Woman runs into record books, beats entire field at Disney Princess Half Marathon

Neely Gracey is the third woman in runDisney history to claim the overall victory at a half marathon

(Feb. 26, 2023) Neely Gracey throws her hands up in victory as she crosses the finish line as the overall race winner of the 13.1-mile Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by CORKCICLE in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Colorado resident is only the third woman in runDisney history to be the overall half marathon winner. (Elisa White, photographer) (runDisney)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla – A Colorado woman made history becoming only the third woman to win the overall title at a runDisney half marathon.

Neely Gracey from Denver, Colorado beat the entire field at Sunday’s Disney Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World Resort, according to a news release.

Gracey joins Giovanna Martins, the 2017 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon winner and Jackie Pirtlehall, the 2019 Disney Princess Half Marathon champion who have accomplished the feat.

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“I’ve never done back-to-back races like this before and so running the 10K yesterday and then prepping to run the half (marathon) today, I had to utilize some strategies that I’ve learned over my almost 20 years of running to really make sure that I was able to finish strong today and it paid off,’’ Gracey said.

According to the release, Gracey passed second-place finisher Michael Fussner in the final stages, crossing the finish line just seven seconds ahead of him, running the 13.1-mile course through EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom in 1:15:55.

“I passed the top female at that point when we were in Magic Kingdom and then I just kind of kept rolling after that,’’ said Gracey, who was running in her first event of 2023. “I was in third for a while, then second for a while and then I really didn’t get past the top male until we were about less than half a mile out from the finish line. So, it really all just happened in the last two minutes of the race.’’

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About the Author:

Jacob joined ClickOrlando.com in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.