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Being Part of Team Hernandez Is Awesome!

image1“I’m Tina and it all began when our 11- and 7-year-olds, Elena and Lucas, joined the school track team and my husband Daniel started coaching. The first time we ran with the kids, we loved it! We saw how exhilarated they were, and how awesome it felt to be part of a team.”

Who’s fastest in the family? “I am!” says 7-year old Lucas who qualified for the USATF Cross Country Nationals in South Carolina. Lucas and his father Danny, Grandpa Nick, and Uncle John all made the road trip together to cheer on Lucas down in South Carolina!

While Lucas competes to win, his big sister 11-year-old Elena believes that, “Staying fit and healthy is the best reward of running.” Their parents, Tina and Danny should be proud. Tina explains, “I feel running as a family sets an example for the kids that we as parents practice health and fitness.”

Tina and Danny have been putting in some serious work! They chose a Ragnar Relay as a get-away together with a team of friends, Tina relates, “Ragnar was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had. With all our friends it was like a big party but also, pushing through the physical challenge was truly exhilarating!”
Danny adds, “Ragnar was truly gratifying to see what both the team and individual runner can accomplish together.

If you want a running family too, take Elena’s advice, “Start slowly and work your way up to build endurance. Have fun and encourage each other!” The family all agrees “Have fun and be proud of what you can accomplish!”

  • Danny, Tina, Elena, and Lucas have done 4 races as a family!
  • Parents Danny & Tina are training for the Trenton ½ and the New Hampshire Ragnar Relay.

Meet the Amazing 56 Marathon Strong Stewart Family!


Sole Stories about running, walking & fitness: Stewart Family

Some families depend on each other to grow and survive, the Stewart family depends on running to nurture and unify their family. Claradene Stewart explains, “It was my daughter, Tami, who challenged my husband, Wayne, and I to run our first race. She urged us to tackle the Moab Half-Marathon and then the St. George Marathon.”

Anything worthwhile takes time especially being a working Mom and running marathons. “Wayne finished both as planned! I did the half-marathon, but was reluctant to try a full marathon because I was working full-time and had four children still at home.”

Daughter Tami kept pushing Claradene and it paid off, “The next year when I was 53-years-old, I finally ran my first marathon. I was able to finish in 4:48 by using the Jeff Galloway Method to walk a minute every 5 minutes. After mile 18, I started passing people and finished strong!”

If you combine The Stewart’s marathon mileage you could go from Kansas to California! “We — as a family — have run 56 marathons! Plus, I finished the Boston Marathon for the fourth time this past April, three days after my 65th birthday! We believe running keeps us young and alive.”

  • 56 marathons = 1,467.2 miles roughly the distance from Kansas to California!
  • To qualify for Boston as a 60-64 year old, Claradene ran better than an average pace of 10 minute 11 seconds per mile!

Taylor “Does a Wheelie” Through A Tough Situation!

Athletes Helping Athletes, Road Runner Sports, and YOU have teamed up since 2000 to help kids with disabilities by giving them handcycles free of charge.  972 to date! Truly, you’ve changed their worlds! Thank you.

AHA Taylor

Meet AHA Featured Hero Taylor

When you first meet Taylor you see a sweet 7-year old girl with long, curly, blonde hair and a smile that brightens any room. Then she gets a mischevious look in her big blue eyes and says, “Watch me do a wheelie!”

To say Taylor loves her new handcycle is an understatement. “I love to ride it because I go very fast in it!” she says.

For Taylor, going fast means being free. She hasn’t always been in a wheelchair. Two years ago, she was in an auto accident that left her paralyzed from the chest down.

Her father says it’s been very difficult the past two years. But he admits, “Honestly, the one handling it the best is Taylor.”

Looking to the future, Taylor says she wants to help other injured people walk again. But, she also has another passion. “I like snakes,” she says. “But, people at school say I shouldn’t because I’m a girl.” She doesn’t let that get her down. “I like them anyway.”

What Taylor likes

Favorite subject: Math (Recess & Lunch too!)

Favorite Sports: Rugby Thumb-wrestling

Favorite Food: Chicken Noodle Soup

Favorite Animals: Bunnies & Dogs

Here’s Your Chance to Change a Kid’s Life Forever! Donate here now >>

Endless Possibilities for Multi-Talented Mikale!

Athletes Helping Athletes, Road Runner Sports, and YOU have teamed up since 2000 to help kids with disabilities by giving them handcycles free of charge.  972 to date! Truly, you’ve changed their worlds! Thank you.

AHA M Photo

Meet AHA Featured Hero Mikale

When you first meet Mikale you see a quiet, well-mannered, intelligent 8-year-old boy. But after a few minutes, you see a dare-devil spark in his eyes as his proud father asks him to demonstrate how far he can skid in his wheelchair.

To say Mikale loves his new handcycle is to put it mildly. “I love it because I can ride with my sister and my family now,” he says.

