LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Jan. 13, 2019) – Fredison Costa and Giovanna Martins, past champions of the Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna, took their thrones again Sunday, easily winning the male and female divisions of the 26th annual event.
Costa, a native of Brazil who now lives in Kissimmee and trains at Walt Disney World Resort, recaptured the title after struggling through last year’s race. It was his seventh Disney Marathon victory, leaving him one shy of Adriano Bastos’ record of eight wins. Running in unseasonably warm Florida weather, Costa posted a time of 2:18:45, far off the race record of 2:11:50, but well ahead of second-place finisher Nick Hilton (2:21:48), the Flagstaff, AZ runner who won the race a year ago, and Jose Lima of Brazil (2:26:40), who was third.
“I’ve been through hard times this year, so it felt great that this was the seventh time I was the winner,” Costa said. “I feel like I’m challenging myself again.”
Martins of Salto, Brazil, is the first woman to win four Disney marathon titles, including the last three in a row. She was challenged for much of the race, but kicked it into high gear late in the race to win easily, then celebrated her momentous victory while clutching a Mickey plush in one hand and a Brazilian flag in the other. In fact, she is the only four-time women’s winner in race history after crossing the finish line in 2:45:24 – more than two minutes ahead of Antonia Lins Da Silva of Fortaleza, Brazil, who was second (2:47:36) and Nancy Jurgens of Apex, North Carolina who was third (2:50:39).