LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – (Jan. 11, 2009) – In what is becoming an extraordinary Walt Disney World Marathon tradition, Adriano Bastos of Brazil celebrated another Disney Marathon victory Sunday by coasting to his fifth straight win and sixth overall. Lisa Mizutani won the women’s title.
Bastos, 30, led a Disney record field of 22,000 runners virtually from start to finish around the 26.2 mile course which traced through all four of Disney’s theme parks. He crossed the finish line in 2:20:38 – roughly seven minutes ahead of second-place finisher Aaron Church (South Riding, Va.), who was followed by Matthew Fecht (Warren, Mich.) in third. Bastos’ time was 20 seconds faster than last year when he posted a time of 2:20:58.
“My goal is to win 10 Disney Marathons,” said Bastos, who adds another Disney-themed tattoo after each marathon win. “I love running this marathon because I can run and then have fun in the Disney theme parks.”
Mizutani of Japan easily outran the women competitors. The 23-year-old, who made the transatlantic trip specifically to run in the Disney Marathon, broke away from the pack early partly because of the enthusiastic cheers from spectators along the route and ran unchallenged virtually the entire 26.2 miles. She cruised to the finish in 2:46:27, comfortably ahead of Melanie Peters (St. Petersburg, Fla.), who was last year’s women’s champion, and Christa Benton (St. Petersburg, Fla.), who finished third a year ago.
In the wheelchair division, Krige Schabort of Cedartown, Ga., crossed the line first (1:37:19). Among the women, Shirley Reilly of Tucson, Ariz., won the title (2:09:51).
The victories by Bastos and Mizutani capped a weekend of endurance events at Disney, including the Disney Half Marathon, the Circle of Life 5K, Disney’s Kid Races and a Health & Fitness Expo. David Jankowski of Rochester Hills, Mich., and Elizabeth Chelagat of Las Cruces, N.M., won the Disney Half Marathon men’s and women’s titles, respectively. In all, more than 45,000 runners competed in events throughout the weekend, making this the largest Disney Marathon Weekend since the event’s debut in 1994.
Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Walt Disney World Marathon, registration for the 2010 Disney Marathon Weekend begins Monday Jan. 12, 2009. To register for the marathon or for any Disney endurance race, visit www.disneyworldmarathon.com