Pixie power and persistence pushed Lenore Moreno to smash a race record by almost 9 minutes in the fourth annual Tinker Bell Half Marathon presented by PANDORA Jewelry at Disneyland Resort. Looking much like a pixie herself, the five-foot, 24-year-old West Covina, Calif. resident flew by her competition, finishing in a mere 1:15:55. The former race record was 1:24:11. She was also nearly nine minutes ahead of second-place finisher Ann Mazur of Charlottesville, VA (1:24:10). Anne-Marie Nuno of Irvine, Calif. came in third (1:24:21).
“Just being inside Disneyland, I think that’s what gave me that push and helped me to forget about how long this half marathon was and just to enjoy the moment,” Moreno said. “I couldn’t have done it anywhere else. Passing under that castle was just magical.”
Moreno started running as a freshman in high school. She continued in college and dreamed of running in a runDisney race but school always got in the way. She finally realized her dream, making history this Mother’s Day. She even had a message for her mom.
“I love you! Happy Mother’s Day!” Moreno said.
Grandmothers, mothers, daughters, aunts and nieces were some of the 13,000 women who spent their Mother’s Day racing along an entertainment-filled 13.1-mile course through Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Parks, as well as by several Anaheim landmarks. Among them, was the Evans family from Irvine, Calif. Cheryl and Coco Evans, wearing identical Tinker Bell costumes, crossed the finish line together.
“Doing this race with me is priceless,” said mom Cheryl Evans. “It’s a memory that will last a lifetime. I’m so happy!” (Additional sound and video of the Evans family can be found at the link below.)
More than 32,050 runners competed in various events during the weekend that included the Never Land 5K, the Tinker Bell 10K, runDisney Kids Races, a health and fitness expo and the inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge, which involved runners completing the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday.
Academy-award winning actor and producer George Clooney also came to Disneyland Resort this holiday weekend with his family for the world premiere of Disney’s new mystery adventure “Tomorrowland”.
In total, there were more than 16,000 runners from across the nation and 22 countries. Finishers received a commemorative Tinker Bell “wings’’ medal. The Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend is one of eight annual runDisney events and one of two women-focused events. The other is the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which takes place in February at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla. Both events are designed to celebrate and promote women’s empowerment, women’s health and an active lifestyle. And both are among the nation’s largest race weekends geared towards women.
Runners can register for any runDisney race weekend at www.rundisney.com.