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Wear in the Disney World
The votes have been counted and Sharmon Panellacostacastro of Fort Belvoir, VA is the lucky winner of the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) “Wear in the World” contest. Posting a picture in a MCM mock neck at Disney for Christmas, she struck a chord with voters. The win earns her a complimentary MCM entry and prize package. Panellacostacastro, a volunteer at the 2011 MCM, will use the opportunity to run her first marathon.
To date, the furthest running distance Panellacostacastro has completed is a 5K, but after a lengthy weight loss effort she feels she is ready for the MCM challenge. Prior to entering the MCM “Wear in the World” contest, Panellacostacastro promised her husband that if her photo won, she would join him in running the 2012 MCM. Her husband, active duty in the U.S. Army, deferred his entry last year due to injury and instead volunteered with her on the course. Despite her Army connection, Panellacostacastro looks forward to running with the U.S. Marines.
“Though my husband is Army, deep in my heart the Marines are nothing but the finest and always hold a place in my heart,” she explains. “I think it’s the dress uniform!”
Panellacostacastro’s photo win has made running the MCM a reality, and she says she is ready to “step up” her game and start training. At her heaviest, she weighed 360 pounds and says to reach her goal before the MCM she must lose an additional 40 pounds. She feels her photo and subsequent win is a reflection of her weight loss journey.
“I made my husband take it [the photo] with me as I told him Santa does grant wishes if you believe,” she says. “While I’m running I will keep on telling myself that I will do this no matter what. As in life, we must fight our battles whether they’re big or small and we need to know that, if we believe, anything is possible. And, well, ‘Look at me now!’ is what I want to yell loud and proud when it comes to October 2012!”
The Wear in the World contest featured images taken in the Falkland Islands, Okinawa, Poland, Brussels, Moscow and New Orleans. More than 500 votes were cast. The contest was sponsored by MetroStar Systems.