It was around mile 24 of the Orange County Marathon when tears started to well in 12-year-old Blanca Ramirez's eyes.
"Mija, we weren't supposed to finish this marathon. If you want to stop, stop," her father, Dimas Ramirez of La Puente, told her.
"Dad, I want to finish because I want to help the kids," Blanca said, as her father remembered it.
The marathon was supposed to be only a trial race -- if Blanca was going to try to become the youngest person to run seven marathons on seven continents, after all, her father thought it was only practical to use the O.C. Marathon to test her conditioning.
Ramirez obliged with his daughter's...