Victor Da Costa Mendoza of Spain can now check off “winning a half marathon” from his vacation bucket list. In a sprint to the finish, Mendoza celebrated a fairy tale ending to the 10th annual Disney’s Princess Half Marathon, sweeping past the competition with a winning time of 1:19:03. Matching step for step with top racers, Mendoza found his stride around mile nine, pulling away to win the 13.1-mile race. Crossing the line after Mendoza was Mark Ruhsam of Orlando, FL (1:27:26) and Zachary Thomas of Austin, TX (1:28:49).
For Da Costa Mendoza, who’s visiting Walt Disney World Resort on vacation, today is about more than winning.
“It’s about having fun, honestly,” said Da Costa Mendoza. “I won it, but it’s not about winning, it’s about having fun.”
Winning the women’s division, Dani Cook, of Fort Collins, CO, was running alongside her sister-in-law when the pixie dust of encouragement pushed her forward to take the crown as the top female finisher with a time of 1:20:31. As a former Indiana State runner and trained athlete, top finishes aren’t new for Cook but the female support which epitomizes the Disney Princess Half Marathon marks a new milestone in her career. Cook was followed by Natasha Baskin from Montverde, FL (1:22:52) and Elle Ellender from Hilton Head, SC (1:24:38).
“To see a lot of women, feel empowered and triumph for the first time, and to have that comradery out there, really empowers you while you’re running the race,” said Cook.
Cook joined more than 53,800 runners who participated in the largest women-focused running event in the country. In addition to the half marathon, the race weekend included a 5K, 10K, Kid’s Races, and the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo. Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend is one of four race weekends at Walt Disney World Resort, followed by the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side Weekend sponsored by OtterBox on April 19 – April 22.
For more information, visit www.rundisney.com.