Disney Has First 3-Time Champ

LAKE BUENA VISTA – Brazilian Adriano Bastos led start to finish Sunday en route to his third victory in the 13th annual Walt Disney World Marathon. Bastos, 27, of Sao Paulo, posted a time of 2 hours, 19 minutes, 44 seconds to lead the field of more than 10,000 participants in the full marathon.

Bastos’ time was the 22nd-fastest Disney time ever, and his victory margin was more than 11 minutes over Tim Keller, 24, of Park Rapids, Minn., who finished second in 2:31:36.

This is the sixth time a Brazilian has dominated the race and Bastos is the first three-time winner. Of the 25 best times in the history of the race, the only three posted since 1995 belong to Bastos – in 2003 (2:18:33, 15th best), in 2005 (2:19:16, 18th best) and in 2006.

Paige Higgins, 23, of Littleton, Colo., was the women’s full marathon champion with a time of 2:51:38. This Walt Disney World Marathon is the first marathon ever run by Higgins, a University of Kansas graduate. The women’s second-place finisher was Amy Shertzer, 28, of Monument, Colo., with a time of 2:59:14. Shertzer, a graduate of the Air Force Academy and a native of Winter Park, was the 2005 women’s marathon winner.

The top local finisher was St. Petersburg’s Mary Ann Protz, 49, in 3:00:40 (third overall among women). Wayne Diny of Tampa was the top male finisher in 3:03:21, followed closely by Tampa masters runner John Docs in 3:03:41. Laura Drake of St. Petersburg also cracked 3:10 with her 3:07:03, as did Tampa’s Fred Dorsey (3:04:09).

Tampa’s Tony Jasica, who lost 72 pounds in the past 10 months, finished in 5:58:08.

Michael Mollod, 41, of Sarasota earned a notable win in the masters division (ages 40 and older) in the full marathon with a time of 2:42:54 and a 10th-place overall ranking.

Lynn Leonard, 40, of Ocala was the top women’s marathon masters finisher at 3:04:23. In the full marathon wheelchair division, Renzo Martinez, 41, of Boca Raton, and Kristen Messer of Austin, Texas, finished first among men and women, respectively.

First-time marathoners, veteran runners and celebrities made the trek through the four Walt Disney World theme parks.

“This is the greatest marathon I’ve ever seen,” said Kyle Petty, NASCAR driver and son of legendary stock car driver Richard Petty. Kyle Petty was running the marathon to benefit his family’s Victory Junction Gang charity.

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