Challenged Athletes Foundation Joins In Motion Events for the First Official Inclusive Kids Marathon Mile at LEGOLAND® California Resort
January 11, 2024
Hundreds of kids of all abilities will run, roll, and stroll together through LEGOLAND® California Resort before the park opens to guests
Carlsbad, CA (January, 2024) /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – Celebrating its 30th anniversary of empowering individuals through sports, the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) has partnered with, Merlin’s Magic Wand Foundation, and In Motion Events to present the first official inclusive Kids Marathon Mile on Saturday, January 13, 2024 at LEGOLAND® California Resort. Hundreds of children with and without physical disabilities will race one mile together through LEGOLAND® California as part of the Carlsbad Marathon race weekend. The new addition of an adaptive wave start embraces the spirit of inclusivity ensuring that no child is left on the sidelines. In collaboration with Merlin’s Magic Wand Foundation, CAF is proud to bring this unique and exclusive opportunity for participants to enjoy at LEGOLAND® California.
“Merlin’s Magic Wand Foundation provides magical experiences for children all over the world who are facing adversity,” said Merlin Entertainments Spokesperson Julie Estrada. “We are proud to offer a Magical Day out to CAF families so they can enjoy all that LEGOLAND California Resort has to offer and build cherished memories together they’ll never forget!”
CAF Ambassador Rudy Garcia-Tolson will commence the event with a motivational message to participants emphasizing that every child has the potential for greatness. Garcia-Tolson began his running journey as a youth athlete at this same race when it was formerly known as the Carlsbad Kids Marathon Mile. Now 35-years-old, he has since developed an impressive athletic resume’, having won five Paralympic medals (two gold, two silver, and one bronze), becoming the first person with a double bi-lateral above-knee amputation to finish an IRONMAN triathlon, and competing in multiple world championships for track, triathlon, and swimming. His accomplishments have earned him the spotlight as the featured athlete on this month’s cover of Men’s Health magazine.
“Rudy’s incredible journey from the Kids Marathon Mile to becoming a Paralympic athlete is a testament to the transformative power of sports,” said Bob Babbitt, CAF Co-founder. “His story of perseverance, achievement, and mentorship is an inspiration to the next generation.”
Joining Rudy will be more than 20 kids with physical disabilities running on prosthetics or racing in their wheelchairs alongside the hundreds (or thousands) of kids enjoying the annual fun run. This non-competitive and family-friendly event is designed to promote healthy living and active lifestyles.
CAF has been a catalyst for thousands of people with physical disabilities to redefine themselves through sport. Guided by a shared vision, CAF’s athletes, generous supporters, and like-minded partners have worked together to propel this movement forward, changing lives, breaking barriers, and igniting futures. Since 1994, CAF has raised over $159 million, funding 44,000 grant requests from individuals in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, across 73 countries, and in 105 different sports.
“The finish line represents more than just the completion of a race; it symbolizes the triumph of inclusivity, determination, and celebrating athletic spirit,” expressed Christine Adams, CEO of In Motion Events. “As we host our first event of 2024, I’m proud of the steps we’re taking alongside amazing organizations like CAF to create unique opportunities to include more people of diverse abilities in our races.”
For more information about Kids Marathon Mile and to register for the event, please visit Kids Marathon Mile at LEGOLAND.
About Challenged Athletes Foundation
The Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) stands as a global leader in empowering individuals with physical disabilities to embrace vibrant, active lives. CAF firmly believes that engaging in physical activity fosters self-esteem, encourages independence, and enriches the quality of life. For three transformative decades, CAF has been at the forefront of the adaptive sports movement, catalyzing change, and redefining possibilities. Since its inception in 1994, CAF has raised over $159 million and fulfilled 44,000 funding requests from people with physical disabilities across all 50 states and more than 73 countries, impacting another 60,000 individuals annually through its outreach efforts. From providing essential equipment like handcycles to offering mentorship and encouragement, CAF’s mission is clear: to provide opportunities and support to those who aspire to lead active, athletic lifestyles. To learn more, please visit challengedathletes.org.
About The Carlsbad Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K and In Motion Events
The Carlsbad Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K is a scenic winter race that covers over 18 miles of breathtaking ocean views with outstanding course support and entertainment. The race is produced by In Motion Events, a full-service, turnkey event marketing and management firm based in San Marcos. The family-owned and operated business has been working with Southern California-based races and events since 1981. In Motion Events’ mission is to produce the very best running and walking events possible that are a credit to their company, to their sponsors and the community in which they are held. For more information on In Motion Events, visit www.InMotionEvents.com.
About LEGOLAND California Resort
LEGOLAND® California Resort includes LEGOLAND® California, SEA LIFE® aquarium, LEGOLAND® Water Park, LEGOLAND® Hotel and LEGOLAND® Castle Hotel. All are geared for families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. At LEGOLAND California, you’ll find more than 60 rides, shows and attractions including the new The LEGO MOVIE WORLD based on the blockbuster films The LEGO® Movie™ and The LEGO® Movie™ 2: The Second Part. The new land fully immerses guests into the LEGO® Movie universe and places them onto the streets of Bricksburg. LEGOLAND Water Park features more than seven slides, sandy beaches and the unique Build-A-Raft River plus Pirate Reef and LEGO Legends of CHIMA Water Park comprising 10 acres of water fun! The nation’s first LEGOLAND Hotel features 250 rooms, all themed either as pirate, adventure, kingdom, LEGO® Friends and LEGO® NINJAGO™! North America’s first LEGOLAND Castle Hotel features 250 rooms, fully themed as Knights and Dragons, Royal Princess and Magic Wizard. For more information, visit www.LEGOLAND.com or call (760) 918-LEGO (5346).
About Merlin’s Magic Wand Foundation
Merlin’s Magic Wand Foundation is a US-based non-profit organization that offers magical experiences for children who need them most. Serving as the official foundation of Merlin Entertainments in the United States, we administer three magical programs: Magical Days Out, which provides tickets and travel grants for children to enjoy a day at a Merlin attraction; Magic on Tour, which takes the magic of Merlin to children who are unable to visit a Merlin attraction in person; and Magical Spaces, where we create highly themed and interactive spaces in partnership with local non-profit organizations. Learn more at merlinsmagicwand.org/usa