Ava, true warrior at heart.

Meet Ava a 7-yr old fighting muscle disease who sometimes struggles doing daily activities and has a hard time jogging a block. Last month she completed the 2017 Legoland mile run.

Her father Abel would like to share their story.

As Ava and I talked about the race - whether casually or during her training - she voiced a few goals of the race to me which we didn't share til after the race:
(1) Have fun during the race
(2) Finish the race...and without injuries
(3) No stopping
(4) No walking
(5) ___________ (I'll tell you this one later)

Leading up to raceday, Ava was super excited as well as extremely nervous. She and us knew it would be tough and we were trusting that her training and her mindset were right for raceday. As we arrived at LEGOLAND California, Ava and her brothers joined the many kid racers and their companion runners which included family and friends also running the race. This was helpful in getting Ava pumped up during the long wait before the race and also served as a distraction to her nerves.

As the race began, the excitement grew. And we were off...but then we had a minor hiccup immediately about 15 meters into the race when Ava fell. The reason I say minor is because though it seemed like a hard fall, she immediately got up and brushed it off. Whew! So we continued on our way. The race started with an incline from the parking lot area up to the the park. I could see many kids (as well as their companion runners) already starting to lose their mojo and slow down and some even complaining about the hill. I was hoping that Ava would not get distracted by any of this, and thankfully she kept focused as we continued into the park.

Entering Legoland, Ava and all the kids's excitement grew again as they got to see all the attractions. However, though exciting, again it also was very distracting and I saw many more kids stopping to look at or play with everything. Fortunately again, Ava kept focused and continued on her way.

Everything was smooth sailing until about halfway into the race when Ava kept asking me if we were almost done or were we almost to the end. I knew we still had some ways to go. I could see her running form changing. As I talked with her and coached her through, there was a little part of me that was starting to think that she may have to walk or stop for a break which was ok but I knew those were two of her goals for the race.

I continued to encourage her while monitoring her activity. It was really tough though since I was witnessing my daughter in one of her most weakest moments (physically) in her life. And as her dad, I wanted to just stop and pick her up.

But true to her warrior spirit, she kept fighting. It was a testament of her will. With about a quarter mile of the race left, she got her second wind and got stronger with every step. As we were leaving the park, Ava knew she was almost done and she actually started sprinting as much as she could. She finished strong to cheers and cowbells.

We are so proud of you Ava. You did so well as did all the racers.

Ava wants to share a little bit of her thoughts.
She says that the best part of the race was...'the end'. hehehehe.
She was so happy that mommy ran too.
And she is most proud of earning her first MDA Team Momentum finisher pin.

Oh I almost forgot to tell you her #5 goal. It was to finish the race in 20 minutes. We are stoked to say that Ava met that goal and finished in 15:08.