She’s only 12 and wants to be the youngest female to run seven marathons on seven continents. Blanca Ramirez of La Puente, California started running last year and now hopes to break a world record to benefit the charity Operation Smile. The charity provides free surgeries for children with cleft palates and other facial deformities. She has already finished races in North America, Africa and Asia so far, and is set to hit South America in August, at the International Marathon of Asuncion in Paraguay.
Dimar Ramirez, her father, said the family ran a marathon together at Disneyland last year, which sparked Blanca’s love for running.
Not long after that, his daughter came up with the idea to try and run one marathon on each continent.
“’This is something that I want to do, so the fame that I get, I can do to help a charity,” Ramirez said, recalling when Blanca first told him of the idea. “So, I’m like, ‘oh.’ I can’t say not to that.”
Blanca is using her record-setting attempt to promote awareness and raise money for Operation Smile, a volunteer-based medical charity that provides free cleft surgeries.
So far, Blanca has run a marathon in the U.S., Africa and Asia.
Ramirez, who is Blanca’s biggest supporter, has spent more than $10,000 funding her trips.
She said that during the races, her father is always by her side offering encouragement.
“He motivates me whenever I start to think negative, about like not finishing the race,” she said.
Blanca’s remaining marathons are in South America in August, Australia in November, and a race in Europe at the beginning of next year. The final marathon will be in Antarctica in March 2015