The Art of the Start: Run or Walk the Biggest Loser Marathon

The Biggest Loser brand has gone far beyond the TV show, expanding to better appeal to the health conscious and the health curious with innovative fitness tools and at-home workout equipment, lifestyle resorts and retreats, and now a highly sought after marathon race series.

As one who personally and professionally thrives on helping others achieve good health, I can really appreciate the increasing popularity and undeniable impact of the marathon running phenomenon that has experienced a significant rebirth over the last decade. Whether for weight loss, sport, recreation, comradery or charity, marathoning has become an engine of health promotion driving hundreds of thousands of people to get off the couch and get moving.

Related Article: Getting Off the Couch and Into a 5K

But, as an avid runner and marathon enthusiast with over 20 years in the game, I’ll be the first to admit that marathons for beginners can be a bit tough and oftentimes intimidating.

When it comes to competitive 5K races, the novice may be perturbed at the mere sight of runners vomiting and even collapsing at the finish line after having over-pushed themselves to achieve a personal record. And when it comes to longer distance races like the half marathon, the lurking threat of 3 to 3½-hour cut-off times may cause the newbie marathoner (especially one who mostly walks) to lose interest altogether.

Related Article: My First Half Marathon Trail Race: A Personal Quest to Conquer the Intimidation

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After having recently run a half marathon as part of The Biggest Loser Race Series in Chicago, I can honestly say that you won’t experience such elements of intimidation during this event. Whether you’re thin or overweight, fast or slow, part of a pack or a lone wolf, this marathon race series is intended to be a non-intimidating event that challenges you to focus less on time or “winning” and more on getting healthy.

Participants have the option to run or exclusively walk in either a half-marathon (13.1 miles) or a shorter distance 5K (3.1 miles) race. There’s even a motivational one miler that’s open to anyone ages 4 and up. Runners and walkers are separately timed and awarded first, second and third place certificates, which promotes a little friendly competition between those who like that sort of thing.

Given the non-intimating nature of this event, I was actually able to persuade my big sister into participating in the 5K run and she hasn’t exercised, let alone run, in years.

Related Article: Five Highly Effective Ways to Prevent Running-Related Injuries

Since she generally likes The Biggest Loser TV show, the brand itself was a major selling point. But, I also gifted her with her very own pair of Nike Air Zoom Pegasus, which is my personal favorite running shoe – It was a bribe of sorts. I did all this persuading because, at the end of the day, I knew her post-race testimonial would be much more valuable to newbies than mine.