Derek Olford has gone from nearly 400lbs to marathoner in two and a half years. After a car accident, he had to turn to cardio for working out and the rest is history! He was born in Monroe, LA, but has spent the majority of his life in Pensacola, FL. and calls this home. He and his wife, Amanda, have three daughters; Rebekah Shea, Basileigh, and Payson, all of which share their dad’s love of running. When Derek is not working he enjoys family time and training for his next big race.
Read all about his transformation, accomplishments and where he’s going next…



Why did you start running?

I started running about two and a half years ago. I weighed around 350 and was on my way to 400lbs. I was in bad shape and I had gotten in a car accident that had damaged three vertebrae in my neck. I couldn’t even lift my children or play with them. I have been rehabbing for a few years to help with the injury but I cannot lift weights anymore. So naturally running was the answer. I started with a 5k and after a few months moved into my first 10k. Now it wasn’t easy and I felt severe pain on my knees and feet for the first couple of weeks. I just waited until I didn’t hurt and then went back out there again. I worked hard and got to where I wasn’t in pain after I ran. That November I ran in the Walt Disney World’s Tower of Terror 10-miler. It was a lot of fun but very painful. Later that month I finished the Pensacola Half-Marathon. Over the next couple of years I did several 5k walks/runs 10ks 15ks and finished 6 half marathons.”

How has Running Wild helped you reach your goals?

Paul, Alex and Seth have been very important to me and my family. They all work very hard to make sure you have everything you need even if you are doing a 1 mile fun run. They make your goals their goals and that is something that anyone who goes there will tell you. I have loved listening to stories about long runs, tough runs, and motivational speeches from all of them.


What was your favorite thing about training with Running Wild?

My favorite thing about training with Running Wild is that I was provided with the a-to-z on all I need to run a race.

What is your greatest (most favorite) athletic/running accomplishment to date and why?

My biggest accomplishment happened on November 5th, when I finished my first marathon. I felt very happy to have run further than I had ever run before. My feet were basically two giant blisters. The next day I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do the 5k run and 1 mile run with my mother and Rebekah Shea. Stubbornness or determination took over (depending on who you ask) and I squeezed my feet back into my shoes and limped through both races. I was proud that in 2 days I had done 30.3 miles. Not bad for 302lbs.

TOP 5 Products from Running Wild to help you achieve success?

1.Body Glide- Chafe and blisters be gone!
2.Properly fit shoes- There is no questioning this one. It’s a must have.
3.Gu Gels- gives that little extra boost of energy.
4. Running Wild’s Customized Brooks Podium Shirts- They keep you nice and dry.
5.Running Wild’s Customized Tri Suits- My girls love them!


What is your next athletic goal and how do you plan to reach it?

My next goal is going to be the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World. A 5k followed by a 10k, then a half-marathon, and finally a full marathon. Tough times but the reward is six medals and some pretty hard to beat bragging rights!

If I could say one thing to the larger people in the community it is this, ‘Come out and be part of this. Meet fun people from all walks of life and different sizes. Make your goals and follow them because not everyone is motivated enough to do what you CAN do. My story can be anyone’s story. Come out and prove me right and show everyone an athlete can be any size. Thank You.’

Knowing Derek, his fortitude and extreme determination we believe that he will “pass” the Dopey Challenge with WILD, flying colors.