As the ladies of RunAllTheRaces get ready for the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon weekend presented by Cigna, we’re excited to share the inspirational stories of some of the members of #TeamCigna.
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Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 4.28.55 PMFor Karina Hernandez, joining Students Run LA (SRLA) was a family affair. “My two older siblings were part of the team, and my parents would bring me to all their races to cheer them on. I thought it was so cool to see all the runners cross the finish line at the LA Marathon.”

Starting in 7th grade, Karina tried out and won a spot on her school’s SRLA team- they practice four times a week, running from 3 to 8 miles each day, and participating in long distance races each month. The goal: SRLA members get to participate in the Skechers Performance LA Marathon each March, with the organization covering coaching, training, registration fees and uniforms. Karina has run the so-called “Stadium to the Sea” race five times, and is looking forward to running her 6th marathon at Disney World with big sister and SRLA alum Laura to cheer her on.

“It’s really cool to sit in Dodger’s Stadium with thousands of other racers, with all their nerves and excitement, and to realize- Whoa! I am about to run the LA Marathon!” said Karina. The thing she loves most about running is “the sense of accomplishment. Sometimes my legs feel like they’re going to fall off, but at the end of the run you really feel like you’ve accomplished something.”

As a result of Karina’s hard work and commitment to her health, The Cigna Foundation, a partner of Students Run LA, is sending Karina and her big sister on an all-expense paid trip to Walt Disney World in January. She’ll represent SRLA in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday, January 6, running with Ced Edwards of the Cigna Foundation.

“Enhancing the well-being of people and the places where they live directly connects to Cigna’s mission, “said Mary Engvall, Executive Director of the Cigna Foundation. “We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their best health, but sometimes those opportunities are limited by factors outside a person’s control. The Cigna Foundation’s philanthropic giving focuses on creating health equity to help people achieve their best possible personal health and enjoy living their best lives.”

As a long distance runner for so many years, Karina has had her share of injuries. After one race she was rushed to the hospital to treat a painful nerve issue. Luckily, she was soon back on her feet, with tips on posture and special orthotics to run pain-free. After a knee injury in 10th grade, she was no longer able to run with her best friend and teammate Gabby. “I was afraid I would slow her down, but she’s such a strong solo racer I’ve seen such an improvement in her running.” Karina credits Coach Mendoza with leading such a great Students Run LA team, one of the largest in the city.

“The Cigna Foundation’s support of Students Run LA enables terrific kids like Karina to experience the joys, character-building and health benefits of running. We’re pleased to partner with Cigna as we work to fulfill our mission for the at-risk kids of Los Angeles,” explained Coach Joe Mendoza, Students Run LA.

Besides running, Karina is an accomplished student who maintains a 3.0 average in her college-level classes. This award-winning baker competes in culinary competitions as training for her future career in hotel hospitality.

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Thanks for following along –

The Ladies of Run All The Races
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Cigna_logo4Use #CignaRunTogether and #WDWMarathon to join the conversation on social media.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @RunAllTheRaces, Instagram @RunAllTheRaces, and like us on Facebook/runalltheraces.

Any questions, please reach out to us at runalltheraces@yahoo.com.  We’re happy to help!

Have you checked out our Podcast?  Give us a listen and let us know what you think: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/run-all-the-races/id1078046216?mt=2

Perfectly Goofy Gail, Delightful Dopey Kimberly, PhotoBomb Becca & California Kiley

COUNTDOWN TO NEXT runDisney RACE WEEKEND: Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

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Meet Perfectly Goofy Gail
Perfectly Goofy Gail's 100th runDisney medal!

Perfectly Goofy Gail's 100th runDisney medal!

Perfectly Goofy Gail began getting active in 2005 with the goal of getting out of the house and loosing some weight... more

Meet Delightfully Dopey Kimberly
Thank you @runDisney for 7 years, 74 races, 102 medals and 708.2 magical miles!

Thank you @runDisney for 7 years, 74 races, 102 medals and 708.2 magical miles!

Delightfully Dopey Kimberly began running in 2008 with the single goal of crossing “running a marathon” off her bucket list... more

Meet PhotoBomb Becca
We don't call her PhotoBomb Becca for nothing...

We don't call her PhotoBomb Becca for nothing...

PhotoBomb Becca...more

Meet California Kiley
Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Minnie

Disneyland Diamond Anniversary Minnie

California Kiley as you can probably guess hails from sunny Southern California... more

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