Man runs from Disneyland to Disney World for diabetes awareness

Don Muchow runs at the Magic Kingdom.
(Image credit: Screenshot/YouTube/WKMG News 6 ClickOrlando)

Don Muchow ran the roughly 2,800 miles from Disneyland to Disney World not because he really wanted to see Mickey Mouse or ride Splash Mountain — the Texan says he did it to show other people with Type 1 diabetes "there are safe ways to do even epic things."

Muchow, 59, of Plano was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1972. At the time, he told WKMG, there were no glucose meters and his doctor told him "not to exercise, and I followed those instructions for 42 years." More recently, he started experiencing health issues linked to his diabetes, and found that it was necessary to become active. He jumped into a running regiment, and was soon completing 5Ks, 10Ks, marathons, and Iron Man triathlons.

Pre-pandemic, Muchow planned a run from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic, and a friend remarked that it would be like going from Disneyland to Disney World. Muchow liked this idea, and in February 2020, he went to Newport Beach, California, dipped his toe in the Pacific, and then ran 14 miles to Disneyland. The run didn't go as originally planned: he paused after a month when his father died, and then at the 1,260-mile mark, he had to take a break for safety reasons because of the pandemic.

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This March, Muchow was ready to finish, and he logged 32 miles a day, stopping every 10 days, WKMG reports. On Tuesday, he made it to Disney World, where he was greeted with cheers, and on Wednesday, he went to a Melbourne, Florida, beach so he could dip his toe in the Atlantic. On Facebook, Muchow wrote that Disney's slogan "If you can dream it, you can do it" is a motto that "goes double for everyone like me, with serious lifelong medical conditions. The diagnosis is the beginning, not the end." Catherine Garcia

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.