Tanner Kern is a former Division I football player. During his college career, Tanner made an immediate impact as he started as a true freshman on the offensive line. Despite his early success, recurring concussions throughout his playing career would start to sideline him following his freshman season. He would take an early medical retirement from football.
Life after football was a difficult adjustment for Tanner as he had to discover a new identity. He was no longer playing a sport that had been a critical part of his life for the past 13 years. Severe post concussive syndrome symptoms as well as substantial weight gain were major issues he experienced in the years that followed his medical retirement. Before his weight loss journey began, Tanner tipped the scale at just over 340 pounds with a body fat percentage of 43%. Tanner experienced multiple life changing events after receiving his clinically obese diagnosis which made him substitute his old lifestyle and start the long journey to find a brand new identity.
Tanner in his first start for Lafayette College as a freshman in 2015
Since 2017, Tanner has lost 140 pounds and has fell in love with running. He has completed a multitude of races including The Hartford Marathon in 2019 and The Disney Marathon in 2020. Tanner also prides himself on running for a cause. This past April, Tanner ran 100 miles in 35 hours for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. His most recent ultra venture occurred from June 12th until June 18th. Tanner and his cousin, Jordan Tucker, ran 260 miles from the US/Canada border to Bloomfield, Connecticut benefiting Foodshare which is a non-profit organization fighting hunger in the Greater Hartford Connecticut area. They spent 60 hours and 50 minutes on their feet and averaged a 14 minute pace over the course of 260 miles. Tanner's story is a true testament of discipline and hard work, but it was not an overnight change. Throughout his journey, Tanner had many triumphant moments, but also numerous failures that molded him into the person he is today. Tanner adapted the mantra "It's a Process" back at the start of his weight loss journey and continues to use this phrase in his everyday life.
"I run ultra distances because I crave the tough times. I crave those moments when you think that you have nothing left and you end up coming out on the other side where greatness is standing."