Cigna once again returned as the proud sponsor of the 2020 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. This, the “premier” runDisney event of the year, is one of the largest marathon race weekends in America. Over 60,000 attendees participated in the 5K, 10K, half marathon, and marathon distances.
During this four-day event, dreams were set, health objectives achieved, and personal bests realized. Possibly the best end result? Motivating those on the sidelines to now set their own aspirational goals.
runDisney entices both young and old, runner and non-runner alike to “make every mile magic.” Each year, Walt Disney World Resort hosts over a hundred thousand participants who do just that. Proving that fitness CAN be fun, runDisney promotes health and wellness in this most enchanting setting.
Running, walking, or skipping through Cinderella Castle at dawn? Yes please.
This sign tells it all, as Cigna truly was everywhere we ran this weekend. The Cigna Inspiration Stations at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo reminded all that overall well-being is essential. And FUN.
Their Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend line-up included pre-race motivational “pep talks” and free health screenings for all. As part of the Cigna Health Improvement Tour, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and body mass index (BMI) testing was performed for runners, families, and friends. Preventive care- “Go, Know, Take Control”- is key to the Cigna wellness model.
1,300 members strong, the team consists of employees, clients, customers, Cigna and Cigna Foundation community partners, such as Achilles International. (The Achilles organization enables persons living with disabilities to participate in mainstream athletic events.)
This year, Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kerseeand former NFL star Warrick Dunnwere invited to join Team Cigna. Teammates guided differently-abled runners through each of the weekend’s runDisney contests. Joyner-Kersee and Dunn spoke of how inspired they were to run with these athletes overcoming tremendous challenges.
The Achilles International athletes’ spirit was “undefeatable.” And contagious.
Power of Community
Both Joyner-Kersee and Dunn were chosen to join this team by design. Not only are they accomplished and famous elite athletes, but they are stars to those in need in their communities. The Jackie Joyner Kersee Foundation supports at-risk children living in the St. Louis area. Its “Winning in Life” program provides after-school homework help, summer camps, and overall character mentoring. This includes creating the community servants of the future.
The Warrick Dunn Charities builds homes, offers scholarships, and provides nutrition and wellness education to those needing assistance in Atlanta and beyond.
Cigna recognizes that true wellness and whole person health includes finding this balance in life. Our communities, including the disabled and underprivileged, are empowered when motivation and support are delivered.
During this runDisney weekend, Cigna celebrates this balance and “the power of aspirational goal-setting, community support, and personal achievement.”
Feeling inspired? Why not include the 2021 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend into your future well-being goals. As even Mickey Mouse knows, today’s spectators are tomorrow’s racers. Pretty magical…
About Guest Contributor Donna Cantrell:
Guest Contributor Dr. Donna Cantrell, PT, is the wife of a restaurateur, mother of two Spectrum kids, and physical therapist who sees the WORLD with a special point of view. Donna has a passion for running (thanks to runDisney) and staying fit. She was the perfect person to represent An Open Suitcase during the Cigna events at WDW Marathon Weekend 2020!
Sports Medicine PT (weekend warriors, professional hockey players and everyone in between)
Special Olympics PT Clinical Director FUNfitness, Healthy Athletes volunteer World Games NY ’84, Athens ’11, Los Angeles ’15, and USA Games ’14
Autism School Board Trustee & Executive Secretary 2002- present
Autism Speaks Volunteer Advocacy Ambassador
Motivational speaker for autistic families; emcee for “An Evening with Temple Grandin.” (November 2016)