What happens if you find yourself on a half marathon course when you only trained for a 5K?
If you’re 12-year-old LeeAdianez Rodriguez-Espada, you just go with the flow.
The Rochester, New York tween was running late to the Wegman’s Family 5K last weekend, so her mom dropped her off at the start line before going to park the car. A volunteer instructed LeeAdianez, who goes by Lee, to just start running because the race had already started.
Miles went by and Lee finally asked another runner how much further the finish line was.
“And that’s when it struck me I was in the half marathon instead of the 5k,” she told WHAM.
Rather than calling it quits, Lee stayed the course. Her mother, Brendalee Espada, was extremely worried when Lee didn’t finish the race within an hour, so race officials and the authorities were alerted.
“We didn’t know where she was, and as we found out, she was coming to the finish line. She was amazing,” said one of the race organizers.
“Then I see her with a medal and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, she ran the other one, like for real,'” Brendalee added. “She is just 12-years-old and she decided to just keep running and not giving up.”
Lee finished in 2 hours and 43 minutes. More importantly, she learned that mistakes can fuel opportunity.