Monday, March 2, 2009

Biggest Loser or Biggest Liar??

I'm a huge fan of the show The Biggest Loser. Jeff and I have been watching it now for about four or five seasons and just love the inspirational stories behind the contestants. It's amazing to watch how far they come, how hard they work out, and how they work through not only the physical but the emotional baggage that got them to that overweight place. This is a bit of a late post regarding this week's show, but I didn't watch it until yesterday (thank you, DVR!)

On this week, Dane, a favored contestant, got voted off by the Blue Team (in a stupid move in my opinion). After each contestant is voted off they do a sort of "where are they now" recap to show how the contestant is doing at home. On Dane's interview he talked how his wife was training for her first marathon and he decided to do it with her. The footage shows them both crossing the finish line at 5:53 and talking about what a great feeling it was to run an entire marathon. I totally sympathized. Having just run my first one last year, I was overjoyed that they did theirs together. Then the shot pans to a before and after picture of Dane showing how much weight he lost. The text below the pictures, to my shock, stated that Dane finished his marathon is 3 hours and 53 minutes. WTF??!?! So, of course I rewind it and look again at the clock...sure looked like 5:53 to me. SOOO, then I get online to see if anyone had posted about that or if NBC corrected their mistake. THEN I find out that he didn't even run the full thing!

He and his wife entered a race that shuts down at 6 hours. Knowing they weren't going to make the 6 hour cut-off, the producers put them in their van and drove them 3 miles and dropped them at the 20 mile mark to finish - so they could get their shot. So, the producers not only took away this major accomplishment from Dane and his wife, but then they even felt it necessary to lie about it on national TV, fudging his time??

This whole thing just infuriates me. Why couldn't it be good enough that they just ran it and finished it -damn the time?? I mean, 26 miles is 26 miles - it hurts and is a major feat to finish regardless of time. And why did they try and lie about it even more saying that they finished in 3:53?? I know some elite runners who would KILL for a 3:53 marathon!! And to try and say this guy who only trained for 8 weeks is able to bust out a time like that, just somewhat belittles what so many people push themselves to accomplish in their own marathon experiences.

NBC has "sort of" come out and apologized over the whole thing, but I really feel the worst for Dane. His first marathon experience is now tainted. Apparently he felt so bad over the whole thing that he, his wife and his brother went back and ran those 3 miles later that evening. But still...



Marlene said...

I heard about this last week too and it made me FURIOUS!

Sarah said...

OH MY GOSH!!! You dug into it a lot more than we did. Ryan and I the whole time were saying the same thing, "WTF?" Seriously? That makes me so mad! I love that show but honestly can't believe they would do such a thing. I wondered about a couple of week's ago too when they were talking about Blaine preparing for an ironman...after they listed all the distances it was really a half ironman! Seriously! Like you, who has suffered every blasted step through a marathon feels like the time doesn't matter, finishing honestly does.

Thanks for clearing this up!

Willie said...

Took me over a year and a half and 3 marathons to break 4 hours in a marathon.

To each his own though. He has to live with this publicly now but he will always know in his heart he sold-out to Hollywood. Those are demons I wouldn't want.

I do get mad when I think of how this trivializes the marathon experience though. Finishing a marathon in 6+ hours may not make a TV producer happy but I would have respected it and been impressed.