Ben Does Life: Losing 120 pounds, gaining so much more

Forgive me if I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I came across a story in this month’s Runner’s World magazine that struck me as one of the most inspiring personal stories I’ve ever read.

It’s all about Ben Davis, a 25-year-old from Little Rock, Ark., who after a lifetime of overeating — and dieting, exercising and losing weight, then putting it all back on again — decided once and for all to save his own life and commit to exercising and eating right as a way of life. It all started when his grandmother, over Christmas break three years ago, asked him a simple question: “Are you happy?”

Insisting that he was — but, at 360 pounds, knowing of course he wasn’t — Davis set about to change his life, and ever since then he’s been changing many others by sharing his story at the blog he set up shortly after that holiday,

Don’t miss his YouTube video, the one that’s been featured in the December edition of RW and highlighted by running greats Adam and Kara Goucher and actress Alyssa Milano on their Twitter and Facebook posts. It’s truly inspiring:

For more, check out the article in Runner’s World or read Ben’s blog.

Friday’s Reads on Running, Health & More

Quick roundup of great reads on running, health, weight loss and more from around the Web, especially some great coverage on last weekend’s NYC Marathon:

New Feature: Comments of the Week

To better recognize the contributions that readers make every day to HalfMarathons.Net, I wanted to introduce a new feature here on the blog called “Comments of the Week,” to highlight comments and reviews left by readers that are particularly insightful, helpful and informative.

We’ll start the feature off actually by going back to October to the Towpath Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K in Peninsula, Ohio. Several readers took time to provide their thoughts in the days after the race, which helps by adding multiple perspectives on what the race was actually like for runners who took part in it.

Here’s just a sampling:

What a great day for the Towpath Marathon..Could not ask for better weather..And great turnout..Great course..Just had to be there very early at the start line. But there wasn’t any place inside to wait for the start, other then “outside” in the parking lot. You would think that with the number of runners in this race, and for as long as they have been promoting it, that the runners would be able to wait inside, where it would be “out of the weather”. 2 years ago it was very windy and temps in the 40′s, and still had to wait outside in the parking lot for the start? But one of the best runs in NE Ohio.

And here’s another:

This was my first full marathon and it was everything I could have asked for! We hit the jackpot on weather- I couldn’t have been happier! Starting at Boston Mills, I was so glad to be able to wait inside and use indoor restrooms. The aid stations were every mile~ knew I wouldn’t have to carry my own water- just brought my own gels so I wouldn’t have to stray from my routine. The volunteers were amazing and everything was so well organized. This was an experience I will treasure forever!

Read more at the complete race info page for the Towpath Marathon & Half.

Rock & Roll comes to Savannah

Twenty-three thousand runners and walkers, fast and almost completely flat streets for the most part, and gorgeous sunny weather. That’s what the race was like at the Rock & Roll Savannah Marathon & Half Marathon, which welcomed 16,000 half-marathoners in addition to 7,000 full marathoners to its inaugural running on the first Saturday of November 2011.

Runners near the starting line at the Rock & Roll Savannah Half Marathon on Nov. 5, 2011

The race began at the corner of Bull and Bay Streets in the city’s downtown historic district, known for its plentiful hotels, shops, restaurants and bars that are filled to the rafters every St. Patrick’s Day. This time of year, however, the downtown is populated largely by tourists as well as students at the Savannah College of Art and Design, whose campus lies just blocks from where the race started.
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