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Costa, Thorvilson Win Disney Marathon

Leah Thorvilson wins Walt Disney Marathon

Leah Thorvilson wins Walt Disney Marathon

Costa, Thorvilson Win Walt Disney World Marathon
Men’s 26.2 mile champion ends countryman Bastos’ 6-year reign; Young, Scherer half-marathon champions; 2011 event produces largest marathon / half-marathon combo ever with 35,447 finishers; Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge draws 5,000 From Bob Hitchcock, DisneyLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – (January 9, 2011) – In perhaps the biggest upset in Walt Disney World Marathon history, Fredison Costa of Brazil upstaged countryman Adriano Bastos to win the 18th Disney Marathon on Sunday morning 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 hours, 21 minutes, 15 seconds, 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 runner-up followed by Paul Nielsen from Orlando (2:31:45).

Costa, who now lives in El Paso, Texas, 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 minutes.

“I felt very strong the entire race, probably could have pushed the pace if I had to,” recounted Costa, who aspires to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games. “The weather was great and I knew the course very well after running here last year.”

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, N.Y. was second (2:51:14) and Jessica Crate from Melbourne, Fla. was third (2:51:53). Mizutani from Japan was 12th (3:05:18).

Pat Bragassa, 48, of Rigby, Idaho was the top men’s Masters Division finisher (age 40 and over) in 2:38:41, while Myriam Grenon, 42, from Canada won the women’s Masters Division (2:58:30). In the wheelchair division, Krige Schabort of Cedartown, Ga. (1:47:13) won for the third straight year and 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. edged Hansons-Brooks teammate Sage Canaday, 1:05:35 to 1:05:51, to win the 14th Walt Disney World Half-Marathon. For the women, Jenny Scherer, Delavan, Wis., was the top finisher, clocking 1:17:35.

The 2011 Disney Marathon and Half-Marathon also shattered its own marathon/half-marathon combination record total with 35,447 finishers as of Sunday; the 2010 event had 34,055 combined finishers, the previous all-time record.

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, 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:

18th Walt Disney World Marathon
Orlando, FL, Sunday, January 9, 2011

1) Fredison Costa (BRA), 2:21:15
2) Michael Wardian (VA), 2:27:37
3) Paul Nielsen (FL), 2:31:45

1) Leah Thorvilson (AR), 2:42:11
2) Karen Simmonds-Brady (NY), 2:51:14
3) Jessica Crate (FL), 2:51:53

14th Walt Disney World Half-Marathon
Orlando, FL, Saturday, January 8, 2011

1) Tim Young (MI), 1:05:35
2) Sage Canaday (MI), 1:05:51
3) Jay Lumpkins (FL), 1:08:45

1) Jenny Scherer (WI), 1:17:35
2) Mandy Yates (OH), 1:19:07
3) Christina DeRosa (NY), 1:19:49

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