Ousted 'Loser' Dane Patterson 'didn't think anything of' marathon ride
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/02/2009
Dane Patterson regrets accepting a three-mile van ride from producers to help him complete a 26-mile marathon, however the recently oustedThe Biggest Loser: Couples contestant added he's still satisfied with the portion of the race he did on his own.
"Honestly I wish I hadn't of done that and my purpose was to run the full marathon," he told reporters during a Monday conference call. "But you never know what's going to make it on the show. So I honestly didn't think anything of it because I was proud that I accomplished what I accomplished."
The controversy began when Patterson's post-elimination update segment at the end of Wednesday night's broadcast showed the 27-year-old real estate appraiser from Mesa, AZ stating that he had run a complete marathon with his wife Carli Mae since returning home and continuing his weight-loss on his own.
"Before I even started the race, building up to it, I didn't think I had a time limit," Patterson told reporters. "I was planning on doing it between seven and eight hours -- I was planning on taking my time. Then when I got there, the producers told me I needed to do it in under six hours."
Patterson added he "actually ran the first 13 or 14 miles" before he "started slowing down."
"Then at Mile 17 it was discussed that I was not going to make that time," he said.
In order to complete the marathon in the six-hour limit The Biggest Loser field producer had informed him of, Patterson and his wife were picked-up in a van by producers and driven three miles up the road.
"I was at Mile 17, extremely exhausted... I couldn't tell you specifically what happened," Patterson told reporters when asked about what exactly took place.
"When I got to the finish line, the race officials, they knew what happened. It was discussed between the producers and them, and they still gave me a medal. I was proud of that medal and I was proud that I did what I did."
Patterson said he subsequently went back and ran the three miles that the van carried him -- which is why he felt that he did run the complete marathon.
"It was my plan to run the full marathon, which is why I went back and ran those three miles. In my mind I ran the full 26 miles," he told reporters.
"As far as I knew, the producers were going to go back and discuss whatever they had to to figure what was going to go on the show. Basically it's [the producer's] job to put what gets on the show, so I left it up to him."
In addition to failing to mention the details of Patterson's marathon participation, an on-screen text update the aired at the conclusion of the post-elimination update segment stated that "Dane completed the 26 mile marathon in 3 hours and 53 minutes" -- despite the presence of a finish line clock that actually showed "5:53" when Patterson and his wife crossed the finish line.
"The fact that it did say 3:53, that was kind of embarrassing actually," Patterson told reporters. "It wasn't true and I was obviously disappointed that made the show because it looked bad that anybody would even think that I could run a marathon in that time."
After the broadcast, other runners that had competed in the marathon began alerting media outlets that Patterson hadn't actually run the entire race and had been transported by van for part of the course, leading NBC to admit that the broadcast had concluded with a false claim.
"People that watch the show and are familiar with the show I think understand the accomplishments that I made," said Patterson. "I think those kind of people are proud of what I've done. In all reality, it doesn't matter to me."
Patterson said he personally hasn't received any criticism for what was shown in the video clip, however he added he is aware of what people in the racing community must think.
"I definitely know that there's people out there in the running community, which I'm obviously not a part of, so I'm not familiar with the runner's etiquette and obviously I understand why they would feel the way they feel about the whole thing," he told reporters.
Patterson reiterated he "didn't mean for any of this to happen" and added he plans to successfully complete a full marathon by running another one in April.
"I hope that one day I can be a part of that group of completing a full marathon," he told reporters.
As for the medal he received after the marathon in question, Patterson said he has no plans to return it.
"The medal was given to me by the race officials after they knew what happened. They gave it to me for what I did, and no, I would not give that back," he said. "I'm proud of the 23 miles I did during that race. That's what the medal stands for and I'm proud of it."