From 500 Pound Couch Potato to Marathoner and Ironman: Marcus Cook

Marcus Cook – from big to little, from couch potato to marathoner

Many of us started running as a way to lose weight and / or gain fitness. But, how does a 489 pound man change his life enough, to lose almost 230 pounds, to be able to run the New York City Marathon as well as complete multiple ironman triathlons? What was the impetus and how did this man go from fat to fit? 

From couch potato to a living example of how extreme health improvements are possible, Marcus Cook talks to us about his own journey of weight loss and athletic discovery and how he was supported by so many along the way. 

In New York, Sunday, November 3, 2019, carrying a large placard of “Fat Marcus”, “Fit Marcus” will run 26.2 miles in the biggest marathon in the world.  He wants to share the message that “anything is possible” and each of us is capable of overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges.


Questions Marcus is asked:

2:59 First Four:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Where were you born?
  3. Where do you live now?
  4. What is your favorite workout? 

5:26 What was your life like before you became an athlete?

11:55 How did you start running?

24:40 When did you first experience the runner’s high?

45:34 When did you do IRONMAN?

46:07 What is your focus for the New York City Marathon?

49:08 What is your message that you want to share and how will you promote it in New York?

49:50 How important has your support group been?

50:52 Anything else you’d like to add?

55:20 How much total weight have you now lost?

56:07 Final Kick Round:

  1. What is your favorite local training run or outing (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?
  2. Favorite book(s), video or resource? 
  3. Who or what would you like to have featured on the Run To The Top podcast?



“No matter what you think you’re in, you’re not in the situation you’re in; you can get out of it.”

“I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if I’m going to get hurt, I don’t know if I’m going to die of a heart attack, but I am going to pursue health in a higher degree than anyone.”

“You’re the one that determines where you go. There’s nothing out there that’s holding you back but your thought process.”

“If you have a dream of whatever it was as a kid, don’t think it’s over. Look at me and say, ‘Hey, you know what? It can still happen.’”

“I had to put myself into the witness protection program for ‘Fat People’ because I wasn’t fat anymore; I was a new person, and I was an athlete.”


Take a Listen on Your Next Run

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Mentioned in this podcast: 

Run To The Top Winners Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

RunnersConnect Running Retreats


Marcus Cook: IRONMAN

Man loses 200 pounds, doing triathlon with his surgeon

Escape To Miami Sprint Triathlon

Video: Marcus’s Escape To Miami

runDisney Homepage


Chevron Houston Marathon

Marcus on Breakfast with Bob

Challenged Athletes Foundation

Bob Babbitt on Run To The Top

Memorial Park Houston 5k Loop

Book: Elite Minds by Dr Stan Beecham

Heavy As Lead Documentary – From 300lbs to Running the Leadville 100


Follow Marcus on:

Marcus’s Homepage






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