'Biggest Loser' turns marathoner

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Putnam - posted Wed., Mar. 23, 2011
Norm Seney Jr. taking part in the Ironhorse Half Marathon in Simsbury, CT. Photo contributed. - Contributed Photo

Norman Seney Jr. is a marathoner you can love. He finds his training program grueling; he can’t wait to stop the hours of running he does each day. He pays more attention to portion control than dietary content.  “I’m not going to eat egg whites every morning,” he said. “I’m going to go to MacDonald’s on occasion. I’ll still eat pizza. You don’t have to give up everything. Just don’t eat as much.”

Seney is a living example of the advice he offers. He lost 52 pounds in 10 weeks to win Midtown Fitness’s Biggest Loser contest last year. He beat out more than 80 entrants to win the $500 prize.

Mike Bodanski, the owner of Midtown Fitness, called Seney’s focus, “magnificent.”

“It took a lot of self discipline on his part,” he said. “He watched what he ate, stayed dedicated to his workouts. Doing it slow and steady is good.  But he had a goal, and the contest helped him cement it.”

Once Seney met that goal, he started thinking of other goals. He always wanted to run in the Boston Marathon, a 26.2 mile event. He made a decision to do just that.

With the help of personal trainer Amy Williams, Seney began to train for the race. “She’s been with me since the whole thing started, and she’s gotten me where I’m at today,” Seney said. “She’s just a little motivator, that woman. She’s phenomenal.”

But there was one glitch. The Boston Marathon has strict requirements for entrants. Runners must have already placed in a different marathon, finishing within a certain amount of time. Seney couldn’t satisfy that requirement. His only hope lay in joining a charity team which required him to raise $4,000.

When his wife Dannette heard of his plans, she thought it was an impossible goal. “First of all, this was the Boston Marathon,” she said. “And second, I wondered, how are we going to raise that much money?”

It took her a while to come on board, but when she did, she took on all the legwork of raising money and getting Norm’s name out to the community. Norm calls her ‘his right hand man.’

“She’s doing all the hard work,” he said. “All I’m doing is running.”

They need help to reach their $4,000 goal, which they are raising for the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang camp for children with cancer. If he doesn’t receive that amount in pledges, he will not be able to race. Still, he is determined to see the cause through. When he gets out of work every day, he heads to the gym to run for a couple of hours. Until April 18, it will be all that he does.  

Seney is looking forward to April 19, the day after the marathon, when he can rest. “Once this is over, I’ll still go to the gym, but I won’t be doing what I’m doing now. It’s going to be so nice getting out of work at 3 and being home at 3:30 with the family,” he said.

If you would like to contribute to his cause you can reach Norm at Midtown Fitness in Putnam or visit his website at: www.teamholeinthewall.kintera.org/boston2011/norman.

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