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Canadian former triathlete Natasha Yaremczuk wins Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday

This weekend has seen multiple overlaps of the Canadian triathlon and running scenes. Jeff Symonds runs the Pioneer 8K alongside several of the country’s top runners in BC this morning and Natasha Yaremczuk, a Canadian triathlete-turned-runner, has taken the win at “the most magical race on earth,” the Walt Disney World Marathon.

The Canadian and Montverde, Fla. resident won the women’s race in 2:52:21, more than nine minutes clear of the field. Yaremczuk is a native of Paris, Ont.

The 35-year-old is a former triathlete turned runner, having made the Canadian national team (as Natasha Filliol) in the three-sport discipline for the 2003 Pan American Games and the 2002 Commonwealth Games.


On the men’s side, a pair of Brazilians took the top two spots with Fredison Costa winning the Walt Disney World Marathon for the third consecutive year, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Costa finished in 2:33:22 and has won the race five of the previous six years.

Entering Sunday’s marathon, Joao Marcelo Avelar had the chance for a four-peat after winning the first three races of the Walt Disney World Marathon race weekend.

Avelar ended up finishing 12th in Sunday’s marathon running 2:51:20 (2:51:15 net). Avelar had raced, and won, the 5K, 10K and half-marathon on consecutive days beginning on Thursday.

Completing all four Walt Disney Marathon race weekend events is known as the Dopey Challenge.

Triathletes looking to improve their running in time for the tri racing season should consider early season running races to test their current fitness and push themselves in a competitive environment. Several Canadian and international 5K, 10K and half-marathons taking place in the next couple months are still open for registration.

In our recent interview with Malindi Elmore, a track runner now racing as an elite triathlete, she talks about her experience in both sports. Just as her running years have helped her excel in triathlon, it looks like Natasha Yaremczuk’s years in triathlon have helped her become a great runner.