Tween Sisters Stay Motivated By Running Marathons

Two tween sisters have a passion for running marathons, but many critics are asking if they are doing too much too soon? INSIDE EDITION caught up with the family.

12-year-old Kaytlynn Welsch is running in her third marathon. That's 26.2 miles. Her 10-year-old sister, Heather, is running in her 19th half marathon. But some are asking, is this too much too soon?

Their mother, Niki, says the decision to race is up to the girls, and their dad, Rodney, says his job is to keep the girls motivated.

He said, “I push them pretty hard.”

Incredibly, the girls enter a long distance race every weekend. Recently, they competed in the Houston Marathon.

At 3:27 a.m. the girls are up, Kaytlynn slept in her running clothes.

Rodney said, “Normally we just try to get to the race at least two hours before the race starts.”

Before the race they stretch, swallow salt retention pills, and get in a few wind sprints. It's 34 degrees and the rain is as cold as ice, but the girls start the race and get off to a good start.

Heather completed a half-marathon race in one hour and 44 minutes which is incredible. Her pace is about eight minutes a mile. But Kaytlynn had trouble on mile 15 of her full marathon, when her legs stiffened up from the cold.

The race was so grueling, one adult collapsed just 10 feet from the finish line. Kaitlynn crossed the finish line with a respectable time of three hours and 41 minutes.
The other runners were in awe, but Kaytlynn faced a barrage of criticism on the internet.

She said, “I really don't like it, all the bad comments.”

People say she's too young to run, but she disagrees. She said, “It builds you up physically and mentally I’m not going to grow up to be a wacko.”

It's time to rest now, until next week's race.