When Winter Vinecki sets her mind to something, she makes it happen, living with the motto “Never Give In.”
So, we shouldn’t be all that shocked that, just Sunday, she succeeded at her goal of setting a few world records.
Want to know what is shocking?
Winter is just fourteen. That’s right. FOURTEEN!
And yes, I said WORLD records. Two of them.
Winter is officially the youngest person to run a marathon on every continent. A full marathon (26.2 miles)! On every continent!
She and her mom, Dr. Dawn Estelle, are also the first mother/daughter team to run a marathon on every continent together. Most mothers and daughters would struggle to get through one. This pair did seven!
The last marathon was run on Sunday, November 10, in Athens, Greece. Fourteen-year-old Winter finished in four hours and three minutes (unofficially).
Well, she has plenty of motivation.
She runs in honor of her father, Michael Vinecki. He died in 2009 from prostate cancer. She vowed to raise money to fight the cruel disease and has done that and more through her non-profit organization TeamWinter.org. She set the goal of achieving this world record for her dad and all the other men who have died from prostate cancer. The foundation has already raised more than $400,000.00. Every penny goes to research and finding cures.
Being fourteen was actually an obstacle in some of the races, which set the minimum age at sixteen for participants. Winter’s fortitude paid off, as she again followed her motto to never give in.
Some of the races were more challenging than others, especially the Inca Trail marathon in Peru, where runners spend the majority of the time on the trail at over 8,600 feet and have to climb over steep hills and mountain passes that are more than 13,000 feet. Winter came in first in the women’s division and fourth overall.
This is the list of races she was part of to achieve her goal:
North America: Eugene, Oregon, April 2012
Africa: Kenya, Africa, September 2012
Antarctica: King George Island, Antarctica, April 2013 (she set a world record here as the youngest person to compete in a marathon in Antarctica)
South America: Cuzco, Peru, June 2013
Asia: Mongolia, August 2013
Oceana: New Zealand, October 2013
Europe: Athens, Greece, November 2013
On top of all of this, Winter continues to work toward another goal she has: to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics. She’s been training with the youth Olympic development team for aerial skiing.
And, oh yeah, she’s also a full-time high school student through a virtual high school run by Stanford University.
She may be just fourteen, but she’s inspiring the world—one continent at a time, one step at a time—and there’s no doubt, whatever else she sets her sites on, she will never give in.
Desiree Miller’s work appears on dozens of television stations around the country, from KABC in LA to WCBS in New York. She also contribute to magazines, including·Family Fun by Disney, Atlanta Parent, and Expectant Mothers Guide. She writes for many websites and hold the title of Atlanta’s Top Mom Blogger.