Biggest Loser’ racers go distance in rain
By Bryanna Allen
STAFF WRITER | July 28,2014
Anthony Edwards / Staff Photo
Participants running in Biggest Loser 5K and Half Marathon race make their way down wet terrain Sunday.
KILLINGTON — The K-1 Lodge at Killington Ski Resort was filled with fast-paced music, booths overflowing with packs of GU Energy and people dressed in a wide array of running outfits and sneakers. Thunder and lightening persisted outside, but inside spirits were high as runners stretched in the cafeteria and snacked on bananas in the ski shop.
The second annual Biggest Loser 5K and Half Marathon race took place Sunday morning, and despite the almost two-hour delay because of relentless rain, the good energy never wavered.
Susan Werner, Deb Bryan and Betsy Yankowski hadn’t met before the race, but were drawn to each other because all three wore a sparkly running skirt from the same company.
“It’s like being in a running club,” Werner said. Werner and Bryan are “half fanatics,” meaning they love the 13.1 mile distance of a half marathon but claim they aren’t crazy enough for a full marathon.
Yankowski said she isn’t crazy enough for even a half marathon and sticks to a 5K.
“It’s a manageable distance, one I can handle well,” Yankowski said, wearing a skirt with colorful forks and spoons on it, a tribute to her parents’ blueberry farm in Dorset. Yankowsi ran the race last year and the scenery was what brought her back. “It’s Killington, so obviously it’s not flat, but it’s beautiful.”
The race is designed to be as welcoming and encouraging as possible, with extended time frames for first-timers who need to alternate walking with running.
Rich Evans, operations manager of the event, sat under the tent in the rain, playing upbeat music to keep up the mood.
“This race attracts a lot of new runners,” Evans said, even with the promise of tough hills. “It’s inspiring to see people out there, getting fit and ignoring how hilly terrain can be intimidating. It’s all about fun.”
About 850 runners and walkers registered for the race this year, a welcomed improvement over last year’s 600, according to Evans.
Previous contestant from “The Biggest Loser” television show were there to cheer fellow runners on and offer advice about weight loss and overall health.
“Everyone here is inspiring,” said season 15 contestant Matt Hooper, who has run 45 half marathons since completing the show.
“It doesn’t matter how fast you run, what size you are, how old you are... you’re out there doing it. That’s what matters,” Hooper said.
The Ikenberry sisters traveled from various parts of Massachusetts to run the race again this year. The team of three sign up for races around the country to keep each other motivated and in shape. This year, they’re working on a look that involves brightly colored tutus.
“I thought to myself, why not? Who doesn’t love running in a tutu,” said Kim Ikenberry, who made the pink and purple tutus for her sisters.
“It’s a hard course, we’re not looking for a personal record, we’re looking to just finish,” said Kris Ikenberry, laughing and watching the lightening out the window.
“We love to exercise and spend time together,” said Kerri Ikenberry, who said the three of them try to make a fun weekend out of whatever race they’ve signed up for. “It’s this great family thing we love to do.”