Fredison Costa, 39, won the 24th annual Walt Disney World Marathon for the fourth consecutive time, and sixth overall. Costa, who hails from Brazil, but now lives in Kissimmee, finished the race with a time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, 15 seconds, a full seven minutes faster than the runner-up.
Vanilson Neves, also of Brazil, came in second, but Costa said Neves challenged him with three and a half miles left in the race. “Vanilson was very prepared. He was a very strong runner. I had an ace up my sleeve. At 35 [kilometers], I increased my pace, and he couldn’t keep up. That was my time to release all my energy.” Neves, 28, finished with a time of 2 hours, 30 minutes, 24 seconds. Neves completed in the Dopey Challenge and won the 10K on Friday.
Costa’s six titles put him just two short of Adriano Bastos’ record eight wins. For the past fourteen years, the winner has been either Bastos, also a Brazilian, or Costa. Costa said, “It is not a major concern for me to beat Adriano’s record. If I ever get to do that and be the Brazilian who wins the most Disney World marathons, it would be an outstanding experience.”
For someone to beat him, Costa said, “It has to be someone who trains really hard, because this is my race. I practice all year for this. I want to be a seven-time champion, so I am not just going to give in. That person has to come very, very, ready.”
Giovanna Martins, of Salto, Brazil, was the first woman across the finish time. Martins finished with a time of 2:48:05, giving her the title for the second time in three years. She was forced to drop out of 2016’s race when she stepped in a hole and injured her ankle. She said, “It was very important for me this year to come back after what happened last year. I worked really hard.”
This year’s 17,700 runners saw temperatures in the 30s, with a wind-chill in the 20s. The Half Marathon was cancelled on Saturday, due to heavy storms with lightning along the race path.
News source: Orlando Sentinel
Image – Fredison Costa/Giovanna Martins. Photo credit: Orlando Sentinel