Melina Blanco in training for the Bravehearts 777 Challenge.
Melina Blanco in training for the Bravehearts 777 Challenge. Darryn Smith

Seven marathons in seven days to make Melina a Braveheart

MELINA Blanco likes to dance and create beautiful pieces of art.

You would never have caught her sweating it out on the sports field - she tended to avoid sport at all costs.

But when she sets her mind to something, she is unstoppable. So much so, the Eumundi 19-year-old will put her body, heart and soul on the line for Bravehearts when she tackles seven marathons in seven days at locations around the nation.

The Bravehearts 777 Challenge helps raise funds for a range of counselling programs to educate, empower and protect Australian children who have been affected by sexual assault.

"I have avoided sports my whole life, but to help victims of child sexual assault, I'm willing to give it my absolute all and push my body to its limits," Miss Blanco said.

With no prior experience under her belt, she is in a race around the clock to get her body marathon-ready.

"I had a 21-week program provided for me to prepare for everything," she said.

"I just have to do different exercises like jogging, running and swimming to build me up to be able to take on 42km every day."

With four months until her October 19 start date, the nerves are starting to kick in.

"I'm really excited to do this for Bravehearts," she said. "I'm nervous, but at the same time, I'm not going to let that stop me."

Miss Blanco is completing a Diploma of Counselling at the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors and aims to work with survivors of sexual assault once she has completed her course.

By hosting parties, sausage sizzles and trivia nights in Eumundi, Miss Blanco hopes to raise $10,000 to help Bravehearts make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child.

For more, visit braveheartsadventures.com.au.



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