12-Year-Old-Girl Sets Out to Run 5K Race, Mistakenly Enters Half Marathon And Nails It
Boy, thought 12-year-old LeeAdianez Rodriguez as she ran her heart out, this race sure is long.
Indeed it was. It was ten miles longer than the 5K run she was supposed to be in. Rodriguez had accidentally joined a half marathon, but she wasn't about to quit.
So instead of running 3.1 miles Sunday in upstate New York, she ran 13.1 miles, with not a bit of long-distance training.
"She just saw people running and thought it was her race," said Ellen Brenner, co-owner of Fleet Feet Sports Rochester and YellowJacket Racing, which sponsored the races, according to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
The half marathon and the 5K runs started at the same bridge, 15 minutes apart.
Meanwhile, her mother, Brendalee Espada, was beside herself. For nearly two hours, Espada searched for her sixth-grade daughter at the 5K finish line but couldn't find her.
"She gave me a really big scare," the mom told the paper.
She went to race officials and the police and told them her daughter was missing.
As the girl neared the end of the half-marathon, a motorcycle cop cruised up and told Rodriguez her mother was worried. She kept running.
"She just wanted to finish the race ... I see that one of the officers found her. And I see she has a medal."
Espada was amazed her child had completed the long and hilly course. "I don't even know how she did it. I'm so proud of her," the mother told the paper.
Rodriquez finished the half marathon in 2:43:31, coming in 1,885 out of 2,111 finishers.
Her next goal is to run a 5K race scheduled for May.
Her mother had a few things to say about that. "We'll run it together at the same pace. Even if she wants to run ahead, she's staying with me," said Espada.