Run/walk events: Where everyone is welcome to participate

Vicky Hallett / The Washington Post /

Published Jul 18, 2013 at 05:00AM

When Jackie Evans and her son, Dan, went back to Frankfurt, Ill., after filming the fifth season of “The Biggest Loser,” they were worried. The duo had lost a combined 225 pounds on the TV show’s ranch, and then, suddenly, they were on their own.

That’s when they signed up for their first road race, and “it changed everything,” said Jackie Evans, 55. “Instead of going on the treadmill — Dan calls it ‘the dreadmill’ — it’s a big social event.”

The party atmosphere motivated the Evanses to stick with their healthier routines. Now they’re inviting everyone to join them for The Biggest Loser RunWalk Series, which is bringing races to cities nationwide. The next stop is Erie, Pa., for a 5K, 10K and 1-mile kids’ race Aug. 17.

What sets these events apart is the emphasis on walking, Dan Evans said. There’s a separate walk division, with walkers eligible for prizes. Participants don’t need to rush when they can take 22 minutes per mile for the 10K and up to a half-hour per mile in the 5K.

“It’s taking away all of the big, scary ideas that come with 5Ks,” the 26-year-old said.

The RunWalk concept also applies to how Jackie Evans chooses to train. She completed her first half-marathon in 2010 and did 11 in 2011 — a feat her body couldn’t have handled if she’d run the whole way.

“I run when I can, and I walk when I need to,” she said.

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