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Man's 2.8K-Mile, 14-Month Run Is a Big First

Don Muchow, an Ironman with diabetes, ran from California's Disneyland to Florida's Disney World
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2021 8:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – It was an endurance run that was supposed to take just under 100 days. It ended up taking 14 months, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but Don Muchow's ultramarathon from California to Florida is still a big first. Per WESH, the 59-year-old Texas man is said to be the only person to have run from Disneyland in Anaheim to Disney World near Orlando, a 2,845-mile journey that took Muchow through eight states, WKMG notes. Muchow arrived at Disney World on Monday (watch his surprise welcome here), and because he wanted to start and end his run at the ocean—he kicked off his trip in California's Newport Beach before heading to Disneyland—he'll be arriving Wednesday at his final destination of Melbourne, Fla., to dip his feet in the Atlantic. Muchow, an Ironman athlete who has Type 1 diabetes, has been taking part in a larger "Run Across America" initiative to encourage others with diabetes to stay fit, per the Orange County Register.

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He tells WKMG he got the idea to do a "Mouse-to-Mouse" run from a pal who's a huge Disney fan. He set off on Feb. 1, 2020, with his wife, Leslie, driving a support van, hoping to arrive in Melbourne in early 2020. They were forced to take a pause in March of last year, however, around the 1,200-mile mark in Tarzan, Texas, as the pandemic began to envelop the US. "We didn't want to give or get COVID," he tells the Register. "I also thought it would be selfish to risk an injury that might require medical care when our health care folks and hospitals were so overwhelmed by life-and-death situations." He picked up where he left off in Texas in the early fall, running about 32 miles a day and taking a rest every 10 days. After he reaches the Atlantic, Muchow says he'll hold a private memorial for his dad, who died just a month into his run. He's also going to meet up for the first time with his biological father. "We're going to celebrate the good things that happened this year," he tells WKMG. (Read more Disneyland stories.)

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