Runner Spotlight – Matthew Gonzales

Matthew and Emily, who has A-T, at the A-TCP Pasta Dinner in Disney!

Introducing Matthew Gonzales – a dedicated marathoner, master fundraiser for the A-T Children’s Project (A-TCP) and member of Team Emily. Matthew has been running for the A-TCP at Walt Disney World’s marathon weekend for eight years now. Impressed? Just wait until you check out these numbers:

  • 24 races – Matthew does the Dopey Challenge every year. This is running all four of the races: 5k, 10k, half and full marathon. Amazing!
  • 389 miles – That’s 389 miles (624 kilometers) he has run at Disney in honor of Emily!
  • $5,000 – Each year, Matthew fundraises for the A-TCP. He has raised nearly $5,000 to date!
  • 8 costumes – Not only does he run fast, but each year he runs one race IN COSTUME! As if running wasn’t already hard enough!

His favorite part of the Walt Disney World Marathon is the fun energy and anticipation in the corrals before the race. His favorite part about running for the A-TCP is supporting Emily and getting to see everyone at the pasta dinner.

Matthew has some excellent advice for first-time fundraisers – “Be relentless. Organize small events, and count on friends.” And for first-time Dopey Challengers, Matthew suggests, “Take the half marathon slow. The 5k and 10k are easy and you can attack those a bit more. But the half is the key to success with the full. If you’re fatigued from an aggressive half then the full will be much more difficult. I take the half at a minute to minute-and-a-half slower pace than my usual.”

We are so grateful for Matthew and everyone who runs and fundraises on behalf of the A-T community! Matthew continues to make a difference and is running the Dopey again this year. If you are joining us for Disney 2022, look out for Matthew and say hello!

Interested in running with Matthew or cheering him on with the A-T Children’s Project at Disney 2022? Interested in our other races? Learn more here!