Perfectly runDisney: Running 30 Years of the Walt Disney World Marathon!

Sarah Harris

by , Disney Sports Social Community Manager

It’s an impressive accomplishment to run and finish your very first marathon. However, it’s extraordinary to complete a marathon thirty years in a row, especially at the age of 80! But that’s just what Rudy Smith, a Walt Disney World Marathon “Perfect,” did this past weekend, completing the event for the thirtieth year in a row.

The very first Walt Disney World Marathon in January, 1994

Starting in January of 1994, the very first Walt Disney World Marathon kicked off with just 8,200 participants. Growing in size over the years, the now 4-event weekend ending with the Marathon distance still sees 59 of those participants return. These runners are known as our “Perfects” for returning each year to complete the race, with Rudy amongst them.

Running all thirty years of the Walt Disney World Marathon is just one more running accomplishment for Rudy, being an avid marathoner who didn’t take up distance running until his 40s. Some of his notable highlights include running a marathon on every continent including Antarctica, running a marathon on the Great Wall of China, and even running races twice up the Empire State Building. He’s also completed all six major world marathons following his completion of the Berlin Marathon this past September.

 Here’s a quick look at Rudy’s thirtieth Walt Disney World Marathon experience: