Zach Bernstein once weighed nearly 500 pounds; Friday’s 5K was his first race since losing his leg in November 2022
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Nov. 3, 2023) – After once weighing nearly 500 pounds, Zach Bernstein, who lost his leg as a result of an accident, conquered the Disney Wine & Dine 5K at Walt Disney World Resort on Friday. Bernstein, who now runs with a blade prosthetic, completed the 3.1 miles with his wife and two friends running alongside him.
In February of 2022, a shelf collapsed on Bernstein’s foot, shattering all but seven bones in his left foot and causing permanent nerve damage. During his recovery, he developed poor circulation in the foot, which led doctors to amputate his leg below the knee in November 2022. That nearly ended his new love of running, which had been helping him in his fitness journey that ultimately led to a 175 pound weight loss.
Determined to get back to running, he first had to learn to walk again, and then run with a blade prosthetic.
“Feels amazing,” said Bernstein, 39, from Davenport, Florida. “Just being from a year ago and not being able to walk and in two weeks I will have my one year anniversary of my amputation, so I feel like this is a huge complete circle.”
And Bernstein’s inspiring weekend is not finished yet. He is running the 10K on Saturday for a weekend total of 9.3 miles at The Most Magical Place On Earth.
The event is one of six runDisney races that includes the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (Jan. 3-7), the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend (Jan. 11-14), followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend (Feb. 22-26), the runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend (April 18-21) and the Disneyland Halloween Half Marathon Weekend (Sept. 5-8). These races, which include runners of all fitness levels, provide the opportunity to run through Disney theme parks, experience world-class entertainment and earn unique Disney medals.