The Short of It
An amazing 9-year-old girl completes a 24-hour, 36-mile race that was designed by Navy SEALs.
Milla Bizzotto is only in the third grade. But that didn't stop her from recently finishing the BattleFrog Xtreme 24-hour race in Miami, which means she ran 36 miles and completed hundreds of obstacles alongside other more-seasoned competitors.
"There are definitely some double takes on the course," her father and coach, Christian Bizzotto, told Today. "But [Milla] also has been an inspiration to people who see her out there competing like that."
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No doubt! Milla, who the media have started calling "G.I. Jane," not only completed a rigorously demanding course that was designed by Navy SEALs, but she also used the event to inspire other kids to be active and to show how obstacle racing has helped her deal with being bullied at school.
"We wanted to make her feel more empowered, make her feel that she wasn't weak," Christian said. "And that kind of changed her whole mindset. After that, she was coming to the gym to train with a purpose."
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Milla ran in her first BattleFrog race in November—and she basically crushed it.
"I figured she was going to realize things aren't as easy, but the complete opposite happened,'' Christian recalled. "There were two 8-kilometer laps, and after the first one, she asked if we were done. I figured she wasn't up to finish, and that was fine, but when I told her there was another lap, she just took off running. She absolutely loved it."
A few weeks later, Milla ran a Spartan race with her father and grandmother, and the three crossed the finish line holding hands.
"To have three generations doing something that extreme and strenuous, it goes to prove everyone is capable of doing stuff like that,'' Christian said.
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Wow! I am seriously impressed with this little girl's determination. If she can do it, I should be able to do it ... right?
Not everyone agrees that Milla—who trained 18 to 20 hours a week for 90 days to prepare for the race—is setting a good example, however.
"I've had people message me on Facebook and say I'm a child abuser and completely insane, and that no 9-year-old should be doing a 24-hour race," Christian said. "But her own doctors were there supporting her and cheering her on. I want her to be a kid, and this is just something she really wants to do. Instead of video games, she just wants to work out every day."
You go, Milla!