LA Marathon's student runners inspire runners and spectators alike

Sunday was the 39th Los Angeles Marathon, stretching from Dodger Stadium to Century City. More than 20,000 people completed the race Sunday.

While the wheelchair racers were taking off from the starting line, Stacie Mayorga was warming up. She said she was inspired to run by her mother.

"My mom ran in 1998 and 1999," Mayorga said. "I know when I see her at, like, Mile 18, I know I'm going to start sobbing.

The race was a festive one, featuring a lot of green for St. Patrick's Day, but every racer had their own story about why they ran the race Sunday.

For Brennen Higgins-Bell, it was her first time. She said she wanted to run "because it seemed like it was out of my comfort zone."

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For 13-year-old Andrew Drummond, another first timer, Sunday's race was years in the making, saying, "I've been wanting to do the marathon since I was about 7."

Yamikiela Gilharry ran for her heart.

"I have tachycardia, which [means] my heart rate gets irregular, and so running has really helped me," she said."

Gilharry, Drummond, Higgins-Bell and Mayorga were among the 3,000 students from 200 schools representing Students Run LA. This year was the organization's 35th at the marathon. 

FOX 11 Anchor Marla Tellez ran the race for the fifth time Sunday. She called the students inspiring. "They're amazing out here," Tellez said. "You see so many signs for them, and they're just so inspiring, to see these young kids."

Stacie Mayorga hugging her mother during the Los Angeles Marathon.

And it wasn't just the other racers they inspired. Mayorga, who said she'd sob when she sees her mother at Mile 18? She did sob. But she also inspired her mom — to run again, in next year's LA Marathon, after 26 years.