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Biggest Loser contestant takes van, crosses marathon finish line

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 27th 2009 5:02PM
Biggest LoserLast week we had the did she or did she not swear semi-controversy on The Biggest Loser, and this week we have a blue team falling apart. We also have a controversy that might actually damage the show: the contestant shown finishing a marathon the other night didn't really finish it.

At the end of the episode, they showed contestant Dane crossing the finish line after completing a 26-mile marathon in Arizona. This was supposed to be an uplifting moment, where one of the players lost weight and actually struggled to finish the marathon with his family and friends around him, cheering him on. The problem? He actually didn't finish the race himself. Along the route somewhere, a van picked him up and drove him to the finish line, and he crossed the line with his wife and kid.

Apparently, NBC didn't know that this happened, and are talking to producers about it because it goes against network rules. Dane says that he finished the whole marathon, while his wife defends what happened by saying that the film crew was pressed for time and "only" drove them three miles to the finish line. Dane was eliminated from the show anyway, and NBC canceled interviews with him.

Hey, I probably couldn't run a marathon if you paid me $75,000 and gave me free pizza every week for life, so good for him getting as far as he did. But there's some deception going on here with everyone concerned. (I know, I know, reality shows are 100% real...shocking.)

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Bob wouldn't run a marathon for 75k *snicker*

March 02 2009 at 10:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Look at the screenshot of him crossing the finish line a bit closer... He crossed at 5:56, not 3:56. They drove him because he wasn't going to make the cutoff time. So, he did 23 miles in around 6 hours, which sounds much more reasonable than 4 hours for someone of his fitness level.

March 02 2009 at 9:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As one training for a marathon right now...that's some bullsh*t!

February 28 2009 at 10:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Amen Barbara!! You pointed couple of the thoughts I had when I caught the tail end of the show and saw this part of it. I thought, "That guy still looks a little too out of shape [to me] to have actually ran a whole marathon." Now I know the truth.

February 27 2009 at 7:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree - I wondered how a guy that big finished the marathon that fast. I feel like he cheated and to put that medal on is an embarrassment.

February 27 2009 at 6:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here's the issue from a runner's standpoint. You can't be a "little pregnant" and in the same context, don't say you "finished a marathon" if in fact you ran 17-23 miles. Either you ran the 26.2 miles in the time allotted by the race officials...or you didn't.

What really doesn't make any sense to someone who's run one...it came off that he ran it in just under 4 hours. Nearly all marathons will give the runners a minimum of 5 hours, sometimes 6 (and I ran a half marathon in January where they gave the runners a full 8 hours to encourage walkers to participate).

If he had run 23 miles (depending on whose version of the story you believe), he easily could've finished another 3.2 miles in that 5th hour. If he had run even just the 17 miles...he easily could've run it in 6 hours.

It's dishonorable. It's cheating. He misled the viewers, but most importantly, he sold himself short.

If he needed to get to the finish line by a certain time to help out the producers, he easily could've done the shot, then done the honorable thing...gone back out to where the van picked him up...and finished it.

What really doesn't make sense is that the producers think no one would notice a sub-4 hour marathon from a guy who still has 100 pounds to lose. If it was that easy, why do people who are at a healthy weight train for 6 months for one day?

February 27 2009 at 5:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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