09 January 2011 by Kimberly Bogin - Marathon Examiner
Nearly 17,000 runners joined Mickey, Donald, Goofy and the rest of the gang at the 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon this morning.
Fredison Costa, 33, of Brazil earned his first Disney win, crossing the finish line in 2:21:14, nearly a minute faster than last year's winning time, when Costa placed second.
"I felt very strong the entire race, probably could have pushed the pace if I had to," Costa told runDisney after the finish.
Famed ultrarunner Michael Wardian of Arlington, Virgina was second in 2:27:39. Paul Nielsen, 24, of Orlando was third in 2:31:44.
Seven-time champ Adriano Bastos had an off day, finishing 14th in 2:45:09. He won the race the last six years straight, and was out to win 10 in a row.
There's also a new women's champ. Leah Thorvilson, 32, of Little Rock, Arkansas took the top spot in 2:42:10. Thorvilson won the Little Rock Marathon in 2009 and 2010 and the 2010 Fargo Marathon. She's also a 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier. Thorvilson's time was nearly 10 minutes faster than last year's winning time.
Karen Simmonds-Brady, 36, of Auburn, New York was second in 2:51:14 and Jessica Crate, 25, of Melbourne, Florida was third in 2:51:53. Two-time champ Lisa Mizutani of Japan was 12th in 3:02:34.
The Walt Disney World Marathon begins at 5:35 a.m., hours before the Disney parks open. Temperatures were in the 40s for most of the race.
Yesterday 22,000 ran the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. Check here for the results and race recap. Close to 5,000 runners ran both the half and full marathons, completing Goofy's Race and Half Challenge.
Runners from all 50 states and 60 countries participated in the Walt Disney World Weekend of events. Many of them will be at a Disney Park tomorrow celebrating Marathon Monday. The 17,000 runners who finished the marathon today will get free park admission by showing their Mickey Mouse finisher's medal. GO BACK