LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (WESH) – Until he heard the cheers, Don Muchow didn’t know what to expect as he completed his cross-country marathon.
“The security guard said, ‘Oh, are you the runner?’ and I thought, ‘Oh my god. Here’s the escort off Disney property,’” Muchow said.
He ran from Disneyland in California to Disney World in Florida and getting a big welcome at the Magic Kingdom lifted his spirits.
“I love you guys. This is the best surprise in the world,” said Muchow, a 59-year-old Ironman athlete from Texas.
He planned to start at the Pacific and end in the Atlantic but stopping at the Disney parks was a “happy accident” born from a conversation with a confused friend.
“He said, ‘Well, so I assume you’re running from Disneyland to Disney World?’ And I hadn’t actually thought about it that way,” Muchow said.
As a fan of the theme parks, including Disney was a great fit and gave him the push he needed to finish the last leg.
“I’ve just been on cloud nine since then,” he said.
Muchow ran the 2,800 miles across the country to show how his Type 1 diabetes wasn’t holding him back.
After decades of defying limitations from the disease, he wanted to prove to others that they can, too.
“Make that choice, rather than the choice of fear,” Muchow said.
After seeing all the sights in his run across America, the road warrior is just about done.
“I’m starting to sort of ride that wave of hope to the shore,” Muchow said with the Atlantic Ocean within reach.