Mission Accomplished: Brazil’s Samuel Souza Do Nascimento Conquers the Galaxy at the 2nd Annual Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (April 23, 2017) – Samuel Souza Do Nascimento of Limeira, Brazil, took the Dark Side by storm, winning all three race-weekend events, including the  2nd annual Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side at Walt Disney World Resort; the second largest runDisney half marathon race weekend.

Nascimento, 28, channeled the Force to run the half marathon through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 1:07:14, smashing last year’s race record of 1:13:39.  Tyler Andrews of Arlington, Va. was second (1:09:40) and Sam Montclair of Durham, N.C. was third (1:13:07).

“The thing that impressed me about this race is the overall energy of the run,” said Nascimento. “Other races I have run in the past, there have been one or two people on the sideline cheering and here there is a whole different energy to it, which helped me perform at an entirely different level.”

Earlier in the race weekend, Nascimento won the Stars Wars 5K, and Star Wars 10K before taking the half marathon on Sunday. When asked about winning the weekend’s three racing events, Nascimento simply replied, “Mission accomplished.”

Sydney Devore, 25, of Lakeland, Fla. was the first female finisher of the 13.1-mile race, setting the race record with a winning time of 1:20:15. The second-place female finisher was Jacki Wachtel of New Port Richey, Fla. (1:22:29) and third-place finisher was Georganne Watson of Gainesville, Fla. (1:25:44).

“This was a bucket list race for me, and I PR’d (set a personal record) by five minutes so I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out,” stated Devore. “It’s a dream come true, really.”

The 2nd annual Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side boasted a weekend of galactic family-friendly events, including the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo and the runDisney Kids Races, in addition to the Star Wars 5K, Star Wars 10K and half marathon. The weekend also included the 19.3-mile Star Wars Dark Side challenge, completing both the Star Wars 10K and half marathon in back-to-back days.

The Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side is the fourth race in runDisney’s nine-race series that encompasses Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris. Next month, runners can take flight with Tinker Bell and her friends during the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA Jewelry, taking place May 11-14.

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Jessica Baker, Disney Sports Public Relations – 407/202-3179; jessica.e.baker@disney.com

Darrell Fry, Disney Sports Public Relations – 407/409-1612; darrell.fry@disney.com

About runDisney

runDisney, one of the largest race organizers in the nation, hosts a series of nine event weekends providing runners unique opportunities to run various distances through Disney theme parks.  Race participants earn Disney-themed medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment, and guest service and ultimately can celebrate their accomplishments while on vacation at a Disney Parks destination.  The original event in the series, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, takes place in January followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in February, the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side in April and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend presented by Misfit in November.  Disneyland hosts the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side in January, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA Jewelry in May, the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna during Labor Day Weekend and the Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend in November. Disneyland Paris will host the inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend on Sept. 23-25. More than 230,000 running enthusiasts participate in runDisney events each year. For more information, visit www.runDisney.com and www.disneysportsnews.com, and follow runDisney on Facebook (runDisney), Twitter @runDisney and Instagram.