Knoxville man to run New York Marathon after losing 120 pounds

Knoxville man to run New York Marathon after losing 120 pounds

Posted:
Stephen Long is running the New York Marathon as a celebration of losing 120 pounds. Stephen Long is running the New York Marathon as a celebration of losing 120 pounds.
"I still get chills when I look at the video my wife shot of me crossing the finish line," Stephen Long said of his first marathon. "I still get chills when I look at the video my wife shot of me crossing the finish line," Stephen Long said of his first marathon.
"I don't know how to explain it except awesome," said Long's wife Marguarite. "I don't know how to explain it except awesome," said Long's wife Marguarite.

By JILLIAN MAHEN
6 Sports Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Training for a marathon is a huge accomplishment by itself, but finishing a marathon is even bigger.

For one Knoxville native who is running the New York Marathon, the marathon isn't the accomplishment. It is the celebration.

"Life is a journey not a destination," said Stephen Long. "I didn't have a destination in mind when I began this. I just wanted to play it by ear, see how things would pan out."

They say every long journey begins with a single step. Long says the beginning was one year and 120 pounds ago, before a single step was even taken.

"After a routine physical, my doctor calls me up, or his office calls me and says they want me to start taking prescription blood pressure medicine. That was the big pivotal point for me. I was like 'I should do something about this or else pretty soon I'll just be dead," he said.

At 310 pounds, Long couldn't even walk without pain.

"I had to lose weight just through dieting before I could walk or anything."

Forty pounds later, he began to find his stride.

"It went from a walk/run and being winded all the time to eventually, it just kind of clicked," he said.

As his runs got longer, his weight got lower and a concrete goal emerged.

"I would come out here and run anywhere from 13 to 18 miles, and it just kind of incrementally built up to it. And I got to running 20 plus miles, and one day I just thought this is the day."

Long ran his first marathon, all 26.2 miles at Tom Black Track, two weeks before he ran the Knoxville Marathon.

"I still get chills when I look at the video my wife shot of me crossing the finish line," he said.

"I was crying. I was. We waited at the stadium for an hour for him to cross the finish line and it's just, I don't know how to explain it except awesome," said Long's wife Marguarite.

Long finished in four hours and 42 minutes. It was his first race ever, but definitely not his last. Since the Knoxville Marathon he's logged 12 races of varying distance. Next up is the Big Apple.

"I'm so excited for the New York Marathon. It's a culmination of all those emotions and everything I've accomplished: the new me," said Long.

Just three weeks after the New York Marathon, Long says he's also running the Memphis Marathon.

He's not running to lose weight anymore; he says it's just become a part of his daily routine.

Long was recently featured in an article on the Runner's World website.

The New York Marathon is being held Sunday, November 3.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.