Mother-son duo makes stop in Lexington to promote Biggest Loser RunWalk
By Lorie Hailey
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 24, 2013) — Five years ago, Jackie Evans and her son Dan lost a combined 225 pounds on Season 5 of “The Biggest Loser.”
The experience transformed not only their bodies, but also their lives. Since appearing on the popular television show, the mother-son duo has traveled the country promoting the benefits of exercise and healthy eating habits.
Together, they organized The Biggest Loser RunWalk series, which launched last year throughout the United States and includes a variety of race distances including 5Ks, 10Ks, 15Ks, half marathons, off-road challenges and kids’ races.
On Thursday, Jackie and Dan visited The Lane Report to promote an upcoming RunWalk at the Kentucky Horse Park. The 5K, 15K or one-mile kids fun run, set for Nov. 2 at the Alltech Arena, is being brought to Central Kentucky by the Bluegrass Sports Commission as part of the Alltech National Horse Show.
“Not only will it (the race) be a terrific addition to our sports calendar, but partnering with Alltech and ‘The Biggest Loser’ in the fight against obesity in Kentucky also contributes to the quality of life in the region,” said Terry Johnson, executive director of the commission.
Two-thirds of Kentucky adults were overweight in 2010, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The race is a great opportunity for local companies to kickstart their corporate wellness initiatives, Jackie said. Wellness programs help businesses save money and can improve employee morale.
“A lot of people say, ‘How do we do this? We can’t go on the show.’ Well, you don’t have to,” she said. “Within your company, you can create your own Biggest Loser team and get started.”
The race website, biggestloserrunwalk.com, offers training tips and other resources.
“We will contact all of the major companies in the area,” Jackie said.
A run-walk allows participants of all experience levels to get involved, Dan said. Participants can take the course at any speed. For those who are tracking their personal goal, the 5K and 15K are chip-timed, but the RunWalk also offers a longer course time to complete the race.
It begins at 8:30 a.m., rain or shine, and Jackie and Dan will be there to encourage participants. After the race, Dan – now a Nashville recording artist – will perform with his band.
The day before the race, participants and the community are invited to a Health & Wellness Meet and Greet. While there, participants can pick up their race information, take advantage of workshops from past Biggest Loser contestants and take part in a Q & A session.
Learn more at www.BiggestLoser.com/RunWalk.
About Jackie and Dan
Jackie and Dan Evans are natives of Frankfort, Ill., just outside of Chicago.
Jackie, who seemed to be successful at everything she tried, had long struggled with her weight.
“She knew that to feel successful and to have other sees her as the strong businesswoman and powerful speaker that she is, she needed to do something about her weight,” according to her Biggest Loser bio. Raising three sons, having a business and running from meeting to meeting all added up to not being able to cook healthy meals. Instead she would choose fast food for her family dining table. Feeling guilty for her son Dan’s weight – he weighed 312 pounds at age 19 – she sought the opportunity for Dan to appear on “The Biggest Loser.”
Dan was chosen for the reality show, and because of some unusual circumstances, Jackie had the opportunity to join him at the Biggest Loser ranch to overcome her own challenges. She lost 89 pounds.
Dan grew up captivated by music, but his battle with obesity and self-esteem put his dreams on hold. While on the show, he lost 136 pounds and “subsequently found the doors to his childhood dreams flung wide open,” according to his Biggest Loser bio.
After the show, Dan pursued his passion for music and released his debut album, “Goin’All Out,” in the fall of 2008. It debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart. He continues to write his own music and perform, something he never thought was possible with his former 310-pound frame.
Dan and Jackie registered for their first race in 2010 to maintain their weight loss, and immediately became hooked on the experience. Today they are determined to educate and inspire families from all over America to live a healthy and happy lifestyle through fitness. In 2011 alone, Dan ran 14 half marathons. Combining his two passions – music and running – Dan performs his music at most of The Biggest Loser RunWalk post-race concerts and inspires others to live healthy, happy lifestyles.
Follow Lorie Hailey at twitter.com/loriehailey.