Runners Across America to get “Dopey” During Story-Filled Walt Disney World Marathon This Weekend

Filed in: runDisney, Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Thousands of runners to take on new one-of-a-kind “Dopey” Challenge (5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon); Compelling Local and National Human Interest Stories and Visual Live Shot Opportunities Throughout the Weekend

 What:  More than 50,000 runners from across the nation and more than 60 countries are expected to participate in various events during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna this weekend. Many are participating in one or more events, including 26,000 runners in the marathon and 25,000 in the half marathon. There are 7,000 runners entered in the first-ever Dopey Challenge


  •  Judi Mallory (Orlando) to reunite and run with the Washington, DC-area daughter she put up for adoption more than 40 years ago. They will meet for the first time ever during marathon weekend.
  • Sarah Heller (New York City) suffered a traumatic brain injury during a car accident when she was 9-years-old (she was thrown through the car windshield). She was in a coma and had to learn to walk and talk all over again, yet has recovered to run several marathons, including the Boston Marathon and NYC Marathon.
  • v  Army officer Melissa Stockwell (Chicago) was the first woman soldier to lose a limb in the Iraq War (left leg) yet was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart and has become a three-time Paratriathlon World Champion. She is running the Disney Half Marathon.
  • Emma Whitehead (Philipsburg, PA) battled an aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia at age 7, but through a miraculous experimental treatment she has recovered and become a healthy third-grader. She is an example of the lives that are saved through donations from the Disney Marathon to charities such as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

When:  Family Fun Run 5K

                  Thursday, 6:15 am

Walt Disney World 10K

Friday, 5:30 am

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

                  Saturday, 5:30 am

Walt Disney World Marathon

Sunday, 5:30 am

*  Media interested in covering the weekend events must contact Disney Sports PR by 5 pm Friday and must arrive by 3:45 am for live coverage of the start and finish lines of the half and full marathon.

Where:  All events start and finish at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

Information / Credentials

Raquel Giorgio

(407) 566-5339 (office); (407) 538-8715 (cell)

Darrell Fry

(407) 566-5338 (office); (407) 409-1612 (cell)