Skip to main content

Dixon Completes First Marathon at Disney

Brandy Dixon completed her first marathon at Walt Disney World!
Brandy Dixon completed her first marathon at Walt Disney World!

For Brandy Sweeden Dixon, assistant athletic director of communications for Little Rock Athletics, completing her first marathon has been high on her priority list for several years.

Dixon had the opportunity of a lifetime to finish her goal by racing in the Walt Disney World Marathon in Orlando, Florida, on Jan. 7.

“This was my first marathon, and I have been training for it since July,” she said. “When I used to work for the Little Rock Marathon, I was very close to their coaches, Hobbit and Tom Singleton, who gave me a training plan to run this marathon. Having them as support and that special training plan really helped me prepare, and it took some of the pressure off going into the marathon.”

Dixon was one of 7,054 people competing in the Disney marathon. She completed the 26.2-mile race in 6:02:48, and she was thrilled to choose Disney for the site of her first marathon.

“I love Disney,” Dixon said. “I knew they would have a lot of entertainment and characters. They did an excellent job of providing everything you could need as an athlete. I was very pleased that I chose Disney to be the first marathon I ever did.”

Brandy Dixon is shown with Minnie and Mickey Mouse during the 2024 Walt Disney World Marathon.
Brandy Dixon is shown with Minnie and Mickey Mouse during the 2024 Walt Disney World Marathon.

The Disney marathon is the only race where runners get to race through each of Disney World’s parks, and Dixon recounted how magical it was to run through the castle in the Magic Kingdom.

“The parks were not open to the public at the time of the race, but they do let in all the family members, friends, and fans who want to support the runners,” she said. “It was pouring rain as we went through the Magic Kingdom. When you come around that corner on Main Street, you see all those people cheering you on, and then you run through the castle. It was one of the most special moments during the 26.2 miles that I will remember.”

While many people wear costumes in celebration of racing at Disney World, Dixon wore something to let her student-athletes at UA Little Rock know she was thinking about them.

“I wore a Little Rock Basketball shirt when I ran,” she said. “Most people wear costumes, but because I couldn’t be with the team, I wanted to support them during the race.”

She also got to race with a familiar face, her friend, Ryan Miller of Little Rock, who was completing the Dopey Challenge, which means he ran the 5K, 10M, half marathon, and full marathon four days in a row at Disney.

“Ryan and I went to the start line together,” Dixon said. “It’s always good to see a familiar face, especially with it being my first time doing a marathon.”

Dixon has been a runner since high school, where she competed on her track team.

“After I graduated high school, it was a long time before I started running again,” she said. “It was my husband, Kris, and father-in-law who started doing 5Ks and running. When COVID hit, that is when I got consistent with running. It’s something I get to do with my husband and my father-in-law. It’s enjoyable to get to do it with your family and friends.”

Dixon’s next race will be running the half marathon in the Little Rock Marathon during the first weekend of March.