300 Pounds and Running

Weekly Roundup: Nike's Other Major Mannequin Drop, Australia's New Transgender Guidelines & More

Happy Trails Racing Pushes For Inclusion and Accessibility

 
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Have you read this week’s article about how Happy Trails Racing is opening up trail racing to be more inclusive?

Nike Also Released Parasport Mannequins—We Missed It

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Caught up in the controversy over the new plus-sized mannequin in Nike’s London shop, many of us missed an equally significant move—the introduction of parasport mannequins. It’s nice to know that they’re considering representing more diverse kinds of athletes. (Now the question is, when are they going to get a plus-sized male mannequin in there?)

Australia’s New Transgender Inclusion Guidelines

Australia has introduced a set of guidelines to make their sports clubs more inclusive to transgender and gender diverse athletes. It was developed by the Australian Human Rights Commission, Sport Australia and the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS).

The guideline includes key ideas to foster safe and inclusive environments, including providing gender neutral spaces, using a person’s chosen pronouns throughout all operations and record keeping, as well as ensuring athletes have access to a uniform in their size. Some really great takeaways in here for anyone running a sports organization.

Click here to read the freshly minted guidelines!

300 Pounds and Running Opens Slow AF Community Waitlist

Runner, podcast host, writer, and powerhouse Martinus Evans has opened up a waitlist for the Slow AF community—a running hub focused on connecting back of the pack runners.

Sign up for the waiting list here!

Goat Yoga Is Still A Thing

Whether you’re frantically searching to find the nearest class, or the headlines have got your goat, this alternative yoga class continues to pop up across the globe—and the photos of it are pretty hilarious and adorable. I guess when we say “movement is for every body,” we really mean it.

Bonus Round with 300 Pounds and Running's Martinus Evans

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Martinus Evans of 300 Pounds and Running for a #StartingLine

What was supposed to be a 30-minute interview stretched well over an hour. Martinus dropped too much wisdom and character to cram into the original written piece, BUT I did save the recording of the interview, which was chock-full of gems. 

So today for your listening pleasure, we've got EBC x 300 PAR—sound clips from the original interview. That means Mr. Martinus Evans on everything from his fellow runners Latoya Shauntay Snell and Mirna Valerio, to pull ups, starting his own podcast, as well as fear and authenticity as a plus-sized runner in the media spotlight.

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CLIP #1: Martinus talks about his friend and viral sensation Mirna Valerio, and how she encouraged him to get his 300 Pounds and Running Podcast off the ground. 

Clip #2: Martinus talks about sexism facing his female fellow plus-sized runners—and his friend (and The Long Run Podcast co-host) Latoya Shauntay Snell's insane push up game.

Clip #3: Martinus digs into the struggle to be authentic while trying to build an online following when your narrative isn't exactly linear. Also, he waxes poetic about the glory of running. 

Martinus' #StartingLine: "300 Pounds and Running."

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Martinus Evans weighed about 370 pounds when a doctor threw the F-word in his face: “Mr. Evans, you’re fat.”

He'd come in for help after work-related hip pain and weeks of physiotherapy. When the doc suggested that he start walking, Martinus’ angry response would carve him a new life:

“Screw that. I’m gonna run a marathon.”

Soon, he started the Couch to 5K training program and began blogging his journey on his site, 300 Pounds and Running. Fuelled by defiance, determination, and a weight loss goal, in October of 2013, he put his marathon where his mouth was and finished the Detroit Marathon. It was a huge personal win—but his road to running was just beginning.

In January and July of 2014 he was in two separate car accidents that knocked him out of his running shoes and into painful recovery until early 2016. He got back up and went out. Then, tackling a runstreak, he developed tears in his Achilles tendon that benched him again. Now, FINALLY, he’s up and running, training for this year’s New York Marathon.

Martinus hosts the 300 Pounds and Running podcast, was recently featured in Runner’s World magazine, is a certified RRCA coach, and has written his own eBook, Zero to Running. I had the pleasure of interviewing him about the latest leg of his journey, what it’s like to be plus-sized and Black in a thin white sport, man boobs, his goals, and more.

Strap into your sneakers, it's about to get real.

Source: Instagram

Source: Instagram

What do you think brings you back to running after all of these injuries and setbacks? 

Running’s my mechanism! People have their things. With me, running my marathon, being on top  of the world, running has been my thing. This is what I wanna do.

