The 2012 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Biggest Winner Team
The Race to Personal Victory
2012 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon
Biggest Winner Weight Loss Challenge
“I was always so self-conscious and always felt like the fat kid standing on the sidelines on the playground,” says Randy Carr of Knoxville, “Too afraid to jump in, and not feeling like I belonged.”
Carr has been named the 2012 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon Team’s Biggest Winner, not just for living healthy, but for his efforts encouraging others to do the same. It’s something he says he would have had trouble with not too long ago. A weight loss surgery patient, Carr became discouraged when pounds began to pile back on, particularly after a back injury stopped his exercise regimen. On the marathon team, Carr found the support and encouragement he had always needed to stick with a diet and exercise plan that worked. He made fast friends with like-minded team members who were on the same journey and received the support of experts at Covenant Health.
“Having their motivation and, at times, emotional support made this journey very special,” Carr says. When he’s energetic and enthusiastic, it’s not just a show now. It’s real and radiating from the inside out.
The Covenant Health Biggest Winner Weight Loss Challenge has impacted him so greatly he credits the experience with giving him the courage to pursue and obtain certification as a personal trainer. Carr hopes to work with other people who are obese and make a difference in their lives, the way his teammates and team leaders have made a difference in his.
"I want to share the best practices I have learned from this journey,” says Carr, “and continue to encourage others to work toward their weight loss and overall health improvement goals.”
A Strong Finish and a New Beginning
In November of 2011, a group of people met for the first time to compete against each other for a title. Today, they can say they are all Big Winners.
The Covenant Health Biggest Winner Weight Loss Challenge is a friendly competition that encourages East Tennesseans to get off the couch and get moving for a fit and healthy lifestyle. Team members train together for five months, with a goal of crossing the finish line in events at the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. Race day caps off this program with team members crossing the finish line in Neyland Stadium. It's a true victory and a happy ending for the team, while at the same time being just the first step on an exciting path to the future.
“The goal of the Biggest Winner Weight Loss Challenge isn’t to see who can crash off the most pounds,” says Coach Missy Kane, “or to see who can cross the finish line first. It’s a springboard meant to help East Tennesseans improve their health and start a journey that will change their lives forever.”
That journey is fueled with information. Each team member is given an opportunity to learn from experts at Covenant Health, busting myths about diet and exercise and breaking through mental barriers to success in health and fitness.
“While the program is set up as a competition, the real goal is to make every team member a winner in the end,” says Kane. Kane reports team members say they have experienced benefits like lower cholesterol, reduction in medication, less joint pain, and a better attitude toward life. “They also say they simply feel better, now that they’ve ditched the junk food and gotten active.”
During this five-month, intensive program, team members were given access to Covenant Health resources including a registered dietitian, exercise physiologists, physical therapists at Covenant Therapy Center, a personal trainer/life coach at Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center, and guidance from Kane, Covenant Health’s resident fitness expert. Team members were also given a special discount on shoes from New Balance Knoxville to literally start their training on the right foot.
To learn more about Covenant Health’s tools for health, fitness, and weight loss, visit covenanthealth.com or call (865) 541-4500.
|Arielle Arthur, 24, Knoxville
Just a few years ago, Arthur played college basketball. Her job as an account representative has caused her to be more sedentary, but she's wants to get back to living an athletic lifestyle.
|Randy Carr, 47, Knoxville
Carr is a radiation therapist and has had bariatric surgery, but still struggled with his weight. He found the missing element that's kept him from keeping the extra pounds off. One of his main goals is to pass a healthy lifestyle on to his son.
|Darla Dunn, 31, Knoxville
Although Dunn has a full life with her friends and her job at Jenny Craid, she called her weight a “dark shadow” that prevents her life from being complete. She's on her way to obliterating that dark shadow with a new attitude, new friends, and a new smile.
|Mike Howell, 49, Greenback
Howell is a financial advisor who suffered a "heart scare" last summer. With his daughter's wedding just a few months away, he wanted to make sure he was strong and healthy when the time came to walk her down the aisle.
|Marie Keith, 35, Oak Ridge
As a registered dietitian, Keith has had the job of holding many people accountable for their diets. She says she now wants someone to hold her accountable so she can get back to the person she used to be.
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|Amanda Paletz, 34, Knoxville
A diabetic with multiple orthopedic problems, this hospital marketing manager has begun to shed weight and feel better so she can think about starting a family with her husband.
|Melody Peters, 39, Luttrell
Having had a close brush with death in a car accident several years ago, Peters is happy to be alive. However, she was unhappy with the 60 pounds she gained while in a wheelchair. She's a busy orthopedic surgical tech, who is well on her way to meeting her fitness goals now.
|Edee Vaughan, 38, Knoxville
Born with spina bifida, Vaughan has recently discovered Innovative Recreation Cooperative (IRC) through Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center. IRC helps athletes with disabilities. She is highly motivated and hand cycled 13.1 miles the half marathon. She works at UT as an academic compliance coordinator.
|Hugh “Hank” Wilson, Jr., Knoxville
Wilson is a chef by trade. There is a history of diabetes in his family, and he hopes to avoid the inheritance. He also wants to stay off of blood pressure and cholesterol medications.
During the team challenge he was knocked down by just about every imaginable setback, but he proved he's a true fighter, getting up and going forward every time.
| Coach Missy Kane
A former collegiate track and field coach, past olympic runner, and member of the Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame, there's no one better to inspire and motivate our team members than the one and only Missy Kane. Kane met with our team every Saturday for training, and offered constant support every day. She's living proof that "life is more fun when you're fit."
2012 Media Team Members
This year’s team also included members from the marathon’s media sponsors:
- Lee Ann Bowman, producer of WBIR-TV’s “Live at Five at Four”
- News Sentinel Sports Editor Phil Kaplan
- WIVICK the Frog from WIVK-FM got into the act.
While our media team members have the option of just standing on the sidelines and cheering the team on, all three of them jumped in (the frog hopped) with both feet. They trained, they met with the dietitian, and proved in every way that they share Covenant Health's belief in improving East Tennessee's quality of life through better health and fitness.
The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon gratefully acknowledges the support of these media sponsors as we work together to improve the quality of life in East Tennessee through better health!