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The Slow AF Run Club: The Club for Every Body with Martinus Evans (Summer Series #4.3)

Martinus Evans is the dynamic force behind SlowAF Run Club, pioneering a revolution in running culture for people who might not see themselves taking part in the hobby. Featured in The New York Times, Evans champions inclusivity, redefining success in a world obsessed with pace. With his infectious enthusiasm, he inspires a global community to embrace their journey, no matter the speed. In this movement, the finish line isn’t the goal—it’s the journey itself.



About Our Guest:

The standard body-type narratives for almost every sport or fitness activity are breaking down. People who used to think that various fitness activities were not for them—because they were too fat, too short, too tall, too inflexible, etc.—are now diving into them wholeheartedly, and new landscapes are opening that will be good for everyone. These people are now outspoken about the potential of finding their sport at any size, and Martinus Evans is one of the extraordinary pioneering people leading an expanding community. 

He’s helping to open up new possibilities for larger-bodied people in the running world, and people are really starting to take notice. In the last few years, Martinus has been on the cover of Runner’s World and The New York Times (twice!), has appeared in an Adidas ad, and has even posed nude for Men’s Health magazine.

Now, he has founded the Slow AF Run Club, a community of over 16,000 members worldwide, for which he’s been celebrated in The New York Post, CBC, and on Good Morning America. As he nears 100,000 followers on Instagram, (@300poundsandrunning) it’s simple to see that the time has come for a voice to arise for the “back-of-the-pack” running community, and talk about size-inclusivity in general.

In this interview, Martinus shares fresh perspectives that can help all of us break out of our limiting beliefs about fitness, and how they relate to our particular body types. His message is not confined to folks who are heavy; it is for everyone who has ever felt limited by their weight, height, flexibility, athleticism, or anything else about their body, in any way. 

He helps us all know what to say to ourselves after we hear the voice inside our heads saying, “Oh, I can’t do this…I need to lose weight (or do something else) first.” Martinus points out:

“To other people, my weight and body are tied to my identity. For me, my identity is more tied to running and providing joy and inspiration to people who’ve been told they can’t do it. I give them all the reasons why they can.”

Martinus Evans

Martinus’s story is a compelling one, and will be all too familiar to people with larger bodies. In June 2012, when he weighed nearly 400 pounds, he visited a doctor about a hip injury after an automobile accident, and the doctor seemed uninterested in talking about anything else but his weight. The doctor’s dismissive, demoralizing comments lit a spark in Martinus, and his response to the doctor was that he planned to start running marathons.

After training for 16 weeks, he entered the Detroit Marathon in October 2013.

Since then, he’s also coached hundreds of runners through the Slow AF Run Club, as well as the book he authored, Slow AF Run Club: The Ultimate Guide for Anybody Who Wants to Run. When he’s not running races around the world, he enjoys speaking passionately about issues related to size-inclusivity, mindset, DEI, and mental health.

Anyone who has had issues with their weight or body image can relate to Martinus’ story in some way, and all of the times he has spoken on it in the past make it easier for others to come out and share similar experiences, forming community and creating joy out of what was once a lonely struggle.

ALL MY LIFE, I had to fight. From when this girl in first grade told me my titties were bigger than hers, up until my junior year in high school when I played football, it sucked to be big. 

But once I started playing football, my body became a commodity for sports, so I was “the man” to a certain extent. I went from being big fatty to being big sexy. But taking my shirt off around other players in the locker room still made me self-conscious. When I got a car, I would change clothes in my car. 

Deep down, I believed that being fat meant I was worthless. I felt like my thoughts, feelings and emotions were invalid―I was fat, and it was my fault.

Martinus Evans, Men’s Health

I could definitely plug my own details into that story and relate. I have struggled with my genetics for being a “big girl” since I was a child, at a time when the influencer aptly named “Twiggy” became the gold standard for women’s body-types. 

He told another story in the same interview that many can likely relate to―something that happened in his first race:

A little more than halfway through the marathon, a bus that picks up people along the way―asking if they’re injured or things of that sort―came by, and the bus driver said to me, “Hey, big man, you need a ride?” I was like, “No, I’m good.” Then after every mile, he’d come back asking, “Hey, why don’t you come on here, big guy? I can take you to the finish line.”

He was throwing seeds of doubt in my head. 

Finally, at around mile 25 or 26, the guy came back saying, “Hey, I’ll take you to the finish line.” I remember going off on him like, “Yo, I’m only a mile away from the finish line. Why the f**k would I get on the bus?”

Then he said something like, “I’m just trying to help your fat ass out.”

I finished the marathon, and when I crossed the finish line, I was euphoric. I felt unstoppable, finally acknowledging my body’s strength. This feeling couldn’t be reduced by any negative comment, so I completed more races, proving to myself that I could do anything, regardless of my size. I stopped counting how many more races I’ve run after 100.

Martinus Evans, Men’s Health

Those are just two of Martinus’ countless stories that will breathe life into that spark of an impulse you’ve been having—the one to start biking, walking, swimming, or to pick up a childhood sport that you once loved again. 

I recommend you listen to this one only after first setting aside the limiting beliefs that people and society might have laid on you. Think of the beauty and wonder of the body you have, and what it can already do, and then celebrate the fact that you can start now, enjoying the delight in movement of any kind. 

Movement, sport, and play are inherently human activities, and no body size or shape is “wrong” for any of them. If it brings you joy, that is all that matters. Find what works for you, and start proudly at the back of the pack!

References Mentioned:


  • 00:00 – Intro & Welcome
  • 03:20 – Martinus’ Journey
  • 14:08 – Insights from “Slow AF Run Club”
  • 19:15 – Break
  • 21:30 – What is Slow AF Run Club?
  • 25:22 – Benefits to Being Active
  • 26:27 – Weight Loss Myths
  • 30:30 – The Progression of Size Inclusivity
  • 37:41 – Advice for Your Younger Self
  • 42:11 – Martinus’ Peak Moments
  • 46:27 – Closing

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