Friday, February 16, 2007

438 Pound Man to Run Boston Marathon

Jacob Seilheimer, a 438 lb. beekeeper from Wisconsin, aims to tackle the world's most grueling marathon.
Jacob Seilheimer, a Wisconsin-bred beekeeper, is doing what others claim is impossible. At a jaw-dropping 438 lbs, he has vowed to lose 100 pounds and run the Boston Marathon -- with only 3 months of training.

Equipped with his trusty sidekick, an exercise bike named "Savage Henry", Jacob has committed himself to a strict regimen of diet and exercise. He is inviting the outside world to view his journey at his refreshingly honest website,

“I'd like to take people inside the life of a morbidly obese person,” says Jacob Seilheimer. “Just for a moment, imagine what it's like go to a restaurant and worry if the chair you're about to sit in is going to collapse or in order to weigh yourself, you have to go to a meat-packing plant and use a commercial-grade scale or even just walking out your front door, little kids across the street point at you and laugh. Welcome to my life.”

Trapped in a downward spiral of depression, the gentle giant, affectionately known as "The Bear," knew that serious illness or an early death would soon coming knocking at his door if he continued down this path. Fed up with the endless barrage of insults and looks of disgust, he is taking a stand, and so far has lost 40 pounds on his way to running the Boston Marathon.

Many have shown their support for Jacob's efforts on his website, while others aren't so kind. Jacob publishes comments from both sides, along with weekly videos of his training regimen, a blog of little victories along the way, as well as the pain of many setbacks.

Jacob is also chronicling his journey for four different charities: Make a Wish Foundation, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the American Cancer Society and Special Olympics.

While the jury is still out on his ability to finish the race, one thing is for sure. The sheer girth of this man is only matched by the size of his heart.