Dramatic 346-Pound Weight Loss Journey Among Compelling Human Interest Stories at Disneyland Half Marathon This Weekend

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 27, 2014) – More than 35,500 runners from across the world are participating in the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend on Thursday, Aug. 28 through Sunday, Aug. 31 at the Disneyland Resort.

The event weekend ends with a 13.1-mile race through Disneyland Resort, Disney California Adventure Park, the streets of Anaheim and Angel Stadium of Anaheim beginning at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 31.

Possible story angles for this year’s event include:

  • Derrick Deaton, 31, also wanted to run in a runDisney race. The idea, however, was inconceivable five years ago because Derrick weighed 529 pounds. After rigorous training and 5K runs six days a week, Derrick lost a dramatic 346 pounds and now weighs in at 183 pounds and will be competing in the Disneyland Half Marathon on Sunday.
  • A California mother runs Disney races in order to raise awareness for autism in honor of her autistic son.
  • On the heels of the late Robin Williams’ battle with depression, a California school nurse secretly battled depression for years before finally opening up and receiving help after signing up to run at the Disneyland Resort for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention charity.
  • A disabled Marine Corps veteran from California with a severe knee injury has defied all odds to run in a race again.

Media interested in covering the half marathon and/or any of its participants should contact Disney Sports PR by 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 29 for credentials and directions. Media should arrive on site no later than 4 a.m. for live coverage of the start and finish lines. The start line is located on Disneyland Drive, just south of Magic Way.

Last year’s winners included Jimmy Grabow, 28, from Running Springs, Calif., who won the Disneyland Half Marathon with the third-best time in the race’s seven-year history (1:07:41). Stephanie Dinius, 24, from Palo Alto, Calif. led the women with the second-best time in the history of the race (1:15:47).

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