“Biggest Loser” Brings The Marathon To The Masses

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Dec. 9, 2010
  • Updated Dec. 9, 2010 at 11:32 AM UTC

The weight-loss show apparently cut out a lot of what it takes to run 26.2 miles.

On the television show, “The Biggest Loser”, a program about weight loss, four contestants ran a marathon that was specially orchestrated for prime time. According to the article posted on, contestants  Patrick, Ada, Frado and Elizabeth went from being morbidly obese to being able to complete the 26.2-mile distance in a short amount of time.

Frado said this about his feat: “If I can do this, anybody can do this.”

But was the “Biggest Loser” marathon a fair depiction of the famous long-distance race?

Not necessarily, writes Kimberly Bogin for the Examiner. “Is it realistic or even responsible to suggest that anyone can run a marathon with only a couple of months of training?” she asked in her column.

Apparently, the producers of the show edited the marathon segment. But Bogin notes they still “never made the accomplishment look easy, or even fun for that matter. These people were suffering.”

But regardless of how the show handled the marathon–whether or not it glossed over the training required to complete one–one thing about the program was accurate: the contestants’ joy of finishing it.

Ada summed it up this way after crossing the finish line: “I never considered myself an athlete,” she said.  “Now I do feel like an athlete.”

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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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