Like nearly all large marathons over the past year, The 2021 Walt Disney World Marathon went virtual. Some runners that had hotel reservations made the trip anyhow and ran their virtual races on Disney property to earn their medals.
One runner boasted of a race for ‘just 500 of the fastest marathoners” – a field limited to those that have a completed marathon of under 4:00:00 within the past year.
“what a race. just too many things to say but this one was for runners, no spectators, no character photo spots, no entertainment. Just 500 of the fastest marathoners”
the only cheering came from cast members as you ran through the parks. very tight security and a constant reminder that there were elimination points during the race. my final 3:51:09 time was a testament to a great pace strategy and an intimate knowledge of every mile of the course.
there were many pace casualties, mostly by young runners who tried to keep up with the lead group. once I passed the boardwalk and entered epcot I knew i was going to finish under time so I stopped for a second at japan because its a seven year tradition to say my thanks that I can still compete.
The detail of this event that was reserved for 500 top runners was shared by a Florida man, James Nishinaka. Nishinaka is a regular participant at The Walt Disney World Marathon and The Space Coast Marathon.
the finish line was full of runners cheering on the final person to cross the line. the perks for being in this race are out of this world. two park hopper passes. a pair of special disney new balance shoes. a jacket and pin and an entry to one disney future race.
But the biggest reward was a surprise to all:
the surprise that we found out at the finish was those that finished got automatic berths into the next boston marathon. im not sure if disney will ever do this again and at this point im not sure ill be running sub 4 marathons. it was really hard and at times i wanted to stop but its just not in me to quit once i start something. it was a very good race.
Either you are now angry that Boston was giving automatic entries to finishers of a closed, top secret Disney race, or more likely, you realized early on that there was no such race and it was all a lie. The medal he posted was for the Virtual Marathon and the photo was from a previous Disney Marathon.
James has run The Walt Disney World Marathon many times. His times would not have gained him entry to this fictional race.. He finished the 2020 Walt Disney Marathon in a time of 6:27:24. The prior two years he finished in over 6 hours.
This was not his first lie. It is just a peak into his character.
Space Coast Marathon
James did finish in under 4 hours, but he ran the half marathon (2:46:25).
James claimed an average pace of 6:36 minutes per mile for the 10k Epic Character Race. He finished in 1:02:12 – a 10:00 minute per mile pace.
Despite the official looking jacket, James did not compete in the 2019 National Senior Games. He is not listed in the full results book. Also, despite the Olympic team patch, while there are qualification standards which must be met to compete, participants are not considered members of the United States Olympic Team. He was listed as a registrant for the High Jump for a previous year’s Florida Senior Games, but was listed as DNS (Did Not Start). He was registered for the 2020 Florida Senior Games (Qualification Standards were waived).
In 2016 he posted that he was training for The High jump with an Australian Record Holder:
Why does all of this matter? His bogus race claims are not nearly the worst of Jame’s history of lies and fraud.
Nishinaka Defrauded Elderly Couple of Their Retirement Savings: Allegedly Threatened to Kill Them
In 1990, Nishinaka pled guilty to defrauding an elderly couple of $41,000. The disturbing details are available at the link below.
In or around April 1987, Nishinaka falsely told the Wheelers that he was a stockbroker at Shearson Lehman Hutton, Inc. (“Shearson”) and gave them a false business card substantiating his claim. The Wheelers gave Nishinaka $41,000 to invest to build up their savings for retirement. Instead of investing the Wheelers’ money, however, Nishinaka spent it for his personal use. According to Mrs. Wheeler, after Nishinaka told her that he had spent all their money, he threatened to kill her and her husband because Nishinaka believed that they were the source of his problem.
There is another similar complaint listed on an online review site, but it does not appear that any legal action was pursued.
This is just another instance where someone that goes to great lengths to cheat or lie about seemingly inconsequential race results is willing to cross the line into illegal activity. It was discovered that Kelly Agnew had embezzled from his employer after Marathon Investigation publicized his cheating. Jo Benson, aka Emily Clark was found to have falsified her credentials as a therapist after her cheating came to light. As Amanda Wowk was cheating in a Triathlon she was facing sentencing related to harassment and impersonating a police officer.
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