Orlando-Area Olympic Medalist Among Runners In Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Filed in: Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, runDisney

Oviedo resident participating in half marathon race; Visually-impaired Florida man competing in 10K and half marathon

Olympic bronze medalist and World Champion Jenny Simpson will be amongst the more than 31,000 runners lining up to sip, savor and sprint during the 2016 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend presented by Misfit at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Simpson, who attended Oviedo High School in suburban Orlando, is participating in the half marathon on Sunday as a training run. A three- time Olympian (2008, 2012 and 2016), Simpson won an Olympic bronze medal (1500 meter) this summer, becoming the first American woman to medal in the event. She previously won gold at the 2011 World Championships (1500 meter).

For the first time in race history, the 13.1-mile half marathon race, which starts at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and finishes at Epcot, takes place during the morning hours. Additionally, new this year are the Wine & Dine 10K and Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge – running the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday.

Aside from Simpson, the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend is filled with thousands of runners who have inspiring stories. One such runner is Walter Beckman from Pensacola, Fla., who is participating in Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge despite being blind. Beckman, 29, lost his sight five years ago to a brain condition that damaged his optic nerve. Two years later, Beckman began running again like he did while he served in the Army Reserves and, after weighing as much as 360 pounds while trying to adjust to his blindness, he has since lost about 70 pounds. Today, he is poised to run, with the assistance of a guide, his longest official races since losing his eyesight.

Below is the schedule for the weekend’s events, including hours for the runDisney expo, held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex:

runDisney Health & Fitness Expo

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend


Thursday, Nov. 3: 10 a.m. – 7p.m.

Mickey’s Holiday 5K • Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Friday: 6:30 a.m. start

Friday, Nov. 4: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.


INAUGURAL Disney Wine & Dine 10K • Epcot

Saturday: 5:30 a.m. start

Saturday, Nov. 5: 10 am – 4 p.m.


Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon • ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Sunday: 5:30 a.m. start


Post Race Party • Epcot Sunday: 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.

*Media interested in covering the weekend events must contact Disney Sports Content Relations by noon Thursday.