Disney Princess Half Marathon Is Largest Women-Focused U.S. Running Event
runDisney’s most enchanting race weekend kicks off this Friday and it’s looking like it will be extra magical this year. Presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the 11th annual Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend is one of the largest women-focused running events in the U.S. The race weekend has grown from 10,000 runners in 2009 to more than 56,000 expected participants this year! This includes the 214 “perfect” Princess runners who will have participated in every Disney Princess Half Marathon since the even began!
The race weekend includes runDisney Kids Races, 5K, 10K, half marathon, a challenge race (running the 10K and half marathon in successive days) and a health & fitness expo, available Thursday-Sunday.
It’s not just the event that’s amazing. Take a look at two inspirational stories from this year’s participants:
Cheri Srour, from Brooklyn, N.Y., will attempt to walk the final 100 yards of the Princess Half Marathon, which would be a minor miracle given an autoimmune neurological disorder has left her mostly paralyzed since 2007. Though she lost her mobility over a decade ago, she has been determined to not let her condition totally limit her opportunities. Aided by her brother-in-law who pushes her in a wheelchair, Srour completed the 2016 Disney Princess Half Marathon. In 2017, she relearned how to sit, stand, and even walk again. She was even able to switch places with her brother-in-law during last year’s Princess Half Marathon and push him across the finish line. Now this year, the tandem are entered again but Srour will try to triumphantly walk the final 100 yards of the race.
Izabella “Bella” Niera
Izabella “Bella” Niera from Gainesville, Fla. is participating in the runDisney Kids’ Races on Saturday. She is one of the youngest patients in the U.S. to have received a heart-lung transplant. She is also the youngest patient in Florida. Her doctors call it miraculous because she had to be revived multiple times as part of her heart-lung transplant ordeal. This ordeal involved more than 30 hospital visits over seven years. Bella’s fight for survival began when she was born at 28 weeks and was on life-support for nearly nine months. Her lungs, kidney and liver later began failing, as she had contracted four infections in her lungs, including pneumonia. Despite the odds, she overcame the illnesses and is now a much healthier 7-year-old. She continues to defy the odds as she tackles her first major kids race at Disney.
The Disney Princess 5K starts at 5:30 a.m. on Friday. The Disney Princess 10K starts at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday. And finally the Disney Princess Half Marathon starts at 5:30 on Sunday. All races start and begin at Epcot, and the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo is located at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
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