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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Biggest Loser Marathon LIE

This absolutely infuriates me... 'Biggest Loser' issues a marathon apology for misleading viewers

Ok, so basically, at the end of the show last week, when Dane was voted off, they showed him and his wife completing a marathon. His time? 3:53.

Keep in mind, that is faster than Oprah, Todd, Davida, and many many other marathoners who are much more experienced than this guy, and he did it at 300 pounds. Impressive? Well, sort of UNBELIEVABLE.

So, as it turns out, a lot of folks started posting on the internet that they were at that particular marathon, and he didn't really finish. And now, NBC issued an apology for misleading viewers, stating that Dane ran 17 miles, then was given a 3 mile ride in a van, then ran the rest in, crossing the finish line at the 3:53 mark. He said he was worried about crossing in the 6 hour timelimit:

I always intended to run the full marathon. At the 17th mile, I knew I would not make it in time to cross the finish line before it closed at 6 hours, so I then received a ride from the field producer, who wanted to show me crossing the finish line. He drove me for three miles, and then I ran the rest of the way. After all the filming was done I went back and finished the last 3 miles later that day with my wife and cousin Blaine. I apologize for stating that I ran the entire marathon before I actually ran the whole 26 miles. I am proud of the feat of just running 26 miles in one day.
Whatever, dude. The show showed you saying how excited you were to have completed an entire marathon...
"It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life to run side by side with my wife for an entire marathon."
You said that ON CAMERA, KNOWING that you HAD NOT completed a marathon. Maybe I should have known just by the lack of a medal around your neck (Edited to add: He DID have a medal around his neck, I was just distracted and missed it. In fact, he is now saying how much he will cherish that medal... That he got by cheating. That isn't his, and that he should give back, quite frankly).

I am very disappointed. When you don't finish a marathon, whether due to injury or fatigue or hitting the wall or time limit, you don't cross the finish line. DO NOT CROSS THE FINISH LINE if you didn't run the whole thing. What a disgrace.

Even better, though, apparently the finish line clock actually said 5:53. Which makes sense, because even if you're driven 3 miles, that 3 miles won't get you from "I can't get under 6 hours" to "I did a sub-four hour race, and am getting close to qualifying for Boston." LIES! You're going to tell me that all of this was just an honest mistake and not a deliberate lie? Bullshit.

So, Dane. Here is some advice. If you know your pace and you're 300 pounds and running your first marathon, don't register for a race that apparently is in blazing sun in the middle of a desert and has a 6 hour time limit. Use your head. Register for Disney, or Rock n' Roll Arizona, or something that is a course that you can complete within the time limit without telling lies about your time.

What a dick.


By the way, here is a full account taken from NBC.com's site:

Dane's wife is a liar. A cheater AND a liar. I just read Melancholy Smile's page but let me clarify a bit. Here's the entire story I detailed soon after the race. This was given to the timing company and the RD who DQ'd the couple.

Desert Classic is an out-and-back run entirely on the eight foot wide or less shoulder of West Bell Road from Riverboat Village. It's also a teeny tiny marathon so you not only see everybody at least once and know where you're positioned, but if you're a regular on the circuit you know a lot of those people. I knew over half of the field. I opted for early start and finally we started in the dark.

Within three miles I fell in the road. The pain from that, coupled with my boredom of the course, made me give up at mile 9. Especially when the sun came up and all I could see was the same mountain range on either side, and cone after cone after cone. From that point on I ran 5 minutes and then walked to the next mile marker. Long day but hey, if you can move you can finish. Even if that finish is bad.

I hit the turnaround at 13.1 and knew I had a lock on DFL because all early starters were ahead of me, but to verify this lock I began counting the people and noting how far behind me they were as they made their way to the turnaround on the out as I ran the back. At 13.5 or so I saw a big guy and a little itty bitty woman in black Biggest Loser shirts. I thought two things: 1) "Hmmm, those shirts look like the real deal" and 2) "That guy looks familiar". I figured, given how tiny the woman was, that they'd signed up online for the show's nationwide challenge and that I'd seen the guy on the road somewhere. Including these 2 people, there were exactly 6 people behind me. One woman later passed me. No one else did. (The results, after I subtract the early starters, verify my count as correct.)

During mile 23 I was battling insanity from boredom and when I saw two black shirts in the distance I thought, "No, that can't be them ... they never passed me and were behind on the out as I was on the back." But again, it was a small race, so you knew everybody if only by clothing and they had been the only people in black (later confirmed by fellow runners). Curious, I struggled to catch up with them.

