Jan. 9, 2020 – Cigna returns as the proud sponsor of the Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend, one of the largest marathon race weekends in the United States. More than 60,000 people will race through the park’s most iconic rides and attractions to celebrate the power of aspirational goal-setting, community support and personal achievement.
“Cigna and runDisney share a commitment to inspire people of all ages to come together and live their healthiest lives,” said Julia Huggins, senior vice president, U.S. Commercial and Enterprise Specialty Distribution and the 2020 Team Cigna executive sponsor. “Our continued sponsorship of the Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend, one of the most respected race series in the nation, is an opportunity for participants to come together, set goals and achieve them with the backing of a strong community to support them along the way. Through our community of customers and employees, Cigna is also proud to support individual athletes and the many non-profit organizations represented at runDisney events.”
Team Cigna Laces Up
More than 1,300 Team Cigna members represent Cigna employees, Cigna and Cigna Foundation community partners Achilles International, Back on My Feet, St. Louis Children’s Hospital – Healthy Kids Express Asthma, Students Run Philly Style, Brightstar Community Outreach, Pace Center for Girls, Operation BBQ Relief, and Cigna clients and customers.
This year, Cigna has also added Olympic medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee and former NFL running back and philanthropist Warrick Dunn.
As part of Team Cigna, Joyner-Kersee and Dunn will guide runners with differing abilities throughout the weekend’s races. They will also be attending several activities in partnership with Cigna to promote the company’s approach to whole person health and well-being by discussing how they each find balance in their hectic personal and professional lives and focus on their total body health.
Undefeatable: A Profile on Candice Caesar
An Achilles Freedom Team member and participant on Team Cigna, Candice Caesar, has overcome tremendous challenges to participate in this year’s races. Caesar is participating in the highly-regarded Dopey Challenge, a four-day series of races, including the Walt Disney World® Marathon, Walt Disney World® Half Marathon, Walt Disney World® 10K, and Walt Disney World® 5K.
A military veteran, Caesar suffered a motorized vehicle accident that left her with a brain injury and physical difficulties that included being unable to swallow or use her voice properly. Caesar went on to regain her ability to speak and swallow and ultimately became a speech pathologist for Autistic children.
“I’m so grateful for the support Cigna gave me in one of my hardest moments,” said Caesar. “It’s because of the team at Cigna that I’m here today running the Dopey Challenge. But more importantly, I’m doing it to show everyone out there facing similar challenges that anything is possible when you commit to a goal and find a community that supports you.”
Caesar will be guided by a group of Cigna employees. Cigna employees will serve as guides for several other racers with differing abilities, many of whom are athletes with Achilles International and The Achilles Freedom Team. Achilles International is a non-profit organization dedicated to enabling people with disabilities participate in mainstream athletic events. The Freedom Team is comprised of military veterans who have come back from the battlefield to participate in running events.
“We’re so inspired to see runners with differing abilities all running together side by side,” said Huggins. “It serves as a testament that, with the right motivation and support system in place, anything is possible.”
This year marks the 12th consecutive year that Cigna is the presenting sponsor of runDisney.
Preventive Care for Body and Mind: Cigna Health Improvement Tour Returns
The Cigna Health Improvement Tour, a mobile clinic that travels around the country offering free health screening and coaching, will be available at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex offering free screenings for four health numbers – blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and body mass index (BMI). Through this event, Cigna will also encourage people to get their annual check-up and talk openly and honestly with their doctor about how they are feeling, physically and emotionally.