The other thing is [me] being a sad puppy, for lack of a better word. You know, like you’re a puppy in the back seat and you lookin’ out the window. I would just drive, it would be a bright and sunny day, and I would just see runners running by. I’d feel sad like “DAMN. That used to be me! I want to get out there again!”


Until pretty recently, running has been a thin, white sport.

What’s your experience being not only a plus-sized athlete, but also a person of colour?

Where do I start?! As an athlete, as a person who has been an offensive lineman, I’ve always been someone who has used their weight for advantage. When it comes to all the other sports, it’s all about being explosive.The faster you are, the bigger advantage you have.

When I started running, I didn’t think about long distance. I thought about like… sprinters. That’s … one of the reasons I didn’t succeed in Couch to 5k the first 4-5 attempts, because I’m trying to run as fast as I can for a minute and a half, as opposed to learning the concept of a conversation pace. 

Also, yes do you do get those weird looks. You get those bro types like, “RUN, FAT MAN WOOOO!” But I think as a man I don’t receive those comments as much as my female counterparts. 

"Being a fat Black man doing this is like an oxymoron."

As far as being a person of colour... Being a fat Black man doing this is like an oxymoron. Me being out here in New England, Massachusetts, being in a primarily white neighbourhood... It’s interesting. You get the double takes. 

Even talking to my family, I’m like “I’m gonna go for a run” and they’re like “no man, a run? That’s some white people type shit! I’m not running unless a dog’s chasing me, or I’m in danger!” It’s very crazy, talking to my friends back in Detroit, where I grew up. They’re like “you’ve been up in Massachusetts too long, hanging around the white folks, because we ain’t running out here for like health or fitness!” The community just doesn’t understand.

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WhaT'S BEEN YOUR biggest obstacle as a runner?

A) Injuries. B) Motivation and mindset. I would say injuries because being a bigger person, you’ve got a lot of moving parts, one of the things just happens—a lot of people suffer from shin splints and things of that sort. I think a lot of people go out too fast, too soon and hurt themselves before they get into a groove.

The other one is mindset. The thing is, people compare themselves a lot—and don’t think of themselves AS being a runner because they’re like OH, I did run/walk intervals, or I’m not as fast as the speed demon next to me on the treadmill. It’s a mindset type of thing—if you doing anything faster than a walk, you’re running. 


FLIP THAT: What’s a recent victory you achieved?

I feel like I have victories every DAY! In pertaining to that Instagram post I put up, that was a huge victory. (Editor’s note: Martinus is talking about this post, which encouraged me to contact him in the first place!) You know, I’m a man with boobs. Having man boobs is something that a lot of men are afraid to talk about. So me taking off my shirt and being A) uncomfortable about the situation B) being like I’mma post this on the internet where … I’ve got tens of thousands of followers… That’s a victory. 

Me, being on this workout streak for three or four weeks in a row... THAT’S a victory.  Hell, just getting out the bed, at 6 a.m. is a victory. Because there was a lot of times going through depression and not working out that I just stayed in the bed. Whereas now… It’s a priority.

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What does running give you that you don’t get anywhere else?

Peace. Gives me peace of mind. Running ... is the only time where I can calm down the inner voices in my head. There's just something about that. You got work, you wanna watch TV, you got social media, everything's pinging you. Running is the one time I can just silence it all. It can just be me, and me breathing and like hearing the sounds my body make when it hits the pavement.

For me, I feel the most when I’m with my maker, the grand architect of the universe, when I’m running. Me going into a church. Don’t do nothing for me. That’s when I’m at peace and at one with whoever the maker of the universe is. 


And what are some of your future goals?
 

My big goal is the NYC marathon. I got entered into it last year but because of my Achilles issue I just couldn’t get healed enough to do the race, so I deferred it. So I got that race this year. I’m doing this thing called the Boston Athletics Association Medley—a 5k, 10k, half marathon throughout the year. I got a couple half marathons I signed up for. I got a calendar full of things. My big goal for next year is to do an ironman. 

Last question: Did you ever go back to that doctor?
 

Absolutely not! I am not going back to anybody who treats me wrong. He’s dead to me. It’s just not cool to tell your patient “you're fat.” Granted, that was the catalyst I needed to get off my butt, to get going, but there’s a lot of other people who don’t have that personality that I have. I’m super competitive.

You tell me I can’t, I’mma show you why I can.

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You can find Martinus on his site, 300PoundsandRunning.com.

To stay up-to-date with #StartingLines and more, follow The Every Body Collective on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! (Seriously, I don't bite.)