on the Prescott team.  She is always willing to run and talk to them about high school and  what to expect.  

As if training for a marathon each year isn’t hard enough, Shannon also excels at her academic endeavors.  She has taken as many AP classes as she can, while maintaining her straight A report cards.  Shannon has also participated for four years on Gregori’s cross country and Mock Trial teams. Her hard work paid off in February when she accepted early admission to University of California, Berkeley.  Watch out world, she is on her way


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Submitted by Paola Campos:

Training for and running a marathon is a life changing journey. Yes,there’s the early mornings, and the cold weather, and the sore muscles, but the finish line proves to be worth each and every struggle. 

For eleven years now, Teens Run Modesto has been working to teach students the value of having courage and setting goals. Over the course of six months, students are taught that if one simply focuses on one run at a time, one mile at a time, one step at a time, anything and everything is possible. Led by a select group of amazing mentors, the 2019-2020 TRM year had  hundreds of students sign up to run either the half or full marathon on March 29th, 2020. Nonetheless, due to uncontrollable circumstances, the race was cancelled a few weeks prior to the race date. This was a hard moment for everyone in the community, but with health being a priority many are looking forward to running the race next year.

For seniors, their hard work does not go unrecognized. In particular, there are two seniors who have been part of the program for six years and merit recognition:

Enrique Martínez of Central Valley High School in Ceres, and Shannon Paulson Gregori High School seniors.

Enrique Martínez started running with TRM back in 2014 when he was in seventh grade. Following in his father’s footsteps, Enrique has worked hard every year to meet his goals. In 2018, he set his fastest marathon at 3 hours 27 minutes and 34 seconds, placing second in his age group overall. But more than simply being fast, Enrique is also an exceptional student and person. With hopes of helping others, Enrique is currently waiting for his admission to Stanford University where he hopes to become a surgeon. This year, Enrique’s goal was to run the marathon under three hours and qualify for Boston. This year, that might not be possible. However, there’s one thing to know for sure: regardless of where life takes Enrique, he will succeed. The world better brace itself because Enrique Martínez III still has a lot to offer and it’s not a matter of if, but when.