Imagine my surprise when I caught them at the mile 24 marker and they were looking rested. And it WAS them. At first I was confused but then I knew they had cheated. And I was so flabbergasted at how blatant their cheating was that I looked at them and directly asked if they'd gotten a ride. Because if they really were there legitimately, they would have had a 2:25 half split and then were at M24 at 5:07-ish. I was going really slow but my splits had been consistent after I started walking. No way they could be there, WITHOUT PASSING ME, because to have fallen that off pace at the end they would have had to have flown past me. Plus dude was big. Would have noticed that, too, and I also would have said hi to them just as I'd done with each and every person that passed me throughout the race. The woman also admitted they'd stopped "for a while" for a break.

So yes, I flat out asked them if they'd gotten a ride. The man joked that they'd slid past me. I told him no, that was impossible on this course. "Dude, you and I both know you didn't get to this point on your own power. You only cheated yourself. But trust me, from experience, it means a lot when you actually finish a marathon after covering the WHOLE distance." I then left them behind to finish and end the day.

I asked an aid station volunteer if there was any other way this could have happened. She said only if they were relay people running legs 2 and 4 with faster people running legs 1 and 3, but this wasn't the case. I finished to a sea of black t-shirts with the team name on them. When I saw the camera crew (either from the show of the local network, I'm not sure) I knew it was the real deal. All of a sudden it struck me ... oh my god, that cheater is a contestant on the black team on the current show! This is the team my husband and I are - well, now, WERE - currently rooting for on the show despite their shadiness. One guy later said he'd saw them get dropped off at mile 20 by a white van. No one who finished within an hour before me recalled getting passed by them ("You know what? No, they DIDN'T pass me!") But all recalled passing the black team.

Postrace I made sure the team supporters, including Blaine who didn't run, knew that they had cheated, and I told some race officials. One of their entourage offered the excuse of them having to make the cutoff. "What do they do then?" Well, lady, they do what everybody else has ever done and take a DNF. Duh.

I said to the camera crew, "I hope you don't intend on using that footage of cheaters on the show", which they'd taken as he and she crossed the finish line and took their medals. The camera guy, with a very pissed off look on his face, asked me, "Why do you care? What does it matter to anyone?" which makes me think dude's from the show.

I said, after the day from hell I'd had, "It matters to me because I've earned every medal I've received and some days, like today, I didn't quit when I really felt like doing so. And I'm sure it matters to the people STILL OUT ON THE COURSE WHO COVERED THE WHOLE DISTANCE." A few more runners nodded in agreement before I left the finish area.

This really irks me. Especially because I know people who need to be on that show yet have been turned down, and because the fundamental message of that show is "Hard work, not shortcuts." I mean, really, what would Jillian and Bob say?

The race timer later sent out an email stating results were posted. I replied with an abbreviated version of the above. He responded that their results were removed, DQ'd, which the RD confirmed. I've seen a lot of things at races. People cutting courses short, by "missing" turns and such. While I knew they were cheating, their explanation was somewhat plausible so I gave them the benefit of the doubt. But there is no doubt here. They could not have gotten ahead of me without passing me on an out and back course. I still can't believe someone would do that, especially with nothing but pride and personal achievement on the line.

The show still could have put a spin on it to say "yes, he didn't finish but look how far he got, with such a short amount of preparation time" and then done a follow up story the next year for even bigger PR. But what really pissed me off? When I told the guy I knew he'd cheated he laughed. I would think someone who was under pressure to "make the story" would be a bit frazzled from that pressure, but he just laughed. I don't know who drove the van. I saw the pair chatting with people in it at mile 22, but I don't know if it was TV crew or one of their supporters. I do know that there were no TV people on the course (they were only at the finish line). Though I don't know if he had a cell or whatever to chat with whomever.



So yeah, I told anyone who would listen at that finish line after cheater had accepted his medal that he had cheated. I then got in my car and drove away.
OMG, I would have been so pissed.

2 comments:

Wacky Neighbor said...

Wow, that sucks. What a joke. I think it's good that the race DQ'ed the result. Sort of boggles the mind, but the blame should be equally distributed between the person and the show.

When it comes to faking marathons, he's no Katie Holmes.

Kim said...

And you know, I HOPE that Dane & Blaine don't win the consolation prize on TBL. I know that the marathon has nothing to do with how much weight they lost, but I really want both of them to win nothing, which is what they deserve. After all, Dane already has a stolen medal.

I also really want to see Bob go after them like he did with Joelle.

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