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Colorado runner Brittany Charboneau climbed to the top of the podium on four occasions this past weekend at the Disney Marathon Weekend in Orlando Florida

Brittany Charboneau swept all four of the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend races, becoming the first person to top the 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon finishers in the event’s 29-year history. That’s a combined 48.6 miles of running on consecutive days known as the “Dopey Challenge.”

She completed the marathon in 2 hours, 45 minutes, beating runners from all over the world who competed in Disney-themed costumes. On Thursday she won the 5k clocking 17:36, Friday the 10k in 36:36, the half marathon Saturday in 1:19:18 and then the marathon on Sunday.  

The 33-year-old aspiring Olympian from Denver said she decided to tackle the Disney races after suffering an injury in training and enduring a difficult run at the Boston Marathon in October. She wanted something fun to look forward to after a tough race.

“I feel amazing,” she said Sunday. “This was such a mental-win weekend for me. My goal was never to win all of these. My goal was to go out, wear costumes and have an amazing time.”

Charboneau started running when she was 13, competing in cross country and track in high school and as a walk-on her junior and senior years at Colorado State University. It took her 15 years to win her first race. She finished first in the Chi Town Half Marathon in 2015 in Chicago.

When she won a marathon in Denver in 2017, she quit her sales and marketing job and focused full time on running. In 2020, she finished 13th in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, recording her personal best marathon time of 2 hours, 33 minutes. 

"The reason I wanted to do this is to remind people you can have big goals, but you can have fun with it,” she said.

When she’s not running, Charboneau enjoys doing improv and sketch comedy. Her nickname is “The Funny Runner.”

In the men’s marathon, Vanilson Neves of Brazil finished first, completing the race in 2 hours, 30 minutes.

 

(01/10/2022) Views: 1,304 ⚡AMP
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Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Come join Mickey and friends for an extraordinary race weekend—put your endurance through the paces, enjoy amazing entertainment and earn commemorative medals. Dare to test your limits? Try a multi-race challenge for the chance to earn even more medals. No matter your skill level, you'll be a part of a community of fun-spirited runners—uniquely Disney! ...

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Runners return for 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Walt Disney World is preparing to welcome back thousands of runners for its popular marathon weekend.

The 2022 event, which steps off Thursday morning, consists of a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, two-course challenge (Goofy’s Race, marathon and half marathon), and Dopey challenge (all races).

This year’s race celebrates Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration with race themes featuring some of Disney’s most popular characters.

According to runDisney’s website, all races, including virtual options, are sold out.

Race participants can begin picking up their race bibs and t-shirts Wednesday morning at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.

Health & Fitness Expo hours include:

Wednesday, Jan. 5: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 6: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 7: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 8: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The expo is also the place where runners will grab some finisher merchandise including 50th anniversary-themed outfits, drinkware, car magnets and even an ornament.

Disney said while the races are underway, roads around the resort and theme parks may operate under traffic restrictions or be closed to accommodate.

Guests may see these closures Jan. 8-9 from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Back in November, Disney welcomed back in-person running events since the pandemic began.

(01/06/2022) Views: 1,455 ⚡AMP
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Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Come join Mickey and friends for an extraordinary race weekend—put your endurance through the paces, enjoy amazing entertainment and earn commemorative medals. Dare to test your limits? Try a multi-race challenge for the chance to earn even more medals. No matter your skill level, you'll be a part of a community of fun-spirited runners—uniquely Disney! ...

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Past Brazilians Champions Dominate Walt Disney World Marathon Again

Fredison Costa and Giovanna Martins, past champions of the Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna, took their thrones again Sunday, easily winning the male and female divisions of the 26th annual event.

Costa, a native of Brazil who now lives in Kissimmee and trains at Walt Disney World Resort, recaptured the title after struggling through last year’s race. It was his seventh Disney Marathon victory, leaving him one shy of Adriano Bastos’ record of eight wins. Running in unseasonably warm Florida weather, Costa posted a time of 2:18:45, far off the race record of 2:11:50, but well ahead of second-place finisher Nick Hilton (2:21:48), the Flagstaff, AZ runner who won the race a year ago, and Jose Lima of Brazil (2:26:40), who was third.

“I’ve been through hard times this year, so it felt great that this was the seventh time I was the winner,” Costa said. “I feel like I’m challenging myself again.”

Martins of Salto, Brazil, is the first woman to win four Disney marathon titles, including the last three in a row. She was challenged for much of the race, but kicked it into high gear late in the race to win easily, then celebrated her momentous victory while clutching a Mickey plush in one hand and a Brazilian flag in the other.

