Girl Accidentally Runs Half-Marathon ‘Watch’

Updated: April 28, 2016
Girl Accidentally Runs Half-Marathon - Watch

12-Year-Old Girl Accidentally Runs Half-Marathon After Signing Up for 5K: ‘She Decided to Keep Running and Not Give Up,’ Mom Says.

LeeAdianez Rodriguez thought she was late for her race, but what happened is incredible.

Rodriguez says, “About the fourth mile, I asked a woman I was running with how long it was and she said about 13 miles. That’s when I realized I think I was running in the wrong group.”

It turns out Rodriguez was 15 minutes early for the 5K. Four miles into the race, it was decision time for the 12-year-old. She just remembered what she had learned during the 5K training to just keep running.

“I kept going, I knew after a while I was in the half marathon and I was like ‘I’m going to finish this. I’m going to keep going,'” says Rodriguez.

That’s just what Rodriguez did, even when her legs started hurting around the halfway point. Meanwhile, her mother Brendalee Espada was waiting for her at the 5K finish line panicked when she couldn’t find her only child.

“They checked the computer so it showed she had not started either one of the runs, so that’s when I got more concerned,” says Espada. “I got even more nervous — of course I cried.”

By this time the police got involved, the organizers spread the word and finally someone located runner number 1692, but the race was almost over.

“This police officer came in a motorcycle and said, ‘Your family’s looking for you, they’re waiting.’ I said, ‘I know, but I’m going to keep going,'” says Rodriguez.
Rodriguez was so excited that she sprinted the rest of the way.

“I don’t know how to explain it but it was like time froze,” she says. “I felt like I was on top of the world.”

“I just wanted to hug her and not let her go,” says Espada. “It was awesome. It was a big surprise for us.”

The story is even more incredible when you consider Rodriguez started training for the 5K only two months ago. But she says this is only the beginning.