Image running on the sunny streets of California, but with a few thousand people beside you. Stamina, physical fitness, and determination are vital elements needed to to survive a marathon.

Wilson student teacher Amanda Erdman is one of many runners who will be participating in the enthralling Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego, CA on June 4. "I am taking it one mile at a time," she explained about the marathon being 26.2 miles long.

The money raised at the marathon will help find a cure for Leukemia. The participants will have about seven hours to finish the race. "Four hours is my goal. But I hope to break four hours."

This is the Berks County native's first marathon. Previously, the 25-year-old athlete ran shorter races including a half marathon last year. "I wanted to challenge myself and see how far I can take things," said Erdman, adding that, a trip to San Diego is a plus.

The student teacher has always been involved in sports, competing in high school and at Shippensburg University in field hockey.

"Running is a hobby for me. I like to run early in the morning when the sun breaks over the horizon. It feels good to start the day on a good note."

Nice weather encourages her training. "If it is nice I throw on my sneakers and it (weather) is an endurance kick. I love being outdoors."

Erdman started running seriously about three years ago. "I am always in training and I try to do one run a week with the dog or sisters. I love running with my sisters."

With the marathon only about four months away, Erdman is stepping up her training. "I run around town, eat healthy, and go to Bikram yoga (yoga practiced in a heated room and keeps muscles loose) in Lancaster.

She recently finished her student teaching at Whitfield at Green Valley where she instructed kindergartners. "The best part about teaching is getting to know the kids. You start to care about them and try to do the best you can while they are in your hands."

The runner knew she wanted to pursue a teaching career a few years ago. "I moved to Philadelphia and decided I had a future to think about and being involved with education was the only way I would be happy."

For more information about donations and the marathon, visit: http://www.rnrmarathon.com/race_info.html. or contact Amanda Erdman at: amanda.erdman@yahoo.com.

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