In fact, she is the only four-time women’s winner in race history after crossing the finish line in 2:45:24 – more than two minutes ahead of Antonia Lins Da Silva of Fortaleza, Brazil, who was second (2:47:36) and Nancy Jurgens of Apex, North Carolina who was third (2:50:39).

(01/14/2019) Views: 1,311 ⚡AMP
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Marcelo Avelar of Brazil won the 2019 Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday clocking 01:08:54

For the third time in four years, Marcelo Avelar of Brazil walked away from the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday morning with the same feeling.

“I am very happy,’’ Avelar said.

Victory tends to do that to a runner. Avelar crossed the finish line in 1 hour, 8 minutes, 54 seconds, more than three minutes ahead of runner-up Jeff Martinez (1:12:00).

Tina Muir, an Englishwoman living in Lexington, Ky., experienced a similar emotion. Racing for the first time since the birth of her first child, Muir prevailed in 1:19:45.

“It is difficult when you are in the lead not to get caught up with paces and chasing times, but I still wanted to make my goal to enjoy it,’’ Muir said. “I made sure to smile as much as I could.’’

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will conclude Sunday with the 26th annual marathon. About 15,000 runners are registered for the race, which will start at 5:30 a.m. and begin and end at Epcot.

Avelar, 34, will be there. It will be his fourth race in four days as part of the Dopey Challenge.

He potentially could be a four-time reigning champion in the half marathon, if not for the weather. Inclement conditions canceled the Disney World Half Marathon in 2017.

(01/12/2019) Views: 1,253 ⚡AMP
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Stefan LeRoy a Double amputee is ready to run the Disney marathon

From hardships to triumph, nothing is stopping a retired U.S. Army Specialist from hitting the pavement and proving anything is possible. Stefan LeRoy lost both his legs while serving overseas.

This weekend, the 27-year-old is taking on a new challenge at the 2019 Walt Disney World marathon.

LeRoy isn’t running just one race, not even two; he is running the 5K, 10K, half marathon and is hand cycling the full marathon on Sunday.

“It’s something that has been a part of my life,” he said.

In June of 2012, LeRoy was deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division when he stepped on a bomb while carrying a fellow soldier to a waiting helicopter seconds after an explosion went off around them in Afghanistan.

“I lost both my legs instantly,” he said. “Single above the knee and a single below the knee amputee.”

The traumatic incident that occurred thousands of miles away from home never stopped him from achieving his goal: to experience the thrill of running again.

LeRoy struggled with depression and anxiety until he got his prosthetic legs and running blades.

He describes his training as challenging, saying he suffers from blisters and painful chafing.

“I also have to be careful of overdoing it,” LeRoy said. “The recovery was a long process. It was very frustrating. I wasn’t initially able to walk in prosthetics, but I focused on adaptive sports. I made it that I was able to stay positive.”

Every strides LeRoy takes is a massive accomplishment.

His resilience is fueled by the support with the Achilles International Freedom Team, "an organization that encourages wounded vets to participate in running events."

His other support system is David M. Cordani, president and CEO of Cigna, who will accompany and guide LeRoy during the race again this year.

“You keep training. You keep stepping it up. You keep pushing through it,” LeRoy said.

(01/10/2019) Views: 1,371 ⚡AMP
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Susan Glickman has ran every single Disney Marathon and says race is like none other

Susan Glickman from Tampa has logged 655 miles at the happiest place on earth and she isn't stopping anytime soon.

"It is a race like none other," she said.

The Tampa woman has run in every single Disney Marathon since the first one in 1994. She isn't the only one; 75 other runners have completed all 25 of them to date.

"My permanent number now is number 159," she said. "That's another Disney perk is we always get placement in corral A."

And in this race, timing isn't everything. Glickman's best time at Disney is 4:08. That includes the stops she may take en route to finishing the 26.2 miles around the Disney parks.

"Around the Animal Kingdom, they have animals, like literally, they will have a warthog or an owl or something that you can pet along the way!"

Glickman has kept every bib and medal from all the races she's run so far: 68 total, including 25 from the Disney marathons.

She's one of 76 who have maintained a perfect record at the house of Mickey Mouse.

"I'm so proud to be part of it and I'm humbled by it," she said. "Literally, Jeff Galloway who's an Olympian, is part of this group. It's like, my name and Jeff's name are literally on the same board for one day!"

(01/09/2019) Views: 1,609 ⚡AMP
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