Runners and spectators definitely noticed the increased security presence during the 36th annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon on Sunday, but said they felt safe at the event.
CLEVELAND - Jamie Johnston has spent her entire life being overweight.
"Actually, I was born pre-mature, weighing 5 pounds, so I guess I can't say ‘always,'" the Broadview Heights native joked.
Even in high school when Jamie played on the basketball team, the many hours spent being active were overcompensated by food.
"I thought I was destined to be overweight. I remember going to bed thinking how amazing it would be if I was just wearing a fat suit (like in the movies) and would be able to take it off in the morning."
In 2011, Jamie weighed in at 349 pounds. Unhappy with herself, that's when she decided it was time to turn her life around. With the support of her husband, she joined her Weight Watchers at Work program at Cleveland State University.
"He was nothing short of supportive and he let me know that he loved me and thought I was beautiful no matter what."
To help motivate her further, Jamie told her husband to begin saving money and when she reaches her weight loss goal, they were going to New York City on a shopping spree.
"You see, NYC is my favorite city, but a girl of 350 pounds wouldn't be able to find a darn thing to wear there."
Jamie's first Weight Watchers meeting was on April 26, 2011 and since that time, she has lost an admirable 177 pounds – half of her body weight.
"I have worked my butt off -- in more ways than one. I now run (gasp, I know seriously) and ran in my first 5K, averaging 10:16 a mile…I love this program and how it has transformed my life."
Jamie's activity level has skyrocketed and her self-esteem grown leaps and bounds.
"Friends are now asking me for weight loss advice -- who would have thought? I have also spoken at some Weight Watchers events, sharing my story and that this is possible."
On May 19 in Cleveland, Jamie is running in her first half marathon, having trained months for this monumental event. Her goal is to run it without stopping and just finish. We have no doubt she will do just that!
Cleveland Marathon Stories
Aurora High School honors biology teacher Mary Pavicic donated hair to the Wigs for Kids Foundation before running in Cleveland Marathon.
A man and woman from Kenya are the winners of the 2013 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.
With the Cleveland Marathon now just one day away, professionals at the I-X Center Friday were making sure to provide plenty of last minute tips they say, runners should begin to use Friday night.
Security for the Cleveland Marathon will be tight as tens of thousands of runners and spectators are expected to participate in this weekend's event, according to organizers.
Twenty-one runners in Sunday's Cleveland Marathon will focus attention on cancer prevention in young women.
A group of Cleveland Marathon runners honor a Westlake man killed on Put-in-Bay and give hope to others who have lost a loved one.
A Westlake couple running the Rite-Aid Cleveland half marathon Sunday is sharing their inspirational weight loss success story with NewsChannel5.
A Broadview Heights woman lost half her body weight – 177.4 pounds – since April 2011 and is running in her first half marathon.
This weekend's Cleveland Marathon is expected to draw more runners than ever before and bring in more than $18 million for the city's economic development, according to the event's organizers.