ORLANDO, January 16, 2013 — The 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend this past Jan. 10-13 was a record setting event. First, a record number of 65,000 runners participated in the weekend’s races, which included the title marathon, a half-marathon, 5K, and kid’s races. And for the first time, women outnumbered men, accounting for 57 percent of the field.
Walt Disney World Marathon
Temperatures on Sunday, January 13 reached near record highs for the 20th running of the Walt Disney World Marathon, peaking in the 80s with humidity to match. But it didn’t stop Brazil’s Adriano Bastos, who won the marathon for a record eighth time. It was a battle in the home stretch between Bastos and Fredison Costa, who bested Bastos in 2011 and 2012. The two runners train together, but Bastos was out to reclaim his title; his goal is to win 10 Disney Marathons. He has a Mickey Mouse tattoo for each of his Disney marathon wins. Bastos out kicked Costa in the final half-mile to win in 2:21:16. Costa finished second in 2:21:32.
In the women’s race, Renee High of Virginia Beach, Va., won her second consecutive marathon at Disney in 2:48:30, besting her pervious time by 3 seconds.
In the men’s Masters division, Ronnie Holassie of Miramar, Fla., won in 2:25:26. Wendy Nixon of Windermere, Fla., was the women’s Masters champ with a time of 3:22:14.
Krige Schabort of Cedartown, Ga., took the men’s wheelchair title in 1:52:52 and Jacqui Kapinowski of Tequesta, Fla., was the top female wheeler with a time of 2:32:57.
Dressed in an array of running gear, Disney-inspired costumes and Mickey Mouse ears, 20,679 runners finished the Walt Disney World Marathon, making it one of the country’s 10 and world’s 15 largest marathons. Among the runners was singer, dancer and actor Joey Fatone, who can now add marathoner to his list of accomplishments. He completed Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, which dares runners to finish both the half-marathon on Saturday and marathon on Sunday. Nearly 9,000 runners finished the challenge with Fatone.
The Walt Disney World Marathon course took runners through the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Speedway, Animal Kingdom, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Champion Stadium, Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
Walt Disney World Half Marathon
The Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday, January 12 was a record-setting event too. A record field of 23,126 runners finished the race, earning a Donald Duck themed medal.
First among them was Mike Morgan of Rochester Hills, Mich., who set a new course record of 1:05:26. Melissa Johnson-White of Shelby Township, Mich., was the women’s champ, finishing in a time of 1:14:56. Both runners train with the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, which has produced elite U.S. runners including Olympic marathoner Desiree Davila, who was on hand to cheer her teammates.
“I had a goal of getting under the course record. It was a challenge and I barely got under it,’’ Morgan said. “This was a world-class event, so to come down here and run well is great.’’
Also among the racers were Joey Fatone, 1984 Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson and 1981 London Marathon champion Dick Beardsley.
The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna began in 1994 as the first event to tour runners through Disney properties. Now the race is part of the runDisney series, which hosts seven race weekends throughout the year at both Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California. Every runDisney race weekend includes Kids’ Races, a Family Fun Run 5K, a Health and Fitness Expo, and other special events.
Karla Bruning is host of On The Run, New York Road Runner’s weekly lifestyle web show about running. She has completed six marathons, two triathlons and trains with the New York Harriers. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at RunKarlaRun.com, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.
All photos courtesy of runDisney
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.