For Mikale, riding with his family means being free. Having been born with Spina Bifida and hip dysplasia, he’s never walked on his own. But, things are looking up since Mikale received his handcycle.

Looking to the future, Mikale says he’s not sure what he wants to be. Then he thinks about it for a minute and says, “I want to be a veterinarian.” He pauses, “And a rugby player.” Another pause. “And a basketball player. And I think that’s it.” Now that Mikale’s gotten a taste of freedom, there’s no limit for him.

“Thank you! Now I can ride with my family and go fast!” Mikale age 8

Here’s Your Chance to Change a Kid’s Life Forever! Donate here now >>

Match Joey With Any Sport and Watch Him Excel!

Athletes Helping Athletes, Road Runner Sports, and YOU have teamed up since 2000 to help kids with disabilities by giving them handcycles free of charge. 972 to date! Truly, you’ve changed their worlds! Thank you.

AHA Joey

Meet AHA Featured Hero Joey

As soon as you meet Joey, you can tell he loves riding his new AHA bike. In fact, he was eager to show off his skills during the photo shoot! When asked if he brings it to school or allows his sister, Lauren to borrow it, he shakes his head firmly—no!

“Oh no, I really love my bike and don’t want it to break so I make sure to take really good care of it,” Joey says. Wise words for an 8-year-old boy.

Despite being born with Spina Bifida, Joey has never let his disability deter his love of sports. He’s raced with Challenged Athletes and learned to play basketball and rugby at San Diego Adaptive Sport’s summer camp.

Looking ahead, Joey is excited to be able to participate in even more sports, and hopes to learn to play tennis this summer. Joey is a definite force to be reckoned with and is sure to benefit from all the opportunities his new handcycle will continue to provide!

“Thank you, AHA! Now I can race my sister and WIN” Joey, age 8

Here’s Your Chance to Change a Kid’s Life Forever! Donate here now >>

For Maximum Speed Just Add Cody!

Athletes Helping Athletes, Road Runner Sports, and YOU have teamed up since 2000 to help kids with disabilities by giving them handcycles free of charge.  972 to date! Truly, you’ve changed their worlds! Thank you.

2014 Cody

Meet AHA Featured Hero Cody

“Catch Cody if you can” was the phrase-of-the-day at this year’s AHA photo shoot. And boy-o-boy was he hard to catch! Cody, who’s just 5 years old, definitely doesn’t let life slow him down – or his prosthetic. Passersby did double-takes when he zoomed past on his blade, his prosthetic foot, or on his AHA handcycle – he was fast no matter what!

Losing his right leg above the knee at only 7 months old, Cody was born with a very rare deficiency of the tibia, or shin bone, called tibial hemimelia. “Yet with all the challenges my son faced so early on in his life, his smile never left his face,” said Dana, Cody’s mom. She’s right: his smile is truly contagious!

Cody’s love of going fast began when he received his first bike at the ripe old age of one-year-old from last year’s AHA Hero, Joey. Joey met Cody at a local sporting event and in the spirit of paying-it-forward, gave his outgrown tricycle to Cody. Mom said after that, Cody was hooked on going “cheetah fast,” so they soon applied to AHA for a bigger, faster handcycle.

And the rest, as they say, is history. “Now we go to Miramar Lake together and he races me around the 5-mile loop on his new bike and he’s already making plans with his friends to ride bikes, too,” Dana said with a big smile. Stay tuned – Cody’s going places FAST!

Cody’s Favorite Things

Food: steamed spinach. “It makes me strong like my Uncle Apollo and Uncle Nick!”

Sports: Soccer, T-Ball, Running, and, of course, now Biking!

Here’s Your Chance to Change a Kid’s Life Forever! Donate here now >>

Julia Smiles Like Sunshine While Defying the Odds!

Athletes Helping Athletes, Road Runner Sports, and YOU have teamed up since 2000 to help kids with disabilities by giving them handcycles free of charge. 972 to date! Truly, you’ve changed their worlds! Thank you.


2015 Julia














Meet AHA Featured Hero Julia

Julia is pure sunshine in a 7 year-old’s body.

Her mom, Holly, describes her as having “this smile that is never forgotten.” And it’s true. When you meet Julia, all you see is this great, big, beaming smile at the center of her being. Her eyes sparkle through her dark-framed glasses as she supports herself with bright purple crutches that match her bright purple wheelchair.

Julia was born with Spina Bifida and had zero movement in her legs. Despite being told she’d never walk, she took her first steps at age two with the aid of a walker. By age six, she traded in her walker for crutches and now only uses her wheelchair for long distances.

Holly says that although “Julia’s physical abilities make life a challenge, she is always smiling and loves life!” And while she loves to play Barbie (she has a “million of them”), sing and play guitar at church, and go on family camping trips, Julia’s super excited about using her new handcycle to go fast with her little brother and all her cousins.

