Often people are inspired by someone or something to run a marathon. And their inspiration can also be inspiring to many others, which was the case this past weekend during the 18th Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. The stories that played out during the marathon weekend were amazing.
For example, there was the young Orlando woman who ran the half marathon just a few months after donating a kidney to her ailing father.
But as far as inspiration goes, it’s hard to top the story of Army captain Ivan Castro, who ran the 13.1-mile half marathon on Saturday and then the 26.2-mile marathon on Sunday. By the way, he’s blind. A mortar attack during combat took his vision, but clearly not his fortitude. Despite the injuries that were a result of the blast that nearly killed him, the Green Beret from Ft, Bragg, N.C., has continued to live life to the fullest and took on Disney’s toughest challenge: running nearly 40 miles over two days and finishing both races in the heart of the field.
They were just a few of the compelling stories among the roughly 54,000 runners who participated in events during the weekend. Officially, Fredison Costa of Brazil and Leah Thorvilson of Arkansas were the men’s and women’s Walt Disney World Marathon winners, respectively, but it’s probably safe to say that everyone who crossed the finish line felt pretty victorious.