If the quest to finish a 5K every month in 2015 wasn’t a lofty enough resolution for someone who has not run much in their lives, how about rounding off the year with a marathon? That’s exactly what Derek Mitchell is now attempting.
Kansas City-based Mitchell came in to the limelight in March, when his story of committing to finish a 5K every month was picked up by US media outlets.
At the time he weighed 570 pounds or just shy of 260 kg, but his aim was to run 11 5Ks and get his weight around the 300 pound mark. And now he’s ready to take on a marathon at the end of the year. “Either I’m inspired or crazy, or possibly a mix,” Mitchell is reported to have told Runner’s World.
One of the reasons behind his decision to run a marathon came from an email from a friend, who pointed out that the Guinness World Record for the Heaviest Person to Complete a Marathon was well within his reach. That mark was set by a man weighing 400 pounds.
In his quest to find marathons that could allow him to complete the course regardless of time, he zeroed in on the Honolulu Marathon, scheduled for December 13 this year. “I’m losing about 12 pounds per month, so if I keep that up, I’ll be at about 450 pounds by December, which, to think about that is awesome,” Mitchell is quoted as saying. He added that he would run it even if he weighs less than 400 pounds.
Next up on his plate, however, is a special appearance at the Wounded Warrior Military Miles 5K in Irving, Texas this weekend. Many other runners wanted to join Mitchell in walking the race, and he will be giving out the medal to the 10K finishers at the event.
Mitchell has become quite a celebrity at racing events with a dedicated Facebook page where his fans are raising funds for his runs and medical fees. Over 16,000 people have already liked his page and are supporting his journey, and encouraging him to turn his life around. “Now I have 6 months to train up and try and save enough money to fly down there and beat this record!” Mitchell announced on the page. It truly drives home the power of the mind, and the role running can play in it.