MELBOURNE, FL – As an ultra marathon runner, Don Muchow had the rare achievement of running from the Pacific to the Atlantic, a classic movie scene that played out in real life when he passed Walt Disney World.
Fans lined up outside the park and cheered when Muchow, a Texas resident, became the first person to run from the Disneyland theme park in California to Disney World, which was about 2,700 miles apart, according to a series of media reports.
Muchow said it was a nice surprise to see the fanfare in the 1994 film Forrest Gump remind of the running scene, but his journey was more about coast-to-coast ultra marathon runner with type 1 diabetes to accomplish.
“I didn’t really think about it that much,” Muchow said on news broadcasts over the Disney Connection, but used the award he would receive as the first athlete to run from Disneyland to Disney World as a motivator.
“It has always been a dream of mine to run across the country,” he told WKMG.
It’s a dream come true on Wednesday when it arrives on the east coast in Melbourne, Florida with more than a few obstacles along the way.
The hike began in Newport Beach, California in February 2020, according to the WKMG report. Muchow had to temporarily stop running a few times, once because of his father’s death and then for a few months after the coronavirus pandemic began to cripple the country in March last year.
He said running past a Costco New Mexico store that had run out of water and had plumbing at the door played a role in deciding to temporarily stop.
The journey picked up again in September, and Muchow made it through eight states: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
He would run about 32 miles a day, taking a break every 10 days, the WKMG report says.
For Muchow it is another way of showing what is possible for diabetics.
“I’m just trying to ride this hope all the way to the coast,” he told WESH.