In February 2020, 59-year-old Don Muchow of Plano, Texas, set off on what he dubbed the first-ever “Mouse2Mouse Challenge” — a run from Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
Muchow’s journey began on February 1, 2020, in Newport Beach, Calif., and he reached Disney World on April 5, 2021, where he and his wife celebrated his accomplishment at Magic Kingdom, but that wasn’t the end of his run. Determined to not only hit the Disney Parks on both coasts but also see both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, Muchow didn’t stop running until April 7, 2021, when he reached the beach in Melbourne, Fla.
“It felt surreal. I’ve spent so long trying to get there, and suddenly, it was done,” Muchow said. “It’s only starting to sink in.”
Why did Muchow undertake this amazing challenge? The ultrarunner, Ironman, and Type 1 diabetic came up with the idea for the 2,845-mile Mouse2Mouse Challenge to raise awareness for Type 1 diabetes and to show others with the autoimmune disease that there are safe ways to do even the most “epic things.” During the run, he gave himself daily insulin shots to manage his health and used a Tandem insulin pump and Dexcom continuous glucose monitor to maintain his blood sugar.
Muchow’s wife, Leslie Nolen, drove along in a supply van as he averaged 32 miles a day — 5.8 miles longer than a marathon — for a total of 88 running days. According to Muchow, Disney World was a dream destination for both of them. Their favorite attraction? “It’s a Small World” because, he said, the ride reminds him of the Type 1 diabetes community around the world who support each other.
“We’re huge Disney fans,” he said. “The Disney motto ‘If you can dream it, you can do it’ really hits home for me. Dreams are great, but memories are even better.”
You can see posts from Don’s journey on his Instagram page.