On Jan. 10, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend that started today, Disney Sports has provided a little inspiration for the runners and walkers who will participate in the race events.
See top results for the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon.
WDW Marathon Weekend also attracts running legends and media celebrities. Among the celebrities slated to join runDisney's 2013 race weekend? Running legends Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter, Joan Benoit Samuelson and Desiree Davila, celebrities Drew Carey and Joey Fatone, and ESPN media personality Colin Cowherd.
But each of the 65,000 athletes – representing all 50 states and more then 60 countries – who will join this weekend’s runDisney races has a special story worth sharing to celebrate 20 years of the WDW Marathon.
So to mark the 20th anniversary of the marathon, Disney Sports has shared the inspirational stories of some of this weekend's race participants.
For instance, every one of of the 95 runners who have done the previous 19 WDW Marathon races will return to complete their “perfect 20s.”
Twenty Achilles runners will take part in the endurance events of WDW Marathon Weekend, four of whom have been profiled briefly in an earlier.
In its press release, Disney Sports also recognized these athletes:
- On Saturday, a 22-year-old Los Angeles woman, Aurora De Lucia, will complete her 52nd half marathon in 52 weeks after being diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White, a congenital heart defect.
- A 75-year-old mother of four and grandmother of 12, Libby James will attempt to set the world record for fastest half marathon for the 75-79 age group. James ran the third-fastest 75-79 half marathon of all time in 1:50:43 at the Colorado Half Marathon in Fort Collins, Colo. in May, missing the world record by 44 seconds.
- Chicago couple Sean and Wendie Cheyney, who married in front of Cinderella’s Castle during the 2003 Disney Marathon, will renew their vows for their tenth anniversary at the Half Marathon.
- Additionally, six inner-city Philadelphia students who are learning character development, leadership skills and goal settings through training to become a marathon runner will run in the Half Marathon as part of the 'Students Run Philly Style' program.
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend includes the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Half Marathon and Marathon, as well as the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge for those who want to complete both the half and the full marathon on consecutive days. The weekend offers kids races – from diaper dashes to the Mickey Mile – so the whole family can be part of the runDisney fun.
The weekend of events also includes a Health & Fitness Expo. The expo offers speaker sessions on racing, training and nutrition. The schedule boasts runDisney training consultant Jeff Galloway and runDisney nutritionist Tara Gidus; Olympians Samuelson, Frank Shorter and Jim Ryun; and former NFL players Don Davey and Eddie Mason. Carey, Fatone and Cowherd are also slated for appearances.
Other activities that are part of the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend are Pasta in the Park parties at Epcot and Sunday’s post-race celebration at Downtown Disney.
For more information on Disney races, see this article: Running and walking Walt Disney World and Disneyland: 2013 – 2014 race schedule.