Hundreds participate in Biggest Loser RunWalk in Las Cruces

Hundreds participate in Biggest Loser RunWalk in Las Cruces
Sunday, January 26, 2014 - 6:59pm

Hundreds of people from 29 different states took part in the Biggest Loser RunWalk in Las Cruces Sunday morning.

Former contestants of the hit NBC show were in town to help inspire and motivate others to begin their journey to a healthier lifestyle.

"I have a starting point now, so I'm just going to work my way from there.," said Jarmeea Otten, after she crossed the finish line.

Otten is stationed at Holloman Air Force Base and said she has to complete a mile and a half under a certain time.

But after giving birth seven weeks ago, she said she hasn't ran in more than a year and has been using the show as inspiration to get back into shape.

"I'm watching season 14 right now and I can't wait until the finale," she said.

Naturally, when she heard the Biggest Loser RunWalk was coming to Las Cruces she had to participate.

Otten had the opportunity to meet with Francelina Morillo from Season 14 who she said has helped motivate her.

"I like when they start on the show versus when they finish," she said. "That's a big inspiration to me."

Contestants from various seasons were on hand to meet with participants and share their stories with them.

"There's people here trying something out for the first time and realizing it's something they can accomplish," said Season 8 contestant Rebecca Meyer.

The Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau, who organized the event, said the show's popularity is what helped draw about 2300 people from 29 states.

"Everybody is just so happy we were able to bring this to town," said Las Cruces CVB Sports Sales Manager Ed Carnathan.

The RunWalk is designed to be a friendly non-judgmental event to help people get off the couch and pursue a healthier life.

Meyer said that's why participants are cheered from start to finish.

"It's that last little push that you didn't think you could do it and that's why we stand there and just tell them they can do it," Meyer said.

For participant Simon Hughes from Las Cruces, he made a friend along the 5K route and they motivated each other all the way to the finish line.

"We ran all the way across to the end supporting each other and that's what it's all about," Hughes said.

Hughes and his new friend plan on keeping in touch and working together toward a healthier lifestyle.

He said the RunWalk was the motivation he needed to keep going.

"One of the Biggest Loser contestants was saying you start doing it and you get addicted and I can see what she means," Hughes said. "It's such a great feeling knowing you've done it."

Karla Ochoa, who traveled from Albuquerque for the RunWalk, said the show has inspired her for several years in her weight loss battle.

She said running a 5K with former contestants was a must.

"The pain is temporary but the feeling of accomplishment is everlasting so you want to be feeling good about yourself," Ochoa said.

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