@Brazilian runner wins second straight Disney Marathon after fierce battle with perennial winner Adriano Bastos; Virginia Beach’s Renee High easily wins women’s title; field of more than 16,500 pushes weekend total to record 56,000 runners
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Jan. 8, 2012) – Brazilian runner Fredison Costa did it again, holding off his heavily-favored countryman Adriano Bastos on Sunday to win his second straight Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna.
Costa waged a fierce battle with the 7-time champion Bastos throughout the 26.2 mile race through Disney’s four theme parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios – before narrowly winning. Costa crossed the finish line in 2:19:01 – just 14 seconds ahead of Bastos (2:19:15), who had won six Disney Marathons in a row before Costa’s back-to-back feat.
Renee High of Virginia Beach, VA., was the first woman to cross the line. High, who is scheduled to run the marathon at the US Olympic Trials next week in Houston, completed the race Sunday in 2:48:33 just ahead of Emily Kroshus (2:53:11) of Boston and Christa Stephens (2:55:10) of St. Petersburg, Fla.
Costa, 34, and Bastos 33, ran virtually shoulder to shoulder through much of the race. But with about two miles to go, Costa inched ahead slightly and maintained that slim lead until the end top become the first person other than Bastos to win back-to-back Disney Marathon titles since Brazil’s Santiago de Araujo did it in 1998 and 1999. Costa’s time was even quicker than a year ago when he won with a time of 2:21:15. Matt Hensley of Port St. Lucie, Fla. was third (2:23:11).
“I think a victory is a victory and they are always very special,” Costa said through an interpreter. “But I think this was such a difficult time overcoming some things for me. I’ve been through so many things that this race was very, very special to me.”
Douglas Morton of Sebring, Fla. won the men’s Masters Division (runners age 40 and over) with a time of 2:35:52 and Terri Rejimbal of Tampa won the women’s Masters Division (3:09:33). In the wheelchair division, Krige Schabort of Cedartown, Ga. (1:46:16) won for the fourth straight year.
On Saturday, Jose De Morais of Brazil won the 13.1-mile Disney Half Marathon with a time of 1:10.12. Rosa Chacha of Ecuador was the top woman finisher, posting a time of 1:16.43.
In all, runners from all 50 states and 60 other countries took part in a variety of Disney Marathon Weekend events, such as the Family Fiesta 5K, Kids Races and the Disney Half-Marathon in addition to the Disney Marathon. And once again more than 6,500 runners put themselves to the ultimate test – Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge – by running the half-marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday.