Happy Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend to all the runners out there! For those that aren’t familiar, this weekend marks the 26th year of the annual event and runners from all over the world will attend. This is also a special year for Johnny Agar who will be participating in the Marathon on Sunday and recently learned he’d get to walk the last mile.
- Fans of ESPN’s E:60 might recognize Johnny Agar, who was the subject of the feature “The Final Mile” in 2013.
- Agar and his father Jeff—a former pitcher for the Detroit Tigers organization—compete in sporting events together including marathons and triathlons.
- Agar lives with cerebral palsy and relies on his father and teammate to push his special wheelchair during these events.
- However, in 2013, they took it a step further when Jeff stopped during a race and Johnny used a walker to walk the last mile of the event.
- Recently, SportsCenter anchor, Scott Van Pelt announced to Agar during a broadcast, that he’d been cleared to walk the final mile of the Walt Disney World Marathon.
- Agar already had plans to participate in the event, but did not know that he’d be able to walk across the finish line.
The story behind the story:
- Agar’s mom Becki spoke to Steve Kaminski for MLive.com and shared their plans to surprise her son:
“Johnny was invited to speak at the Under Armour company, and Scott hosted the talk. We got to know him quite well, and he likes Johnny a lot and was touched by Johnny. He said ‘If there is ever anything I can do, let me know.’ I thought it would be neat to surprise Johnny after we got the word that Johnny was going to be able to walk at the Disney Marathon.
Scott said he wanted to be involved. He said ‘I would love to surprise him.’ I thought he would tweet something out to Johnny. But he decided to put it on his show.”
Scott Van Pelt’s on air announcement:
“I know that you know you’re going to Disney World, but what I can share with you now is that you have been approved to walk the final mile in that Walt Disney World Marathon on January 13. So you need to ramp up that prep work my man. You’re on the clock.
I know how much you love the place but I want to make sure you understand this isn’t a vacation – this is a business trip. You enjoy yourself. Happy New Year my friend.”