Two Duxbury runners took an unusual tour through Disney World this past Sunday, as they raised money for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research.
Remi Demos and her father Darryl left a wintry Duxbury and landed in humid Florida to participate in the Disney Half Marathon Weekend with the Run for Our Sons team throughout the Epcot and Magic Kingdom parks.
Remi and Darryl traveled to Orlando for the weekend and hit the sack early Saturday night to rest up for the big run. When their alarms went off at 3:15, the two runners got ready and headed over to the park. Runners had to be at the starting line at 5:30 a.m. and, knowing there would be a lot of people and it would take a lot of time to get through the registration process, the Demos’ boarded the bus at 4 a.m.
While runners registered in the pitch black early Sunday morning, they were split into groups A through P, and were given varying start times. Despite the early wake up and traveling, Remi said she had no trouble getting into her running rhythm.
“We were there and ready by 5:30, but we didn’t actually start running until about 7 a.m.,” Remi said. “It was so weird to have been awake for so long in the dark and to wait to run until the sun was up.”
The half-marathon route took Remi and Darryl through Epcot, down the “Disney Highway” and throughout the Magic Kingdom, looping back around to Epcot. Remi said she and her father did not run the half-marathon with a time goal in mind; they just wanted to have the experience. Darryl is an avid long distance runner and has participated in the Disney half-marathon in the past, but this was the first time Remi decided to join him.
“I really enjoy running long distances, as does my dad, and this was a great opportunity for us to do it together,” Remi said. “I think he had fun and he was excited to do the race with me.”
Remi and her father raised $3,600 for the Run for Our Sons foundation, which is a fundraising charity run by the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy organization. Runners in the organization participate in major marathons and half-marathons around the country to raise funds and awareness for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which affect one in 3,600 boys. The disease results in muscle degeneration and is terminal.
Remi, who has run in the Turkey Trot before, said she plans on running more long-distance races in the future and hopes to do the race in Disney again.
“I’ve never done a race like this before but I’m very excited that I was able to complete this one,” she said. “I’m looking forward to doing it again.”