runDisney 2015 kicked off with the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

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The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, presented by Cigna, is officially in the books for 2015.  An amazing turnout of 84,000+ runners showed up to take part in races over the five-day event, which includes the new Disney Castaway Cay Challenge.

The men’s winner was no stranger to the race.  Fredison Costa, a Brazilian runner now residing in Orlando and training at ESPN Wide World of Sport Complex in WDW, crossed the finish line first (2:18:06) and won his second straight Disney Marathon and fourth in the past five years.  The second through fourth spots were also claimed by Brazilian runners. This race marked the 11th straight year that a Brazilian won the marathon, which took racers through all four Disney parks, the Walt Disney World Speedway and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  Costa shaved 3+ minutes off his time from last year.  The best part of the race for him was seeing his coach, former US Olympic track coach Brooks Johnson cheering him on.

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The women’s side also crowned a Brazilian champion.  Giovanna Martin cried tears of joy after crossing the finish line in 2:50:20.  This was a dream come true for Martin, who teaches disabled and underprivileged children in Brazil who dream about and love Mickey Mouse just as much as she does.

In the wheelchair division, Robert Kozarek (1:57:35) from Urbana, Illinois repeated as the men’s winner and Jacqui Kapinowski (2:39:04) of Tesqesta, Florida lead the women.

More than 26,000 runners competed in the Disney Marathon and more than 7,600 of those runners ran in the Dopey Challenge to total 48.6 miles!!  This includes the 5K, 10K, the half marathon and the marathon.

The weekend featured events for the entire family, including runDisney kids races, the Family Fun Run 5K on Thursday, the Walt Disney World 10K on Friday, the Half Marathon on Saturday and Marathon on Sunday.  A Health and Fitness Expo took places throughout the weekend over at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and featured the latest in running technology and fashion.  Jeff Galloway, official training consultant for runDisney, and Tara Gidus, the official runDisney nutritionist, were also featured.

Something new for this year is extending the Disney Marathon Weekend into the sea!  Many Disney Marathon Weekend runners are competing again on January 14th in the new, Disney Castaway Cay Challenge.  This 5K takes place at Disney Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line’s private island in the Bahamas.  Every runner who finishes this race will earn two medals- one for the inaugural Disney Castaway Cay Challenge and one for the Disney Castaway Cay 5K.  These very special medals are in addition to the ones they earned previously in the weekend.  I am sure there will be some very well decorated runners at the close of the 5K!

There are seven more races in the runDisney series for 2015.  Coming up next, Disneyland is the host of the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend, presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation.  This event takes place January 15-18.  The racing heads back to Walt Disney World in February for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

Do you have a love of running?  And a love of Disney?  What about a love of running IN Disney?!?!  Let me help make this dream of yours come to life.  As a Travel Agent for World of Magic Travel- the preferred agency of Chip and Co and the Disney Addicts, I would love to help get you and your loved ones to one of these races so you can run through Disney and take part in one of these exhilarating events.  Contact me today to start planning and follow me on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest news and updates from around the “World”.  I’m already training for the Princess Half Marathon Weekend in 2016!  Hope to see you there!

runDisney 2015 kicked off with the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 1

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