KATHIE and Jose Alonso were two of the real winners at the Greater Bank Jacaranda Fun Run in Grafton on Sunday.
The Ipswich couple crossed the finish line of the 10km event together in a time of one hour, two minutes and 29 seconds - some 26 minutes behind overall winner Celia Sullohern (36.18).
"We're not saying we're fast," Kathie said.
"But we didn't come last," Jose added.
But it wasn't their final placing of 56th and 57th out of 65 that made them winners. Between them, Kathie and Jose have lost 60kg in the past 12 months.
Their visit to Grafton was the litmus test to the next step in their weight loss adventure.
"We like travelling and have started running, so next year we're doing a 10km fun run in every state of Australia," Kathie said.
"We're starting with Orange in February and our last one will be in the Northern Territory on July 28."
The couple drove from their home in Ipswich and pitched a tent at Grafton Showground for the weekend. The logistics of organising trips away from work was the real test - not the physical endurance.
"This one was to see if it's a stupid idea or not," Jose said.
They have a Facebook page and Instagram account using the hashtag #BigHeartsLittleSteps.
Self-confessed 'life-long fatties', Kathie said it was her daughter who first inspired them to begin the weight-loss journey.
"My daughter was only 14 and wanted to start losing weight. I thought I can't tell her how to do it, so I'll have to do it with her."
So far Kathie has lost 42kg and Jose 18kg.
"My weight loss goal is 48kg. I've still got 6kg to go.
"I carried a 20kg bag the other day and I thought to myself how did I used to carry an extra 40 kilos?"
Alonso said to stay motivated he has simply imagined he is carrying around tons of butter.
Running has played a major part in the process. But organised fun runs did not enter the picture until a recently and Grafton was their first 10km race.
"We think if we can do it at our age, anyone can."