FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Costa Establishes New Era With Surprising
Walt Disney World Marathon Victory
Brazilian snaps fellow countryman's 6-race win streak for first Disney
marathon win; perennial champion Bastos finishes 15th; Thorvilson captures
women's title; field of more than 17,000 competes in the 26.2-mile event
through Walt Disney World theme parks
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – (Jan. 9, 2011) – In perhaps the biggest upset in
Walt Disney World Marathon history, Fredison Costa of Brazil upstaged
fellow countryman Adriano Bastos to win the Disney Marathon on Sunday and
abruptly end Bastos' six-year dominance at Disney.
After finishing second to Bastos at last year's Disney Marathon, Costa, 33,
crossed the finish line first this time, posting a time of 2:21:15 to lead
the field of more than 17,000 runners who ran through all four Disney World
theme parks along the 26.2-mile course. Bastos, who had won the past six
Disney Marathons and seven of the last eight, finished 15th (2:45:09).
Michael Wardian from Arlington, Va., (2:27:37) was second followed by Paul
Nielsen from Orlando, Fla. (2:31:45).
Leah Thorvilson from Little Rock, Ark., was the top women's finisher
(2:42:11), celebrating her 32nd birthday by pulling a mild upset of her own
in halting Lisa Mizutani's streak of back-to-back Disney Marathon women's
victories. Karen Simmonds-Brady from Auburn. NY, was second (2:51:14) and
Jessica Crate from Melbourne, Fla., was third (2:51:53). Mizutani from
Japan was 12th (3:02:34).
Costa, who now lives in El Paso, Tex., ran near the front of the lead pack
early in the race, but then quickly charged into the lead well before the
10-mile mark and then steadily pulled away, winning by more than six
"I felt very strong the entire race, probably could have pushed the pace if
I had to," said Costa, who aspires to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games.
"The weather was great and I knew the course very well after running here
Pat Bragassa of Rigby, Idaho., was the top men's Masters Division finisher
(runners age 40 and over) with a time of 2:38:41 and Myriam Grenon from
Canada won the women's Masters Division with 2:58:30. In the wheelchair
division, Krige Schabort of Cedartown, Ga. (1:47:13) won for the third
straight year, while Shannon Schaffer of Kissimmee, Fla. (2:47:39), was the
first wheelchair woman to cross the finish line.
On Saturday, Tim Young of Rochester Hills, Mich., won the 13.1-mile Disney
Half Marathon with a time of 1:05.35. Jenny Scherer, Delavan, Wisc., was
the top woman finisher, posting a time of 1:17.35.
In all, runners from all 50 states and 60 other countries took part in a
variety of Disney Marathon Weekend events, such as the Disney Family Fun
Run 5K, Mickey Mile and Mickey Marathon Kids Fest and the Disney
Half-Marathon in addition to the Disney Marathon. And once again more than
5,000 runners put themselves to the ultimate test - Goofy's Race and a Half
Challenge which involved running the half-marathon on Saturday and the
marathon on Sunday.
Many runners are celebrating their accomplishments by participating in
Marathon Monday - all runners who participated in the marathon receive
complimentary entry into Walt Disney World the day after the race.
Registration for the 2012 Disney Marathon Weekend opens March 2011. To
register or for more information on all runDisney events, visit
www.rundisney.com. Also follow us on Twitter (@disneysports) and Facebook
The runDisney series is a program of half marathon and marathon events that
provide runners unique opportunities to run through Disney theme parks.
Race participants also get to earn Disney-themed medals, experience
legendary Disney entertainment and guest service, and ultimately celebrate
their accomplishments with a Disney vacation. The original event in the
series, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by CIGNA, takes
place each January and features both marathon and half marathon distances.
Other races at Walt Disney World in Florida include the Disney Princess
Half Marathon presented by Lady Foot Locker in February and the Disney Wine
& Dine Half Marathon in September. The Disneyland Half Marathon takes
place each Labor Day Weekend in California. More than 75,000 people
participate in runDisney events each year.