Ryan Sutter may be famous for winning the first season of “The Bachelorette,” but he’s also one heck of an athlete. This Colorado native played for the Carolina Panthers, completed two IRONMAN races and finished the Blueprint for Athletes Leadville Trail 100 MTB a total of seven times. Plus he works for the Vail Fire Department and serves on the Vail Mountain Rescue Group.
This year, Ryan’s looking to add a Leadman finish to his resumé. Read on to see what drove him to take on this epic challenge.
What inspired you to sign up for Leadman?
I guess it was a moment of weakness or insanity, but after crashing in the LT100 MTB last year and having my shoulder rebuilt I wanted a “get back on the horse” challenge. This is it.
Would you say you’re a stronger biker or runner?
Biker. I don’t run much.
Which discipline do you enjoy more and why?
I love biking. It has become my favorite activity, especially mountain biking, for the opportunities it provides in both physical and mental health as well as the incredible places it takes you.
Which event are you most excited about and why?
The finish of the LT100 Run — for obvious reasons.
Which event are you most apprehensive about and why?
The LT100 Run — again for obvious reasons.
Tell us a bit about your racing history. How is racing in Leadville different from some of the other events you’ve done?
I’ve done everything from IRONMAN events to local 5k fun runs. Leadville is special because of its immense challenge and the overwhelming community support.
What are some tips and tricks you’ve learned from other races that you’ll use to finish Leadman?
There are going to be difficult moments — moments in which you’d like to quit. Don’t.
What are some of your favorite moments from the LT100 MTB races you’ve done?
I always enjoy the ride up to the finish line and the hugs from my family.
What’s your nutrition strategy for the 100s?
Eat early and often.
How’s your training going?
I guess we’ll find out…
How do you manage your training schedule in addition to working and having a family?
I make it fun and less important than family if the two are competing for time.
Who will be crewing/pacing for you this year?
The First Descents crew has always had my back. They are the best!
Tell us about your work with the Vail Mountain Rescue Group. Do you think this could give you an advantage in Leadman?
I actually do more with the Vail Fire Department than VMR, but both provide a foundation in strong work ethic and situational awareness that will be useful.
Besides racing, what are some of your favorite things to do in Leadville?
I enjoy strolling around, getting coffee and camping at Twin Lakes.
Best of luck to Ryan and all of our Leadman competitors as they tackle the LT100 MTB and Leadville 10K this weekend followed by the LT100 Run on August 20.