EUGENE, Ore. - More than 8,500 runners are set to go for this weekend's Eugene Marathon.
Among them is a Creswell man whose journey from fatness to fitness is nothing short of amazing.
Jase Simmons was the poster boy for overweight and out of shape, tipping the scales somewhere "north" of 250 pounds.
Then exactly 2 years ago, he decided enough was enough.
"I had completely given up on the idea that I was ever going to be thin until I had reached the breaking point," explains Simmons today
(Thursday) outside of Hayward Field.
For the Creswell financial planner his idea of exercise used to be golf, from a golf cart.
He adds, "My ah-ha moment was when I had gotten too big to fit into a 2XL."
So exactly 2 years ago, at 271 pounds, Jase got mad enough to make a change.
Simmons started eating healthier and began a regimen of running, first on the treadmill.
Then a client invited him to a marathon in Las Vegas. Jase told KVAL News, "I decided I'm going to do this once you know, because nobody ever
gets addicted to running--or so I thought at the time."
Vegas didn't work out, but late in 2011 he ran the Honolulu Marathon in 5 hours, 15 minutes, at 194 pounds.
Today, Jase is down to 170.
"Everything is surreal right now. It's just amazing; it's been a phenomenal upgrade to my life," says Simmons.
He coaches others now on how to lose weight and has written a book titled appropriately, Final Weight Loss.
This Sunday, for the first time, Jase will be in the Eugene Marathon.
Reporter Tom Adams asked Simmons, "Looking forward to it?" Jase: "I really am; I'm looking very forward to it. It's going to be an amazing event."
He says his next fitness pursuit will be martial arts, with a goal of getting his blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu.