COLUMBIA — Former “The Biggest Loser” TV contestant Rebecca Meyer completed the 10K race Saturday morning in downtown Columbia at the Roots ‘N’ Blues ‘N’ BBQ Festival.
Meyer, Season 8 at-home prize winner from NBC’s hit show, ran the race to kick off her "50 in 50 by 30" campaign. Her goal is to run in at least one race in all 50 states by her 30th birthday on March 15, 2014.
“After I lost 140 pounds, I wanted to keep the momentum,” she said. “I love to run, and I get a chance to experience the United States as a changed individual.”
After today’s race, Meyer seemed to light up with the music and smell of barbecue in the air. Reflecting on why she chose Columbia for her first race this fall, Meyer said, “It is close to home and looked like a really great place. I've never been in Columbia. Everyone has been very nice. It just shows that the average person can run in a race and be supported and cheered on."
Meyer plans to participate in eight races this fall and has 44 states to complete before she turns 30. Leigh McGivern, Meyer's spokeswoman, said, "She is looking forward to adding more triathlons next year. Ten-Ks are her favorite type of race, but she also does other races such as 5Ks and triathlons.”
Meyer's boyfriend and fellow "The Biggest Loser" contestant Daniel Wright participated in the 10K with her Saturday and plans on entering all of the races with Meyer except for one —Women's Running Magazine Half Marathon in Tempe, Ariz., on Nov. 6.
Wright also seemed to appreciate the festival's atmosphere, saying, "I actually won an amateur barbecue competition between friends a few weeks ago."
Meyer has been training for the past two years off and on. She had skin-removal surgery at the end of April that made it easier for her to run, but it prevented her from training until July.
While talking about her experience on “The Biggest Loser,” she said, "For me it was finding my inner athlete. I'm a forever changed individual. I love being able to go for a run. I like the race because it's kind of a competition, but I'm not taking myself too seriously."
Meyer, who completed this morning’s race in a little over an hour, says she’s not stick-thin and “an every day sort of woman who is an athlete. I’m living proof that you can do it. That’s why I get out of bed in the morning.”