WILLSBORO - For Steven Benway, a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida was time to spend with family.
But while most would spend time bonding over a ride or walk through the park, Steven, vice president of Zebra-Tech, LLC in Willsboro, and his daughter, Jacqueline Benway of Groton, Conn., ran through the park as part of the Walt Disney World Marathon.
"This was my fourth marathon and my daughter ran it with me," Benway said. "It was her first one and she did great."
Benway said the trip involved four generations of his family, and was a "consolation" for not being able to go to the Boston Marathon last year.
"I had qualified for it, but they took in 26,000 entries in eight hours, so I missed it," Benway lamented. "My wife then told me that I could pick out anywhere in the world that I wanted to run."
As it turned out, the family chose for him in picking Disney World.
Benway's time at the event of three hours, 36 minutes again qualifies him to take part in the Boston Marathon, not bad for a man who went through a bout with Esophageal cancer shortly after his first marathon.
"I ran my first marathon in Schroon in 2007, and in May of 2008 I received my diagnosis," Benway said. "One of my goals from that time on was to run a marathon again. I had the marathon planned already, but then cancer got in the way."
Benway received chemotherapy treatments for the disease until December of 2008, during which time he stayed active by running a half marathon.
"They really didn't want me to do it, but they were not going to let me run a full marathon, either," Benway said. "I am a firm believer that you need to keep yourself active. It helps with your attitude, it helps with your metal health and it helps you stay in shape. It helps you get through it all."
Benway said his main goal was to qualify for Boston, which he did in Sept. 10 in Schroon Lake.
"I was going on 54 thinking that the older I got, the harder this would be," Benway said. "I found that's not exactly true. I am now faster than I was when I started."
In May of 2009, Benway ran the marathon in Burlington, Vt., and did so to help raise funds for the American Cancer Society, something that he will again do this May.
"I kind of volunteered for it initially," Benway said. "When you are going through something like this, there is a representative from the Cancer Society there with you while you're sitting there getting the treatments. We would talk about running and that is where the idea came from."
Benway helps raise funds through the Society's DetermiNation program, in which cancer survivors nationwide sign up to run and interested people can make a pledge to the runner of their choice.
"All of the money that is raised is used locally in the Burlington area," Benway said. "People can go online and make a contribution in my name as a pledge for when I run the marathon."
To find out more about DetermiNation and how to support Benway at the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon on May 29, go to www.determination.acsevents.org, click on the state of Vermont on the map, which will take you to the event site. From there, click the donate logo, and type in Benway's name or another athlete that you wish to support in the race.