Julia’s also happy that she can ride at the park near her grandmother’s house. “Now Nana can ride with me, too!” she says with her biggest smile yet. You can bet Julia will be going faster than her whole family in no time!

Julia’s Favorite Things

Food: Chicken Nuggets with BBQ Sauce


Fun Time:Playing With Barbies, Swimming, Family Camping, and now Biking!

Here’s Your Chance to Change a Kid’s Life Forever! Donate here now >>

Record Breaking 81 Year Old Proves You’re Never Too Old to Challenge Yourself!


Running strong at 81 years young, Anne Garrett is the American Age Group Record holder in the half marathon and 5k race. Congratulations Anne!

Born in Ireland, Anne came to California with her husband and daughters Jane and Joanne in 1968. “I never even thought of running, I didn’t even think I could run, nobody in my family had ever run, except maybe to catch a bus or a train. I just never knew I could run.” Anne doesn’t just run, she competes. She says, “I always like to pass people.” Amazingly, Anne didn’t run her first race until she was 72.

It’s not all records and races for Anne though, running gives Anne a sense of community “I have made so many friends through running. “ I’ll meet people in stores and they’ll say, “You’re Anne Garrett. I see you running over on Carlsbad Blvd.”

Equally, Anne inspires the community through volunteer work, “I go to the schools and talk to children about exercising and how good it is. Then we run together and they just love to try to beat me.”

“Goals can be reached no matter how big or small, official or personal, young or old, you’re never too old to challenge yourself, if it’s something you want, you can do it.”

• This year Anne ran a 2:13:32 at the Surf City USA Half Marathon in Huntington Beach CA for the record in the 80-84 age group!

• In 2012, Anne finished the Surf City USA Half Marathon with a 2:08:33 time and a pace of 9:49 per mile for the record in the 75-79 age group!

• Anne’s record 5k was at the 2012 Carlsbad 5000 with a time of 25:59. That’s an 8:38 minute per mile pace!

• Anne is the spokesperson for the Move Your Feet Before You Eat foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to health and fitness, targeting childhood obesity.


Ultra Mom Turns Mileage Into Quality Time

Many Moms walk, do 5ks, pilates, yoga, half and full marathons, but Shawna Wentlandt thrives on ultra marathons. She has even finished twelve 100 mile or longer ultra races!

RtWwithMimiShawna is special and so is her family. “The fun thing about my family is all of us run.” The Wentlandts don’t mess around, “My 14 year old son has finished seven 100 milers finishing as the 3rd place male twice, My husband has done several 100 milers, my 8 year old daughter does 5 & 10ks and just finished her first half marathon, and my 19 year old son runs plenty serving in the Army. I am proud of the example I am for my kids and that a love for running has rubbed off on them.”

“I truly love the challenge ultra marathons present. If I can do it, you can do it, there’s nothing special about me except that I have the tenacity to keep going.”

Shawna isn’t going to let up any time soon, “I am looking to earn a new marathon PR this year.” Of course, Shawna reminds us it’s not all about personal records, “My ultimate goal is to have fun making memories with my family.”

• Running since 2003, Shawna started running to lose weight and get healthy.

• In 2010 Shawna started running ultra distances.

 • Shawna has finished twelve 100 mile or longer races.

 • Shawna’s favorite race is the Walt Disney World Marathon in Florida.


Mom and Daughter Bond Crosses Oceans

Caroline & Beth IrelandLast year Caroline Connolly was 3,193 miles away from home at school in Ireland when she decided to run her first half marathon. Running served as an instant connection with her Mom, Beth back home. “My Mom was super supportive, emailing helpful tips on hydration, pacing, nutrition and just completely motivating me.” So supportive that her mom even ran a half-marathon by the beach in New Jersey at the same exact time. “We waved to each other across the Atlantic. So, thank you Mom for helping me.”

They vowed to run a race together next time they were both in the same country. So, this year Caroline and Beth decided to make their first half together extra special—the Bahamas Half Marathon!

caroline & Beth Bahamas post raceWhat’s next for Beth and Caroline? Caroline hints, “A marathon seems pretty scary right now, but maybe one day.” Beth raises the stakes, “I would like to run more races with Caroline, hopefully, I can talk her into a marathon!”

You can bet that by next year Beth and Caroline’s full marathon will be checked off!

• Beth has been running since she was a teenager everything from 5ks to full marathons.

• Caroline has played soccer, basketball and lacrosse and found long distance running a great way to stay active in college.

• Like Mother, like daughter, Beth explains, “My favorite place to run is the beaches and boardwalks of Monmouth County, New Jersey. I love the view of the ocean as I run.” Caroline agrees, “I love to run the boardwalk down the shore in the summer, also my campus at Villanova is a beautiful place to run.”

•The Mother/daughter team share views on what running does for them, “Running helps me clear my mind and de-stress, and of course stay fit.” Beth adds, “Spending time with Caroline is really the best!”