News, events and stories from the Prairie Fire Marathon.

Running Brought Derrick Mead a 60 Pound Weight Loss and a Big Goal

I’ve never considered myself a runner. It always seemed strange to say out loud. I’m a basketball guy. Played all my life, some in college. My brother Jon went to State Cross Country all 4 years in High School and currently coaches Track & Field at Argonia High School. It was just never “my thing.”


Last August 1, I realized how overweight and out of shape I was, and had to do something. So I began eating better, and took up running. Light stuff at first, maybe 10-15 miles per week. As the weight came off, the miles went up. I have now lost almost 65 pounds, and am currently running 45-50 miles per week.

Derrick Mead is fundraising for his Alma Mater as he trains for his first full marathon, the Prairie Fire Marathon


I ran my first Half Marathon in Wichita in April. I didn’t do nearly as well as I’d hoped. I was still nursing an ankle injury (from playing basketball, go figure), and wasn’t prepared for the rainy conditions—or the distance itself, quite honestly. I’m confident I would now smash my time from that day, regardless of conditions.







In addition to training for the Prairie Fire Marathon (my first ever) this October, I decided to do some good in the process. I’ve always wanted to give something back to my beloved small hometown of Pretty Prairie, KS (pop. 680). So I started a fundraiser, and have been attempting to run 1 mile for every $1 raised since May 11 in preparation. Every cent will go to support Pretty Prairie High School sports programs—Go Bulldogs!


It took me awhile, but I can finally admit that I thoroughly enjoy running. Still sounds weird to say out loud sometimes, though.


If you’d like to assist in my fundraiser, or at least keep up on how it’s going, you can follow me on Twitter (@derkfor3), or contact me via email: derkfor3@hotmail