LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Jan. 3, 2024) – Thousands of runners from across the nation and around the globe are making their way to Central Florida for this year’s Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort, including several runners with heart-warming stories.
The annual race weekend, one of the largest sporting events in Central Florida, got underway today with the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex where runners of all skill levels began picking up their race bibs and shirts, and shopped for popular runDisney merchandise as well as the latest running and fitness products.
The first race is the 5K on Thursday followed by the 10K on Friday, the half marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday. Runners are also trying to earn special medals by completing the Dopey Challenge (all four races) and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge (half marathon and marathon).
The race weekend, which pays homage to D100 with special entertainment and character meet-and-greets that commemorate Disney’s centennial celebration, also features several runners with inspiring personal stories. For instance:
- Susan and Laurent Moriceau, (Davidson, NC), are taking on their first Dopey Challenge as a team after retinitis pigmentosa left Susan entirely blind. Laurent is serving as a guide for Susan during the races.
- Josh Yother, (Chattanooga, TN), is attempting to complete his first Dopey Challenge after a rare reversal of his multiple heart complications. After a heart attack in 2022 left him with coronary artery disease, Yother took up running at the recommendation of his doctor, persisting even after a later diagnosis of congestive heart failure. His commitment to running has played a crucial role in helping him move closer to overcoming his health challenges.