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Three-Time Paralympian and the Dopey Challenge!

We love to hear inspirational stories from the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and the other runDisney events! Each athlete has a story to tell. The latest is the story of Brian Siemann, as shared by Sarah Harris and Disney Parks Blog:

ChEARs to a historic weekend indeed! More reason to celebrate during The World’s Most Magical Celebration as the amazing stories of strength and perseverance just keep coming from the 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. Today we are excited to spotlight Push Rim Wheelchair athlete and three-time Paralympian, Brian Siemann, who swept the Dopey Challenge in his division and has done so every year since 2016!

Siemann, who has been a part of Team USA for the Paralympic Track & Field Team for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 games, is an avid runDisney participant, competing in runDisney events since 2014. “I completed my first runDisney race back in 2014 and was hooked after that. There is something special about runDisney races – the entire experience is so much fun. Not only do you get to race through the parks, but you can see your favorite characters along the course,” Siemann said. “I think the highlight for the 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend was just having the opportunity to race in person with the entire runDisney community. I’ve met so many people through runDisney races, so having the chance to reconnect and run through the most magical place on earth was the perfect way to start the new year.”

Push Rim Wheelchair athlete and three-time Paralympian, Brian Siemann at the 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

And what a great start to the year it was for him! With an impressive final Marathon finish, Brian swept the Push Rim division for the 2022 Dopey Challenge (the ultimate challenge, having participants complete 48.6 miles in four consecutive days through a 5K, 10K, Half and full Marathon), making him the division winner of the Dopey Challenge for the past six years. “When I raced my first Dopey in 2016, the goal was to finish just doing one race at a time, so when I won every race, it made the experience all the more special,” said Siemann. “No matter how early race mornings are, I keep coming back because of how much fun I have every year!”

After racing (and winning!) with runDisney for over six years, what’s his favorite part of the events? “I think like every runner who does a runDisney event, I love racing through all of the Disney theme parks – there is something so unique about getting to race down Main Street, U.S.A., and take it all in,” said Siemann. “With that being said, I think the best part is getting to cheer on runners in EPCOT after I finish the race. I usually make my way into EPCOT and cheer runners on until the last runner comes by. Honestly, having a chance to cheer for other runners is one of my favorite things to do – when I retire from racing, I want to come back and cheer everyone on; that’s how much I love doing it.”

2022 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend finisher medals

From amazing accomplishments to achieving personal goals, the 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend was even more special as participants ran right in the heart of The World’s Most Magical Celebration as part of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. A big chEARs to everyone who accomplished and celebrated something during this year’s event. What did you celebrate? Share your runDisney story with us on social using #WDWMarathon and learn more about runDisney events here.

Credit: Disney

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Paula K

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH, and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married, and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010, we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the Parks. Under the name Paula Brown, I penned the novels 'Dream Wanderers' and 'The Coffee Cruiser'. I also am a co-author of 'Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide'. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida.

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