AUSTIN (KXAN) - It started as a jab at the training marathon runners get in preparation for the long 26.2 miles -- and it turned into a local morning show host's motivation to prove he could run a full marathon without any training.
Bobby Bones Show radio personality Lunchbox managed to finish more than 27 miles at 10:51 a.m. after starting his run through Austin and the hike-and-bike trail at 6 a.m.
Facing possible kidney damage, a heart attack and even death, a doctor checked him out just before giving him the green light for his personal marathon Friday.
"I'm amazed," said Lunchbox right after crossing the finish line.
The seemingly foolhardy endeavor came after "harassing" runners on Monday and comments Lunchbox made on the morning show about how marathon running was a "joke" and that anyone could do it -- even without training.
Notorious for his harsh remarks on the morning show about overweight and "lazy" people, Lunchbox set out to prove a point.
"That's the problem with the world, is we have a lot of lazy people, in my opinion," he said. "People always make excuses, and if I can do it without ever even training, you can do whatever you want to do, and hopefully it helps."
As for his status in the world of activity: "I feel like I am in pretty good shape," said Lunchbox. "I don't run … but I play a lot of soccer, and I just truly believe in my ability. And I'm a very stubborn, hard-headed, determined person, so I really honestly believed I was going to finish the marathon."
Prompted by fellow show host Bobby Bones to prove it, he did. The Austin native ran about a 10-minute mile, a time that would have placed him in the middle of the pack at the Austin Marathon had he run it last weekend.
Accompanied by a pace coach and a co-worker on a bike, Lunchbox managed to trek 27.2 miles throughout the city -- all the way back to the radio station at 3601 S. Congress Ave.
He said he was OK up until the 19th or 20th mile, when the game really became mind over matter as his muscles began to tighten up and his body neared exhaustion. That's when he really thought twice about being able to do it.
"I just concentrated on one mile at a time," he said. "I didn't think, 'Oh, I have to go to 26.' I was just like, 'Just get to 20. Just get to 21. Just get to 22.' And then I got to the finish."
Supporters rallied the often antagonistic morning host along the way.
Police even played the "Rocky" theme song through their loudspeakers, and at the 23.4-mile marker police switched to his own theme song , "All I Do Is Win."
Police, Austin-Travis County EMS, co-workers and throngs of supporters with signs were at the radio station's parking lot to greet Lunchbox at the finish line, where people started gathering more than an hour before.
"I've never seen this outpouring of support from listeners," said Bobby Bones.
The response was so intense that police had to direct the hundreds of people back onto sidewalks after the overflow into streets.
A cop car escorted Lunchbox through the home stretch and up the hill, where droves of people ran with him on the victory lap of his marathon.
The nearly five-hour marathon ran over the Bobby Bones Show's usual air time and had to continue without its satellite listeners nationwide. However, the show did go on via iHeartRadio at the flagship station 96.7, where Bobby Bones hosted the show in the parking lot as hundreds welcomed Lunchbox.
Seemingly thousands more cheered him on via the Bobby Bones Facebook page, where even Lunchbox "haters" took the time to post supportive messages."
"Usually cannot stand Lunch Box but I am really proud of him for running 27.2 miles this morning! I hope he comes back with just a bit of humility and respect for those who train and work hard to run marathons and maybe even a bit of regret about being a voice of discouragement to runners last weekend. He certainly had a lot of support for his efforts and he did it!!! Really great show this morning!!" posted Kelbi Schlueter.
"ATTENTION: as a mom i always have to make sure my son knows i dont agree with have the trash LB talks about regarding women and fat ppl...HOWEVER: I do always remind him that LB has the right to speak his mind in this amazing country as we all do and that what makes a man most credible is not what he SAYS but if he can BACK IT UP...on this Epic Day Lunch has my up most respect for believing in himself and FINISHING THE RACE and then SOME!!!!!!!" posted Jess Mejía.
While Lunchbox didn't win any money for doing this, he said he did earn pride and bragging rights. His next stop: home for some Gatorade, water, an ice bath and ... oh yeah, a Freebirds burrito.
Real-time Twitter-tracking site Trendsmap shows the personal marathon trending No. 1 in the city, and it reportedly trended No. 2 nationwide across Twitter earlier Friday.
People used the hashtag #runlbrun to track the marathon.
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