“America’s Worst Cook” Runs Her First Marathon

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Dec. 28, 2010
  • Updated Sep. 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM UTC

Sophia Ayala Gettys ran her first marathon last month in New York. Photo: Denver Post.

She lost 100 pounds training for it.

When Sophia Ayala Gettys appeared on the television show “America’s Worst Cook” several months ago she weighed close to 270 pounds. Her clothes barely fit her. She hardly looked like a runner.

Things have since changed.

Gettys is now down to 130-145 pounds and proudly calls herself a marathoner. She completed the ING New York City Marathon last month in over six hours–not her goal time, but still am amazing accomplishment for someone who once appeared as an overweight person in a commercial for a workout facility called the “Anti-Gym”.

“I consider myself a runner now,” she says. “Since I started running, I’ve learned self-control and patience. Self-control because you tell yourself, ‘This is only a couple of hours, but it’s an amazing experience that you’ll cherish the rest of your life.’”

A housewife from Aurora, Colorado, Gettys had dreams of becoming an actress, but was turned away because of her weight.

“They told me that to play a fat woman, I should be really big, and I wasn’t big enough; or to lose weight if I wanted to play an ingenue,” she recalls.

For More: Denver

FILED UNDER: New York City Marathon / News TAGS: / / / / /

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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