‘Biggest Losers’ to prove NYC Marathon is for anyone - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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‘Biggest Losers’ to prove NYC Marathon is for anyone

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Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2011 8:00 pm

Not many can say they have run in the mass crowd that blankets the streets during the annual New York City Marathon.

But this November, Brad Rogers of The BAR Fitness, Sione Fa of "The Biggest Loser" and two other past contestants will participate in the globally-renowned race as a challenge to not only themselves but to others who think they are incapable of overcoming a feat like this.

All four, including Sunshine Hampton of Season 9 and Filipe Fa, Sione's cousin and partner from Season 7, have joined Team Chances. Led by longtime marathon runner Susan Loken, the team will race to benefit the charity Chances for Children Arizona.

Chances for Children centers on providing fitness programs to school-aged children.

Rogers, owner of The BAR Fitness in Ahwatukee Foothills, said, "She (Loken) basically takes kids who will probably be inactive most of their lives and brings activity to them."

The 20-member marathon team must reach mandatory goals of $5,000 each prior to the race.

Sione Fa, 31, lost 146 pounds on "The Biggest Loser" in 2009 and says that raising money will pose a challenge, despite his popularity.

"It's just like a marathon. It's just like losing 150 pounds. It's just like accomplishing anything you want in life. It's going to be tough," said Fa, who lives in Maricopa and has been an Arizona resident his entire life.

Rogers, on the other hand, says it will be "absolutely" easy to meet his fundraising goal.

"I don't want to stop at $5,000. I don't think $5,000 is going to be enough," Rogers said.

But training for the marathon itself will be demanding for both Rogers and Fa, who have little to no experience with large-scale marathons like New York City. They each plan on shedding 30 pounds for the race.

Rogers, 34, says the most he has run is 100 yards because of his background in baseball, but "if you're going to run a marathon, I understand that New York is the one to do.

"Marathon training is not something I've ever trained anyone for, so it's a whole new science for me, a whole new lifestyle," he said.

Rogers and Fa both admit they are not built for marathon running, but Rogers said, "I love the short shorts though. It's my favorite part."

Fa, who connected with The BAR Fitness through Loken, has run marathons since his first on "The Biggest Loser," including the P.F. Chang's Rock ‘n' Roll Arizona Marathon.

"I had a goal as soon as I ran my first full marathon in Phoenix," Fa said. "Boston and New York are the marathons that I want to run at least once in my life."

A few weeks ago, Fa officially became a trainer at The BAR Fitness and has ambitions to return to "The Biggest Loser" as a trainer on the show.

"I think I can relate to a lot of people, not only being a contestant on the show, but being there and going through the other side of it as a trainer," Fa said.

For now, Fa hopes to continue to impact those in his community with his workout programs at The Bar Fitness.

"Not everyone's going to make the show," Fa explained. "Making the show is like winning the lottery.

"I'm in some way trying to find those people that may not get off the couch if it weren't for me getting to them."

"I mean, we're trainers," Rogers said. "So we enjoy working with people and helping people and that makes us feel good.

"Hopefully by doing this I'll prove a point that anybody can run this sucker if they want to. It's just a matter of setting your mind and changing everything you do because you want to succeed.

"If these guys (the ‘Biggest Losers') can do it, anybody can do it."

And that anybody will most likely be an Ahwatukee Foothills resident. Rogers and Fa are holding an informational meeting at 7 p.m. April 6 at The BAR Fitness, 4425 E. Agave Road, Suite 100, to gain one more member for the team.

"I would like to see someone who has never run a marathon, like myself, who needs a kick start and needs some support," Rogers said.

Visit www.chancesforchildrenaz.com and click on "Team Chances - NYC" for more information.

• Erin Sullivan is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a junior at Arizona State University.

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