If you have ever felt awkward with, embarrassed by, or way too self-conscious of your body shape and size to go out jogging - not to mention join in a public 5K event – then the Fat Boy 5k is exactly what you have been waiting for all these years.

One of the unique aspects of the Baton Rouge Fat Boy 5k is that it utilizes a wave-style starting system - the Fat Boy 5k's wave start is determined according to the weight of the individual runners. And the progression of weight divisions at the starting line goes from heaviest to lightest, meaning the more a runner weighs, the earlier he or she will begin the race.

The grand inspiration behind the Fat Boy 5k Race blossomed out of a relatively small group of friends in Baton Rouge, who also just happened to like running with one another. They started self-deprecatingly referring to their happy little crew as the Fat Boy Running Club. The unofficial inaugural running of the Baton Rouge Fat Boy 5k was 1985, with the slightly more organized version starting in 1991.

Ben Cherbonnier and Don Phelps, two of the original founders of the Fat Boy Running Club, listed the following as some of the quirky qualifications you need to exhibit in order to join their club:

  • The ability to at least slow down when passing a Baskin Robbins
  • You have earned the moniker, “buffet buster”, at all-you-can-eat joints
  • Your idea of a light diet is to begin eating as soon as it gets light
  • Drinking light beer is acceptable only if you are able to get enough of it
  • Your ideal weight at race time is a perpetual myth
  • Your P.R. is expressed on the Richter Scale

The Fat Boy 5k has since spread outward from Baton Rouge, like a never-ending maple-frosted longjohn, reaching all the way to New Orleans and Las Vegas. And with pre-race donuts and chocolate milk, followed by post-race Moon Pies, Mockler beverages and Manda Sausage Po-boys, its popularity can only rise, like those pre-race pastries, after about the 3k mark.