More than 300 U.S. military personnel in Iraq will take part in a Disney half-marathon in Baghdad during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by CIGNA, which will feature more than 53,000 runners at Walt Disney World in suburban Orlando this weekend. Last year, the WDW Marathon and Half Marathon became the largest M/h combo all-time with 34,055 finishers.
The runDisney Heroes Race in Baghdad on Saturday will involve service men and women based at Victory Base Complex trekking 13.1 miles through the Iraqi desert while simultaneously more than 27,000 runners – a new race record – run the same distance during the Disney Half Marathon. Both races will be linked by satellite so runners and spectators at both events can view live video of each race. Runners in both races will receive official runDisney race bibs, shirts and finisher medals.
The companion race is just one of the many new twists to this year’s Disney Marathon Weekend. In addition, runners who finish the 26.2-mile Disney Marathon will receive complimentary entry into Walt Disney World the next day as part of Marathon Monday at Disney. Also, finishers will receive a new Mickey Mouse medal.
“The runDisney Heroes Race is our way of honoring the courageous men and women of our armed forces who put their lives on the line every day,” said Kathleen Duran, runDisney Sports Area Manager. “With the salute to the troops and new features like Marathon Monday and the new race medal, the Disney Marathon Weekend is unquestionably our signature event among the four runDisney events we stage each year.”