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5 Biggest Losers Complete the Ironman Triathlon to Become Elite Athletes after the Ranch

A 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run. These are the daunting distances that make up a full Ironman triathlon. Many superior athletes don’t even take a second look at these races because they’re simply so demanding. The training, the discipline, and the excruciating race are all just too much for most to handle. However, a new unlikely trend seems to be taking place within the Ironman. The least likely of competitors are throwing their hat in the ring and chasing that fateful moment when the announcer says, “You are an Ironman!”.

biggest loser ironman

This surprising group is comprised of Biggest Loser contestants. People who entered a television reality show morbidly obese and then moved on to complete what is possibly the toughest physical feat on the planet – these elite individuals are hardly losers.

There have been five Biggest Loser contestants who have completed an Ironman, and they are Tara Costa (BL7), Hollie Self (BL4), Jay Kruger (BL5), Ali Vincent (BL5), and Matt Hoover (BL2). One theme seems to be shared among them all – finding out just how far they could push themselves drove them to take on their biggest challenge yet.

“…being on the Biggest Loser, you quickly learn that you can do so much more than what you think is possible if you just try,” said Tara Costa, a finalist in season 7.

All of the finishers say something to the effect that being on the show showed them that they were much more capable than they previously thought and once they were off the show, they needed another huge challenge to keep proving that to themselves.
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Biggest Loser Reunion with 30 Contestants in Thanksgiving Where Are They Now Special

Whatever happened to your favorite Biggest Loser contestants? Well, wonder no more as this Thanksgiving Biggest Loser will air a two-hour special taking in to the private lives of many of the show’s alumni. More than 30 contestants will appear on “Where Are They Now” to show you how their weight loss has changed their lives and how they look today.

Growing as popular for its love stories as it has for its weight loss success stories, you’ll get to watch the romantic proposal of season 9′s Sam and Stephanie, who recently visited the brand new Biggest Loser Resort in Malibu with Daris George. Not only that, but get access to the recent Lake Tahoe wedding of season 5 at-home winner Bernie Salazar to Jennifer, the cousin of his teammate Brittany Aberle.

You’ll see that these Losers really do walk the walk when it comes to fitness, as 50 of them meet to take on the San Francisco Triathlon, which took place this past summer. Representatives from every season since 2 participated, including Tara Costa, Ed Brantley and Brady and Vicky Vilcan. Plus, see pretty-in-pink Ali Vincent and Sherry Johnston appear at the Biggest Loser 5K event in Myrtle Beach, powered by the slogan “Don’t compete…just complete.”
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Interview with Biggest Loser’s Jerry Skeabeck

If you are looking for the interview with week 4 eliminee, Ed Brantley, please click here.

Listen below for audio interview with Biggest Loser’s Jerry Skeabeck. To start the audio simply click the pink play button.

He became the victim of one of Biggest Loser: Families‘ first real twists of the season. Ali announced that only one team would fall below the yellow line, and that the elimination would have to take place between the family and send only one person home. jerry skeabeckWith Jerry Skeabeck‘s two-pound weight gain during his Week 3 weigh-in, he and daughter Coleen fell below that dreaded line. It quickly turned into one of the most emotional eliminations ever, comparable of that from season five with brothers Mark and Jay Kruger.

Jerry said it was just as difficult to go through as it was for us at home to watch, and they really did give it some serious thought as to which one of them would leave. He explained that his daughter was “hell-bent” on him staying there. Ultimately, they decided to send Jerry back to Cleveland, home of his beloved Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Indians. After his follow-up segment at the end of Biggest Loser last night, there’s no doubt that he’s making his daughter very proud, and will likely be around to walk her down the aisle just as she’d hoped.
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Interview with Biggest Loser’s Jay Kruger

These interviews with the Biggest Loser eliminees are rather bittersweet. It’s always exciting to have a chance to visit with them. How often do we grow somewhat attached to characters on TV, but never have the opportunity to actually talk to them? That’s the bitter side- that in talking to them, it means I’ve spent the past three months growing attached and now they’re gone. Jay Kruger is definitely one of those. As Ali said last night, he’s the sweet teddy bear in the Biggest Loser house. Jay was likable from the start and made all the more charming with that good ‘ole Boston accent.

As part of the final five, he and his brother the last “couples” team standing, and the tallest member of the all-man blue team, Jay made his departure from Biggest Loser and Australia last night. He selflessly asked to be eliminated after falling below the yellow line with his brother Mark. Here are a few favorite excerpts from our conversation and you can hear the interview in its entirety below.

It was nice that you got to stick around long enough to go to Australia with the final five. What was the most memorable part of being in Australia?
Ahh Geeze! There were so many great things that happened in Australia. For me, it was the bridge climb. Earlier in the season I had the fear of heights and I had to conquer that on the zip line. Then the bridge climb, you couldn’t smack the smile off my face! You could see the opera house and the Olympic stadium from there. It was a magnificent view and to be there with people you care about. I looked at Roger and said “Do you realize right now we’re on top of the bottom of the world?” It was the greatest part of the whole trip.

Jay and Roger Biggest LoserRoger said after you had been eliminated that “everyone watched you grow out of your brother’s shadow.” How did that comment make you feel and is it accurate?
I was crying when he said it and I was crying last night. I do think it was accurate. One thing I’ve taken away from this whole thing, being on Biggest Loser doesn’t just work on the outside in losing weight. You also work on the inside. You find out why you get to that point in the first place- where you’re just overweight. I was a grumpy individual before I came here. I lacked self-confidence. Through this experience I’ve gained so much self-confidence.

Roger is accurate because I grew out of his shadow and became my own person. My wife has seen that in the weeks I’ve been home. I’m more confident. It’s going to make me a better father, husband friend with everyone I come in contact with.

Last night in Where Are They Now- you talked about your daughter, Lindsey, and the 10K run you’re doing for the Beckwith-Wiedemann Organization. When is that run and how is all of that going?
We haven’t worked out a date yet. My wife is working with the city of New Bedford to nail down a date, possibly June. We’re Looking forward to raising money and awareness for a syndrome that when our daughter was born we didn’t know anything about it. It effects 1 in 14,000 kids. They came to us after she born and I thought, ‘give her a pill and let’s get going.’ But it doesn’t work that way. My wife has taken the bull by the horns on that. She’s the vice president of the children’s organization. She’s helped so many families and getting awareness out.

jay biggest loserIs there a place where people can go to make a donation?
Beckwith-Wiedemann Children’s Foundation, that’s the web site. You can make donations there. Thank you so much!

I told Jay how I had a good cry last night watching his elimination. (It was my Cry of the Week). He said “I was trying to hold back the tears myself. I think I cried as much last night as when it really happened.” I told him my husband caught me crying and asked what was wrong, I responded tearfully that they let Jay go. “Blue team’s crying again! That’s what’s wrong!” was Jay’s response. “I read somewhere that someone said instead of ‘Pride on Three’ it’s ‘Cry on Three.’ I Love that!” Thank you, Jay!

Listen to the full interview with Jay below

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