Fredison Costa notches third straight 26.2-mile victory at Disney; Orlando area’s Natasha Yaremczuk claims her first women’s title; More than 100,000 runners and fans take part in the four-day runDisney event
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Under unseasonably warm and humid temperatures, Brazilian runner Fredison Costa, chalked up his third straight win at the Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna Sunday with a time of 2:33:24. With this win, Costa has now won the Disney Marathon five times in the past six years.
For the past two years, Costa has been living in the Orlando area and training at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort under the guidance of former US Olympic track coach Brooks Johnson. But the unseasonably warm and humid conditions zapped his speed, saddling him with the slowest of his five Disney victories.
“I am very happy to win here at Disney today and defend my title. I love the people and I love Disney,’’ Fredison said. “My dream now is to qualify for the Olympic Trials in the upcoming London Marathon and run in this year’s Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.”
Mateus Trindade, also from Brazil, finished second again this year with a time of (2:34:49), just over a minute behind Costa. Jeff Martinez of Binghamton, New York, finished third (2:36:00).
Natasha Yaremczuk, 35, of Montverde, FL, was the first female finisher with a time of (2:52:23). It was Yaremczuk’s first victory at the Walt Disney World Marathon after running various runDisney events in the past. Jennifer Walton of Wesley Chapel, Florida, was second (3:01:38) and Corina Canitz of Brookfield, Wisconsin. (3:03:48) was third.
“I have raced Disney in the past and always loved it,’’ said Yaremczuk. “Today, I found myself taking more water breaks than ever before due to the humidity.”
Also among the field of more than 26,000 runners Sunday, was Cedric King, a U.S. Army retired Master Sergeant who is a decorated war hero and double-amputee as a result of injuries during combat in Afghanistan. King, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient from Fayetteville, North Carolina, completed the 26.2-mile race despite his disability.
In all, more than 100,000 runners and spectators took part in the Walt Disney Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna. More than 7,500 runners ran in all four weekend events – the 5K, the 10K, the half marathon and the marathon, completing the popular “Dopey Challenge’’ (48.6 miles).
The Disney Marathon featured events for the entire family such as runDisney Kids’ Races, the Family Fun Run 5K on Thursday, the Walt Disney World 10K on Friday, the half marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday. A Health and Fitness Expo ran throughout the weekend at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and featured the latest in running technology and fashion, as well as renowned running expert Jeff Galloway, the official training consultant for runDisney, and Tara Gidus, the official runDisney nutritionist.
The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is the first race in the 2016 runDisney series, which includes eight weekend events at Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts, plus the inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend, Sept. 23-25. Next up in the runDisney series is the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort, Jan. 14-17.