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!”.
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. (more…)
Tara Costa first caught our hearts during The Biggest Loser season 7, and she’s gone on to do some great things, including training for her first Ironman. Her favorite part of the grueling race? “It’s definitely the camaraderie amongst the athletes. Ever since the first race I participated in, I realized how giving and inspiring all the athletes are,” Costa said. “I am so blessed to have the opportunity to participate and be pushed by elite athletes.”
If you would have told her a few years ago she’d be competing with world class athletes, Costa wouldn’t have believed it. She sees the race as a testament to how far she’s come. “I also love when I see the finish line. Each time I have the finish line in sight, I realize that I am doing something that I would never have been able to do years back. The finish line reminds me of how far I have come and how you can do anything you set your mind to do.”
Aside from continuing to push herself physically, Costa’s been hard at work creating her own foundation Kicks4Kids. This program, designed to supply under privileged children with new sneakers and a playbook, will provide the child different exercise games/activities to help them achieve the daily 60 minutes of exercise that is currently recommended. Kicks4Kids is set to launch in Hawaii in October, coinciding with the Ford Ironman World Championship that Costa will run.
Tara recently discussed the Inspire Change Foundation during a guest appearance on the current season on The Biggest Loser.
After competing on The Biggest Loser in season seven, Tara Costa knew she didn’t want to go back to her old finance job. “I knew that I wanted to continue down the path of helping people, and helping people never feel the way I felt at 300 pounds,” she told DietsInReview in an interview yesterday. “Realistically, it’s a horrible feeling to never be able to feel comfortable in your own skin.” Tara knew she wanted to be involved with helping people live healthier lives on a daily basis. “It always stemmed from, ‘How can I make a difference?’ ”
Tara answered this question in two ways. The first was to return to school and pursue her masters in physical education. The second was to found the Inspire Change Foundation. Tara explains that the mission of Inspire Change is “to help both children and adults to lead healthier lives and to embrace change, and not be fearful of it.”
Over the past year, Tara and her team led by executive director Michelle Robie have worked to turn her idea into a reality. “A lot of time, a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into creating everything,” Tara says. The foundation’s first project is Kicks 4 Kids, which will provide athletic shoes to children from kindergarten through eight grade who would not otherwise be able to afford them. Their goal for 2011 is to donate over 500 pairs of shoes to kids in at least 10 cities in the U.S.
Meanwhile, back on the ranch! That’s right, bye bye New Zealand, hello the daily grind of the Ranch! The contestants go back to the daily rigors they had grown so accustomed to and there are many adjustments that need to be made now. It’s the final stretch of the competition. What’s in store for the contestants? (more…)
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.
The Biggest Loser reunion episode, “Where are They Now,” aired on Tuesday, November 25, 2009. The two-hour program featured 40 contestants from seasons one through seven and while we would love to highlight each of the former contestants, here are a few notable mentions.
Going in to the Biggest Loser 7 finale, Tara Costa was as close as you get to a sure thing. She was an immediate competitor on the Biggest Loser ranch, winning a record-breaking 12 challenges and losing 135 pounds while on campus, more than any other woman in the show’s history. However, last night, Helen Phillips swept the win out from underneath her.
It all started 17 weeks ago. Eleven couples began a journey to change their lives. This journey has given the final four contestants the ability to see what they are capable of. Ron, Helen, Tara and Mike have all been sent home for thirty days and will return to the ranch for one final weigh-in before the finale. This weigh-in will determine who is in the finale as the final three. It’s up to the contestants to find balance at home and make a system that works for their lives. As if transforming your home life to match your new body wasn’t tough enough, everyone receives a surprise package at their doorstep. (more…)
Once again, Biggest Loser is leaving the fate of its contestants in your hands America. Tara and Helen secured their positions as finalists tonight, but the third finalist is yet to be named. It’s a “worst case scenario” for father-son team Ron and Mike, as they fell below the yellow line together. One will go on to compete for the coveted Biggest Loser title and the $250,000 prize, while the other vies for the $100,000 at-home prize.
The journey of Laura Denoux on the Biggest Loser can simply be summed up by two milestones. The first, early on in the season Jillian Michaels called her “the weakest link” on the team and publicly called her out for bringing down the team. The second, her final weigh-in displayed a +3 gain that would send her home after an emotional farewell with Jillian.
These events show Laura’s growth from disinterested to completely focused on changing her life. She says Jillian’s earlier assessment was fair because she didn’t believe in herself at that time. Then she slowly started realizing she wanted to be there, she started to get it and that she loves diet and exercise. A stress fracture in her hip limited the exercise she could do in the last week, contributed to a weight gain and she was eliminated. (more…)
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