Woman Wins Disney Marathon On Her 32nd Birthday

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jan. 10, 2011

She hopes to make the American Olympic team.

Leah Thorvilson of Little Rock, Arkansas did something unusual on her 32nd birthday last Sunday: She won the Walt Disney World Marathon in Orlando, Florida. Thorvilson’s finishing time was 2:42:11. The second-place runner, Karen Simmonds-Brady, didn’t even come in for another nine minutes. Third place went to Jessica Crate (2:51:53).

Afterwards, the crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to Thorvilson who was clad in a green Tinker Bell outfit.

“I don’t know where the competition was,” she recalled. “I didn’t have any females close from the beginning.” When she was asked how she planned to celebrate her birthday victory, Thorvilson exclaimed, “I’m drinking around the world tonight!”

In the men’s race, Fredison Costa of Brazil broke the tape in 2:21:15. He upset reigning champion Adriano Bastos who ended up finishing 15th overall. Costa hopes to make his country’s Olympic team in 2012. American and perpetual racer Mike Wardian came in second in 2:27:37.

Nearly 18,000 runners took part in the race which winds through Disney World’s theme parks.

For More: Miami Herald

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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