By DAN HEATH
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Two “The Biggest Loser” competitors are challenging Americans to get fit in the City of Plattsburgh, in one of the show’s Premier Destination races.
The Biggest Loser RunWalk competition, set for June 9, is one of many around the country that features both a half-marathon and 5-kilometer race for adults and a 1-mile kids fun run.
“That’s what is so exciting about the Biggest Loser RunWalk,” Jackie Evans said at a press conference Friday morning. “It’s for everybody.”
She and her son, Dan Evans, are national spokespeople for The Biggest Loser RunWalk and will compete at the Plattsburgh race.
Contestants in the fifth season of the NBC show, they lost a combined 225 pounds — 136 pounds by Dan and 89 pounds by Jackie.
During that time, they worked out eight to 10 hours a day under the guidance of trainers. They initially struggled once the show was over, putting back on 30 to 40 pounds each.
That changed when they started running races. That has helped them regain control of their weight and health, Jackie said.
She ran 11 half-marathons in 2011, and Dan ran 14. Dan was up to 25 last year.
“We got addicted to them,” Jackie said.
It’s important for racers to understand they don’t need to run the whole course, they said.
Dan said he has come to realize the power of the show as they have traveled across the country to take part in the race series.
“He has shared experiences with people from all walks of life.
“It is proof the show can effect people’s lives,” he said.
“Whether it is your first half marathon or you want to hit your next PR (personal best),” “The Biggest Loser” says on its website of the Premier Destination races, “this series serves as a fun and rewarding race worthy of traveling to!”
Other events are scheduled in Jackson, Miss., on April 6; Erie, Penn., on Aug. 17; and Seattle, Wash., on Oct. 13, among others.
The Plattsburgh event, hosted by the City of Plattsburgh Recreation Department and the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau, will start and end at City Hall.
Viewers who station themselves at that location will see runners five times during the half-marathon, City Recreation Department Director Steve Peters said.
Both courses feature stretches along the lake.
“I think this is a great opportunity for us to show what this community is but also what it can be and will be in the future,” Peters said.
PLOTS HER MEALS
Jackie said she may not win any race, but she will start and she will finish even though she frequently walks at least part of the course.
“I will be faster than anyone who stayed in bed today,” she said.
One of the things she learned was the importance of eating within 30 minutes of awaking each morning. She now plots her meals for the entire week.
A typical day includes two eggs and a cup of berries for breakfast; a healthy snack in the mid morning and mid afternoon; a half sandwich loaded with lean meat as well as salad and fruit for lunch; and lean meat, a vegetable and salad for dinner. She aims for about 1,400 calories a day.
One of the many people who believed it was impossible to change her diet and health for the better, Jackie said she only went on the show because Dan needed a partner.
Formerly too tired to exercise after work, she now realizes there is a difference between mental exhaustion and physical fatigue. Once she forces herself to exercise after work, mental exhaustion quickly disappears.
Dan said there will always be times when your diet veers off course. The key is to get back on track as quickly as possible.
“My No. 1 goal is to stop it there,” he said.
Biggest Loser RunWalk Challenge Race Director Jewel Parelman said entrants receive a “Biggest Loser” shirt and goodie bag. In addition, all finishers receive a medal.
“You can show off your ‘bling’ afterward,” she said.
In addition to running or walking, people can take part as a volunteer. Vendors can also display information about their businesses, and sponsorships are available.
North Country Chamber of Commerce Group Marketing Specialist Kristy Kennedy said she is excited the city and chamber have worked together to bring attention to the region.
“This event is going to be amazing for the community,” she said.
Mayor Donald Kasprzak said while the races will bring visitors and economic benefits to the city, it is more importantly a chance to showcase the area.
“As a resident, not the mayor, I’m very proud of that,” he said.
Email Dan Heathdheath@pressrepublican.com
To register for the Biggest Loser RunWalk event in Plattsburgh, visit www.biggestloserrunwalk.com, then click on the View All tab and then the Plattsburgh listing.
For the 5K, set to start at 8 a.m., cost is $25 through this Sunday; $30 through April 30; $35 through June 5; and $40 if spots are still open June 8.
Cost for the half marathon, with an 8:10 a.m. start, is $45 through this Sunday; $50 through April 30; $60 through June 5; and, if space is available, $70 for packet-pickup registration set for noon to 5 p.m. June 8.
Children who preregister for the 11:30 a.m. 1-mile Kids Fun Run pay $10; it costs $15 on race day. June 8, racers can participate in lectures that cover such topics as Food and Fitness, The First-time Runner and Biggest Loser Q&A.