A particularly proud group of “losers” is set to compete in the annual San Francisco Triathlon on Treasure Island this weekend.
Fifty former contestants on the popular NBC show “The Biggest Loser” are signed up to be among the 1,000-plus athletes competing in two days worth of racing that includes Olympic distance and sprint triathlons and 5- and 10-kilometer fun runs, race spokeswoman Colleen Bousman said.
The hit show, which has nine seasons under its belt, pits overweight contestants in a competition to lose weight and reclaim their health.
Season 9 winner Michael Ventrella and finalists Ashley Johnston and Daris George are among the former contestants set to compete, race officials said. Most will endure the Olympic distance triathlon, Bousman said.
Coleen Skeabeck, the popular Season 6 contestant who lost 51 pounds before being voted off the show in the ninth week, said she will race the Olympic distance event for a second straight year.
Last year, Skeabeck had only one week to prepare, having been nudged into racing at the last minute. A hill climb during the bicycle portion was particularly brutal, she said. This year, she’s had more time to train and said she’s ready to shatter her time.
“When I cross the finish line, no one can take that away from me,” Skeabeck said.
A strong bond has formed between contestants whose lives were forever changed due to the show, she said. While still struggling to lose weight, Skeabeck said she has maintained what she lost during the show.
“I don’t feel like the same person I used to be,” she said. “I feel better. I’m excited to ... race a race or get up and be me in the morning.”
Her career has taken a drastic turn since the show. Once a receptionist, she said she’s now a model and actress, writes for a website and works at a bakery cafe in Cleveland.
Catch a glimpse of the action and reality TV celebrities from “The Biggest Loser” this weekend at the various races.
• 5K and 10K
• Olympic distance triathlon: 1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run (nonelite)
• Olympic distance triathlon: 1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run (elite)
• Sprint distance triathlon: 0.5K swim, 20K bike, 5K run
Note: Registration for the 5K and 10K fun runs is still open. While online registration has closed, participants can sign up at the site. More details are available at www.tricalifornia.com.