David Jackson is a Runnin' Rebel
UNLV employee has dropped 68 pounds in one year
The XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Run is scheduled for April 15 at Lake Las Vegas, Nevada, and runners of all ages and skill levels can participate. There may not be a million dollar jackpot at stake, but it could still change your life for the better.
Just ask David Jackson.
A year ago, Jackson was unhappy and unhealthy. Forty-one running races, hundreds of miles, and 68 pounds later, he is a transformed man.
"I was eating fast food at least three times per day, and consuming alcohol almost daily," Jackson said. "I was just four pounds away from weighing in at 300 pounds. In order to make meaningful change, I knew that I had to dramatically change my nutrition and most importantly, start running."
It all started with the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Run in April of 2011. That event became the starting point for Jackson's amazing journey to a healthy lifestyle.
(Pictured at top right is David Jackson in April of 2011, and at bottom left is Jackson in February 2012)
Jackson is a Las Vegas resident who works as the Director of Student-Athlete Academic Services at UNLV. He started jogging in January of 2011, and said he couldn't even complete one lap around a standard track back then. But two months later, he was able to complete six-mile practice runs. That prompted him to look for a race in the area, and he found the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Run online.
"I felt like I needed something to validate all of my training," he said. "Of course, back then I didn't know what came along with a trail run. It was my first race. I wanted it to be challenging, I wanted it to be in an amazing setting, and the XTERRA Trail Run offered all of that."
Jackson had never competed in any sporting event prior to that race, so he naturally faced fear and loathing on the morning of the 2011 Lake Las Vegas Trail Run. The event offers three courses - a 21-kilometer long course, a 10K and a 5K. He opted for the 10K.
"I was almost too afraid to get out of the car, but I forced myself to walk over to the starting line and it was the single best decision I've ever made," Jackson said. "The spectators and other runners were so incredibly supportive of me during the run. I even remember getting passed by one of the 21K'ers as I approached the finish line, and he said, 'great job, keep it going buddy, you're almost there.' I can't even put into words the amount of inspiration and motivation I gained that day. After crossing the finish line, I remember thinking, 'I'm no longer a spectator, I'm an athlete.' I remember driving home from Lake Las Vegas feeling like I had conquered the world."
The feeling was so great, he completed 40 more races in the 11 months after that. Next week, he will celebrate the one-year anniversary of his first race by entering the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Run again - this time in the 21K long course.
"Although I realize that most of the pack will be far ahead of me, I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of testing my own personal endurance," he said. "There will be times that I'll walk and times that I struggle, but I'm out there testing my own personal limits."
Jackson, who is 32 years old and stands 6-feet-4, weighed 296 pounds in January of 2011. He now weighs 228, and has incorporated weightlifting to go along with his running. He has dropped junk foods from his diet, and still wants to enter as many races as possible. He plans to try his first full marathon later this month.
The XTERRA motto is "Live More" and Jackson is certainly doing just that.
His story is also proof that anyone can participate in the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Run. Registration information is still available BY CLICKING HERE.
The trail run on April 15 is part of an XTERRA weekend at Lake Las Vegas that will start with the XTERRA West Championship off-road triathlon on April 14. Some of the world's best triathletes will compete in the event. For more information on the triathlon, please visit www.xterralakelasvegas.com.
XTERRA LAKE LAS VEGAS TRAIL RUN
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