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'Biggest Loser's" Dane: Not giving the marathon medal back

March 2, 2009 |  1:05 pm

"I wish I hadn’t done that...it looked bad."

That was Dane, facing the media today during a conference call with NBC, where nearly all the questions were about the flap that erupted last week when it was revealed that the epilogue to the show did not exactly reflect reality. Dane did not in fact run a marathon in 3 hours, 53 minutes -- he got a ride closer to the finish line so a field producer could get footage of him crossing the finish line, and that took him 5 hours, 53 minutes.

Although Dane said he went back later in the day to run the distance where he'd gotten a ride, many in the blogosphere and running world feel that he cheated and should return the medal he received for completing the marathon. The incident also cast a shadow, in some minds, across a show that aims to inspire folks at home to do what the contestants do.

Well, he has no plans to relinquish that medal. Highlights from the conference call:

--"I was proud that I accomplished what I accomplished....In my mind I ran the full 26 miles."

--He had no idea such a big flap was going to be raised; he thought he was helping the field producer get his shot. "I was extremely exhausted" when the field producer approached, and "you never know what’s going to make it on the show." He said he had no idea it would all lead to a misstatement of the facts. "It was kind of embarrassing actually. It wasn’t true. It looked bad."

--So far, Dane has gotten nothing but support for his accomplishments, but he knows that, to some, he violated runner's etiquette by taking a medal for running the entire course when that had not happened. "I understand why they would feel that."

--He said the race organizers knew what was going on and gave him the medal anyway. So, given that he did run every inch of the course, he's hanging on to that. He says he earned it: "I obviously didn't mean for any of this to happen. The medal was given. I would not give that back. I’m proud of it."

At one point, he joked that he wished the media questions were about how he "got thrown under the bus" last week by Ron, and predicted that his teammates will soon regret ousting such a big guy who could lose weight and win challenges, thereby protecting members of his team from elimination.   

In other developments, Dane said he has already lost 142 lbs. and is definitely gunning for the at-home prize. He said his cousin Blaine is continung to work out and lose weight for the finale, but no longer has that prize in the crosshairs. He also said he is planning to run many more marathons with his wife.

--Rene Lynch

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