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Brazilians Finish 1-2 in Disney Race

January 9, 2000

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) _ Brazilian Jose Silva sprinted past countryman and two-time defending champion Santiago de Araujo in the 23rd mile to win the 2000 Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday.

Silva finished 4 minutes and 23 seconds ahead of Araujo in 2 hours, 25 minutes and 40 seconds. It was his first victory in 15 races and his first marathon in the United States.

``Viva Brazil,″ Silva shouted after crossing the finish line and wrapping himself in a Brazilian flag.

Aldo Virano, of North Miami, Fla., finished third in 2:33:31.

Running in her first marathon, Jennifer Uwins, of Stafford, Va., won the women’s race in 2:54:51.

``I thought (winning) was a possibility, but I didn’t think too much of it,″ she said.

For most of the race, Araujo led the pack of 10,000 runners with Silva trailing behind him by as much as 20 seconds.

Despite a pain in his right leg, Silva pulled ahead of Araujo on the 23rd mile of the 26.2 mile race, near the Tower of Terror ride at Walt Disney World’s Disney MGM-Studios. It was near the same spot that Araujo pulled ahead of the frontrunner last year to win the 1999 marathon.

The seventh annual marathon passed through the resort’s four theme parks, including Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom.

``He was not able to catch up with me,″ said Silva, who is on the same running team as Araujo in Brazil. The two Brazilians have raced together for 10 years but never in a marathon.

Araujo said a pain in his back at the 23rd mile caused him to slacken his pace and he never recovered.

Uwins had come to Disney for her first marathon in an attempt to qualify for the U.S. Olympic trials, something she failed to do. She crossed the finish line just ahead of her husband, James, a marine corp officer. The couple married in August.

``I was pretty beat in the second half,″ Mrs. Uwins said. ``My legs cramped and I had blisters on my feet, but I kept on plugging away.″

Marina Jones, 47, of Palm Desert, Calif., the defending women’s champion, finished second in 2:56:19, 1:58 slower than her time last year.

Other top finishers in the men’s race were: Andrew Greenidge, of Coconut Creek, Fla., 2:33:46; Paul Marmaro, of Delray Beach, Fla., 2:36:14; and Maurice Collins, of Liverpool, England, 2:37:21.

Other top finishers in the women’s race were: Laure Blume, of Pinellas Park, Fla., 3:00:22; Bethany Morse, of Northport, Fla., 3:03:17; and Erica Sanders, of Jupiter, Fla., 3:03:45.