Life Of A Brave: Bosco Alumnus and First-Year Teacher, Mr. Ruben Solorza ’13, Takes 14th In Impressive Showing At the Los Angeles Marathon
by Brett Baligad
Mirroring the ongoing success of Bosco Cross Country, Mr. Solorza represented the Braves very well in the Los Angeles Marathon.
Last weekend, Mr. Solorza, an environmental science teacher at Bosco, competed in the LA Marathon, as he took 14th place with a time of 2 hours and 38 minutes. This is a huge achievement, as he ran with over 8,000 runners at the event.
Mr. Solorza stands confidently in the top 2% of runners who have broken the three-hour plane. Impressively, he ran at a pace of 6 minutes per mile for the whole event.
This is not his first time running a marathon, however, as he also ran the Chicago Marathon only a month beforehand. His best run was in 2018, as he achieved a time of 2 hours and 38 minutes in the Sacramento Marathon. As a man who loves to travel, he hopes to run internationally or even possibly at the Olympic level over the next few years.
“My short-term goal is to break 2:30. That’s a big barrier I want to hit. One of my other big goals is to run the Berlin Marathon in 2023, so this is me asking for my days off early,” Mr. Solorza jokingly said.
One important aspect of Mr. Solorza’s attire was his Bosco cross country jersey from when he was a high school athlete, which he wore while running at the marathon. As an alumnus of the St. John Bosco class of 2013, he kept his jerseys in hopes of using them again. Bosco’s cross country team currently sports two jerseys of blue and gold.
“We usually bring out the gold (jerseys) for big events such as CIF, league finals and state finals. I brought it out since this marathon is one of the larger ones, and I wanted to represent Brave Nation locally,” said Mr. Solorza.
Originally, Mr. Solorza didn’t take the easiest route to find his passion for running. After experimenting with various sports and clubs his freshman year at Bosco, Coach Tim McIntosh of cross country offered him a spot on the team his sophomore year. With encouragement from his friends, he went out and began running with the team over the summer.
“In my first practice, I threw up. I was super dizzy and somehow I came back the next day,” said Mr. Solorza.
Not long after, he slowly discovered his love and dedication to running. In his upperclassmen years, Mr. Solorza grew as a leader on the running squad. As a key member of the team, St. John Bosco won the state championship in 2012, his junior year. This high school success encouraged him to run at the collegiate level at local Whittier College.
Not long after completing his college career, Mr. Solorza found himself back at his alma mater, as a science teacher and assistant cross country coach. With his work with the cross country team and running frequent marathons, Mr. Solorza continues his passion for running.
Training for a twenty-six-mile marathon is no easy task. As an environmental science teacher, Mr. Solorza typically finds himself running by the beach or along the San Gabriel River. Leading up to a big race, Mr. Solorza gets himself mentally ready and prepares his diet.
“Two days out (from a marathon), I eat a lot of pasta and a lot of carbs. I’m sleeping a lot along with getting my mind right for the grind of twenty-six miles and grading some papers,” said Mr. Solorza.
To celebrate, like any typical successful run, Mr. Solorza enjoyed a classic burger, fries and soda. He enjoys being surrounded by all of his friends and family that come to support him.
Mr. Solorza plans to take a break from marathons for the rest of the year as he finishes out his first-semester teaching at Bosco. His next big race is the iconic Boston Marathon in April. In order to compete, Mr. Solorza’s division requires a time that is less than three hours, which he has already done, leaving him to try to set a new personal record in the spring.
In the meantime, he plans to run two half marathons in Phoenix and Las Vegas next year in order to prepare. Although he may be celebrating and resting after his hard work over the past few months, Mr. Solorza is eager to get back on the starting line and continue his running grind next year.