SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A Shippensburg University graduate claimed victory after she won the Disney Princess Half Marathon on Sunday, Feb. 26 at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Neely Gracey, a Shippensburg University graduate, is the third woman in runDisney history to claim an overall victory at the runDisney half marathon.
Gracey joins Giovanna Martins (2017 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon) and Jackie Pirtlehall (2019 Disney Princess Half Marathon), who have also accomplished the great feat.
Not only did Gracey win the Disney Princess Half Marathon, but she also won the Disney Princess 10K the day before. Gracey ran nearly 20 miles in two days.
“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,” said Gracey of suburban Denver, Colorado.
Gracey passed second-place winner Michael Fussner in the final stages and finished seven seconds ahead of him, coming in with a time of one hour, 15 minutes, and 55 seconds.
“I passed the top female at that point when we were in Magic Kingdom and then I just kind of kept rolling after that,” explained Gracey. “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.”
The half marathon that took place on Sunday, Feb. 26 was part of the three-race weekend that took place at Walk Disney World Resort in Florida.