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Brazilian claims his 4th Disney Marathon
Triathlete Adriano Bastos captured the 14th annual Walt Disney World Marathon for the fourth time.
By JESSICA MUNDIE Times Correspondent
Published January 8, 2007
LAKE BUENA VISTA - Brazilian flags waved as triathlete Adriano Bastos captured the 14th annual Walt Disney World Marathon for the fourth time, winning in 2 hours, 19 minutes, 24 seconds.
More than 11,500 runners competed Sunday in demanding conditions, with the 6 a.m. starting temperature at 66 degrees.
Dancing around the finish-line chute, sporting his usual yellow-and-green Rasta-style pigtails, and columns of colorful tattoos up and down his legs and back, the 28-year-old fitness trainer from Sao Paulo promised to line up near Epcot next January in search of a fifth victory.
In the women's marathon, Gabriela Trana, 35, of Alajuela, Costa Rica, won in 2:57:03, passing St. Petersburg's Christa Benton in the closing mile. Benton, 22, finished second in 2:57:25.
"I felt really good at Mile 18, although I didn't know what to expect, because I had never run this far before," Benton said of her marathon debut. "My coach had me run a 23-mile training run and some 70-mile weeks. I am competitive, but at the same time, I run for fun and to finish the race. I gave it my all. I only had one other race like this, where I could not stand up after finishing. When you run like that, you can't be disappointed."
Benton led at Mile 20, but Trana caught her. Trana and Benton ran next to each other in the closing miles, with Benton unable to respond to Trana's last-mile surge past Epcot, just before the finish-line bleachers.
Benton's coach, Lance Lipham, has worked with her since before her days at Keswick Christian High. Coaching and mentoring her since she was 8, Lipham said he is sure of her ability to break the 2:50 Olympic trials B-standard qualifying time for women.
"The best part about coaching Christa is that she never questions the workouts," he said. "Christa is always so positive, and if I tell her we are running 10 1-mile repeats, all she asks is how fast I want them. Christa is very coachable and her phenomenal race recovery is what makes me think she can get to the Olympic trials for Beijing."
Benton was an All-America cross country runner at Keswick. She graduated summa cum laude from USF on Dec. 9 with a major in music education. Benton begins teaching at Plum Elementary School this week.
"The biggest nonrunning challenge I have had so far was when I was almost 10 years old and my dad passed away," Benton said. "My faith keeps me strong, and that's where my running strength comes from. I really prayed in the last miles when I felt weak. I know I will join my dad someday. And, this marathon has brought my family closer together.
"A lot is happening to me right now, with the marathon preparations and my USF graduation. The most important thing is to enjoy your training."
Matthew Dobson, 37, of Jay was second among men in 2:32:22, followed by Roy Vargas, 27, of Costa Rica in 2:33:42. Kevin Lyons 42, of Palm Harbor was eighth in 2:43:30.
"The last 8 miles killed me, with the humidity and all," Lyons said. "My first half was 1:17, but the second half was 1:25. That was the best I could do with the conditions out here."
St. Petersburg's Albert Wieringa won the men's 60-64 division in 2:58. Wieringa, 60, led from the start, posting a 1:06:48 half-marathon split. Rachel Chambers, 34, of Sarasota won the women's 30-34 division in 3:05:21, and Harmony Holland, 36, of Bradenton won the 35-39 division in 3:05:59. All three were named to the 2007 Florida's Finest.
Area division winners in Saturday's half-marathon: Paul Deguenther Jr., 50, of Riverview in 1:26:44 and Eudair Palman, 48, of New Port Richey in 1:37:15.