Project Athena Changes Lives with San Diego Coastal Marathon Trek

Project Athena Changes Lives with San Diego Coastal Marathon Trek Project Athena Changes Lives with San Diego Coastal Marathon Trek

Project Athena Changes Lives with San Diego Coastal Marathon Trek

A non-profit foundation that encourages women who’ve endured life-altering medical setbacks to unleash their ‘inner Athlete’ and live out their adventurous dreams takes blind survivor on a 26.2-mile guided hike down the coast of San Diego as part of their recovery.

[San Diego, CA – October 13, 2017] – The Project Athena Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit based out of San Diego, CA. Their mission is to help women survivors who have endured cancer and other life-altering medical setbacks to unleash the ‘Athlete and Adventurer’ within as part of their recovery. At Project Athena, they believe it’s all about the comeback, and they have six adventures of their own design to help these women survivors discover their inner badass. At the end of September, Project Athena completed their fifth adventure of 2017, the San Diego Cove to Harbor Coastal Marathon Trek, with a new kind of Athena.

The San Diego Cove to Harbor Coastal Marathon Trek, is a one-day, 26.2-mile guided hike from La Jolla Cove to San Diego Harbor. This year, with the help of 15 fundraising Gods and Goddesses [fundraising supporters], the experienced team at Project Athena was able to assist Sarah Harris, their first fully blind Athena. 

Fifteen years ago, Sarah Harris was plunged into darkness when a fellow driver ran a red light. Hours of surgery saved her life but left her without sight. Since then she has gone on to learn Orientation and Mobility (white cane skills), braille, and Accessible Technology (screen readers and other helpful devices) to keep up with this ever changing world. Now she can add Marathon Trekking to her impressive list of skills. 

On September 30, 2017, Sarah joined the Project Athena Foundation and hiked all 26 plus miles to the finish line. She participated with her 13-year old daughter who acted as her guide and who the foundation dubbed an official Athena Assistant.

“My experience with Project Athena gave my daughter Carson and I something to remember for a lifetime,” explains Sarah. “I never thought that I could have the perseverance or strength to walk 26.2 miles through San Diego. Robyn and her Trail Angels give you the mental strength to finish. Walking through San Diego totally blind, I was able to hear, feel, and smell the sites. My new friends, along the way, explained to me what we were seeing. At the end of the day, I felt accomplished, euphoric, and yes a little tired. I can’t wait until our next adventure!”

The emotions evoked by these adventures is the exact reason Robyn Benincasa, a 2014 CNN Hero and San Diego Firefighter, created the Project Athena Foundation. 

“It’s not about trying to get back to what you were,” explains Benincasa. “It’s about trying to be the best of what you’re capable of today, this minute. The most gratifying thing is the moment when you see someone realize they’re going to make it, when you see the fear disappear and they realize how awesome they are!”

Benincasa created the Project Athena Foundation after encountering her own medical setback. For a ten-time Ironman Finisher, being granted two bionic hips and a diagnosis of never being able to run again rocked her world. After five-total hip replacements, she discovered a new love for paddling, even going on to become a three-time Guinness Endurance Paddling World Record Holder. Now, Benincasa aims to give these Survivors the same new perspective on life. 

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For more information about this adventure, please visit http://projectathena.org/athena-adventure/san-diego-cove-to-harbor-costal-marathon-trek/.

To follow along on this adventure be sure to LIKE us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProjectAthena.

For more information about the Project Athena Foundation, upcoming 2017/2018 adventures, or to apply as either an Athena [Survivor] or Fundraising God or Goddess, please visit www.projectathena.org or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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About Project Athena

Project Athena is a 501c3 non-profit foundation that encourages women who’ve endured life-altering medical setbacks to unleash the Athlete and Adventurer within and complete the journey of a lifetime. Project Athena provides travel expenses, entry fees, coaching, equipment, and, most importantly, the encouragement and inspiration needed to help strong, amazing women make that life-affirming transition from Survivor to Athlete.

 
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