The final four contestants are back and ready to take part in a piece of BL history. For the first time ever, the remaining contestants must participate in a full marathon -- 26.2 miles through the hills of California! Before the sun has risen, the final four, along with special helpers, are milling about, fueling up, and trying not to be intimidated by the monumental task in front of them.
On Alison's go, all four of them take off at a good pace, excited to meet up with their running partners in a few miles. Tara and Helen are neck and neck, with Mike and Ron bringing up the rear at a steady pace. Each contestant is being followed by a van that contains medical supplies, snacks, and anything else they might need along the way.
Everyone's running buddies meet up with them at mile four and keep them company for a while. Russell, Helen's husband, runs with her for a bit, and Mike, a friend of Tara's from back home, helps her keep her steady pace. Meanwhile Max has met up with Mike, and together they walk, covering the miles slowly but surely.
Tara and Helen continue to keep the pace, and have an off-camera surprise when Dr. Huizenga "Dr. H" (BL's doctor extraordinaire) and JD Roth, (executive producer) join them both and run with them for several miles. The halfway point brings them a couple of surprises, the first being that their path has taken them directly past the BL campus from Season 4 (CSU Channel Islands) and an even bigger one when they come upon Michelle Aguilar, winner of Season 6! Michelle joins the women on their run for awhile, and they meet up with Heba Salama, Season 6 at-home winner. Familiar faces from BL continue to "hand off" the runners to each other, with all the competitors running at times with not only Michelle and Heba but also Ali Vincent, BL's first female winner; Bernie Salazar, Season 5 at-home winner; and Jim Germanakos, Season 4 at-home winner. With each new face, the runners break into a smile and get re-energized.
Tara in particular has a smile on her face the entire time, and chats animatedly with whomever she is running with. Helen is not far behind, and at different mile markers, whoops out, "I'm doing it! I'm doing it!" Meanwhile, the Morellis continue their pace, with Ron using a cane to help him stabilize himself on the many ups and downs of the course. Mike, who is struggling with an injury, also keeps a steady walk going. Today's challenge is more about finishing a journey as opposed to having a specific winner; everyone who completes it will be able to donate $10,000 to a charity of their choice.
Eventually the course brings them to the beach, and so begins a downhill swoop to the finish line. Jillian meets up with Tara with a mile left to go, and runs with her as she finishes her first marathon in a remarkable 4 hours and 55 minutes! A little under an hour later, Helen crosses the finish line with her husband and her trainer at 5 hours and 48 minutes. While Tara appears to be unfazed by the whopping distance she's just covered, chatting with Bob and Alison and munching on snacks, Helen's body is feeling the pain, and she has the set medic wrap her in ice and stretch her out. She is just glowing though, and is all smiles as she goes into the trailer reserved for the cast to rest with her husband.
Three hours pass, and Helen and Tara continue to mill about the set, chatting with everyone -- the pressure now over for them. Tara, Bob, and Alison take a few Facebook pics, while Jillian leaves to run errands in Malibu for a bit. Jillian meets up with Mike for his last mile and as they laugh and joke, Mike steals the 26-mile marker, being egged on by Jillian, who says, "If I ever finish an entire marathon, I'm taking EVERY sign!" At 8 hrs and 58 minutes, Mike and Jillian cross the finish line, both with big smiles.
After Mike's finish, everyone breaks again for a bit, as Ron is still trucking along the course with the rest of the BL guests. Jim, Bernie, Ali, Michelle, and Heba have all joined him, and they keep him company along the walk. Soon, Tara, Helen, Mike, Jillian, and Bob all go out to join Ron for his final mile. As Ron comes upon the beach, everyone in the area is cheering -- bystanders, crew, and everyone walking with Ron. At 13:15:49, everyone is screaming as Ron crosses the finish line, holding hands with Mike.
Tears are everywhere, and it is a moment where all the competition has been pushed aside, and everyone present takes a moment to celebrate the accomplishments of the final four players! After the checks have been presented and the cameras have wrapped, group pictures of Alison and all the past and present BL contestants are taken, and everyone is exhausted, but happy.