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Tucsonan wins 25th Annual Walt Disney World Marathon

Posted at 8:30 AM, Jan 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-09 20:22:08-05

For the first time in 14 years, an American runner has won the 25th Annual Walt Disney World Marathon... and he's from Tucson!

28-year-old Nick Hilton ran 26.2 miles in just less than two hours and 18 minutes.

"It feels great, it's one of those things tough to put into words," Hilton told KGUN 9. 

According to Disney officials, a Brazilian runner has finished first in six of the last seven annual races, including the last four.

Hilton says, "during the race, the whole goal was to win. That was the goal I set forth." 

He says, as he took the lead, "I opened up the gap with the guy in 2nd place it was just kind of like, stay focused, don't let your mind water - get through these next couple of miles because the last couple of miles can get difficult."

It was something short of magical as Hilton became the first American to win the Disney marathon since 2004. 

All participating runners ran through all four Disney theme parks in Orlando, Florida, and Hilton said one of the best parts about the race was running through Magic Kingdom.

To add a little Disney magic to it all, Hilton's win comes one year after he got engaged at Walt Disney World Resort.

"When you turn the corner and see the finish line and you can see my wife there - I could see everyone there - there's a lot of emotion that wells up." 

Hilton will run a marathon in Miami and Minnesota - from there, Hilton hopes to hit the Olympic A-standard. 

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