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Gurnee man looking for runners for ‘Biggest Loser’ competition

LIBERTYVILLE Saturday May 11 2013 Dave Myatt Gurnee talks with LisThomas about her running plan outside Running Edge store Libertyville.

LIBERTYVILLE Saturday May 11 2013 Dave Myatt, of Gurnee talks with Lisa Thomas about her running plan outside of the Running Edge store in Libertyville. Myatt is a running coach and a trainer for the reality TV series "Biggest Loser." He's organizing running clubs for the show's Biggest Loser road races.| Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 16, 2013 1:15AM

A Gurnee running coach and trainer is scouting for people to participate in the “Biggest Loser” RunWalk 5K and 15K sponsored by the reality TV show ”Biggest Loser.”

David Myatt, who has been named national director of coaching and development for the event to be held Aug. 4 in Chicago, is developing training programs for people who, because of the extra weight they carry, often shy away from road races.

“We want to get people up and off the couch and moving and exercising and commit to this event,” said Myatt who is involving running clubs in Libertyville and Wilmette in the RunWalk, and hopes to offer training in the Lake County area.

The RunWalk, a national race series that includes 5K, 10K 15K and half-marathon races, is by no means cutthroat, but it is also geared for experienced runners.

“It’s designed for people to finish,” Myatt said. “There are a number of people who are very strong runners but 70 to 80 percent of runners who participate have a significant amount of weight to lose.”

Myatt, 44, a native of Michigan, is an experienced training and running coach who has worked privately with novice runners.

“I help them pursue running in a very healthy way,” Myatt said. “We focus on nutrition, weight loss, strength and flexibility.”

Married and the father of two girls, Myatt is also a sports photographer, an art that brought him to the doorstep of the “Biggest Loser” last summer, where he was working with a photo crew on a “Biggest Loser” RunWalk in Racine, Wis. The show’s staff was impressed with his knowledge of coaching and training, which was spurred by his work in Type II diabetes outcomes research for Takeda, a Deerfield-based pharmaceutical company. A complication of obesity, Type II diabetes, left untreated, can cause blindness and loss of limbs.

“Training and coaching is my sweet spot,” Myatt said. “I’ve seen people struggle with obesity. A few years ago, I decided to just focus on getting people in shape.”

Myatt travels around the country on behalf of the “Biggest Loser” RunWalk, establishing training programs and working with runners’ associations as a way to promote the race and healthy exercise. Future trips include New York, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Milwaukee, Philadephia, Pa., and Seattle, Wash.

Runner Kristi Knull an organizer for a running club sponsored by Runner’s Edge in Libertyville plans to compete in the Aug. 4 event.

“I wasn’t always 119-120 pound,” said Knull, 44, of Grayslake. “I did go through my own weight-loss thing. I know the perseverance it takes. I’d like to run in honor of that.”

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