Calif. girl, 12, set to run 7 marathons on 7 continents

Instead of playing video games inside like many girls her age, 12-year-old Blanca Ramirez wants to "go out there and make a change in the world."

The La Puenta, Calif., girl is doing that by attempting to be the first female to run seven marathons on seven continents, reports CBS Los Angeles. She's already completed races in North America, Africa and Asia. Soon she'll she'll be able to mark South America and Asia on her running shoes and next year she goes to Europe and yes, Antarctica to finish the challenge.

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Blanca Ramirez
KCBS
In January, 10-year-old Nikolas Toocheck of West Chester, Pa., finished the White Continent Marathon in Antarctica, according to OperationWarm.org, in his quest to be the youngest to finish races on all seven continents, and is said to be the youngest to complete a race in the Antarctic.

But Blanca, with the same spirit, is running to raise money for Operation Smile, an international children's charity that performs surgery on cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities.

The idea for Blanca to become an international marathon runner came when she and her family competed in a race at Disneyland, according to reports. Since then she has trained in local races around Southern California in preparation for the big ones which have so far have taken her from the Great Wall of China to Kigali, Rwanda.

But she knows Antarctica will be among the most challenging due to the cold climate and harsh conditions.

"I have to train to be prepared for the cold and everything else out there since it's a really tough marathon," said Ramirez. "If we have a winter, like my dad says, we're gonna go to Big Bear and train."

According to her website, her next two races take place in Paraguay in August, then Auckland, New Zealand in October.

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