The Real Deal

Ryan Sutter announced his participation in the 2012 GORE-TEX TransRockies Run with teammate Johnny LoFaro.
Whether or not you are a fan of reality TV, you have probably heard of Ryan Sutter.  He became a household name in 2003 when he won the heart (and hand) of the Season One Bachelorette, Trista Rehn.   But unlike most in the reality television arena, Sutter has admirably chosen the pursuit of more meaningful things in life, over pursuit of the spotlight.  He remains grounded in his quiet life as husband, father, and firefighter in Vail, Colorado, making use of his public persona primarily to benefit the causes he cares about
Firefighting is one of the most physically demanding careers, so it is no surprise that Sutter is a dedicated and diversified athlete.  His background includes, among other things, professional football, triathlon, mountain bike racing, and trail racing.  Sutter sees his engagement in extreme physical challenges as an opportunity to raise money and awareness for his favorite charities.  
Rapidly approaching on Sutter's race calendar is an altitude-filled sufferfest most athletes would find unthinkable.  In August, and within a painfully short 10-day timeframe, Sutter will complete the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race, rest for two days, then embark on the 116-mile GORE-TEX TransRockies Run.
“Racing the TransRockies and Leadville ʻdoubleʼ will be the most epic 10 days of racing of my life,” Sutter said. “There will be times when I will feel like I simply cannot pedal one more stroke or scurry up any more vertical, but I will have my amazing teammate from the fire department [LoFaro] keeping me motivated, along with the inspiration of knowing I am contributing to two hugely meaningful charitable organizations.”
Sutter and LoFaro will be racing on behalf of FirstDescents, which provides empowering outdoor adventures to young cancer survivors, and GrassRoot Soccer, an HIV-awareness organization founded by friend and fellow reality-alumnus, Ethan Zohn. 
The GORE-TEX TransRockies Run is a six-day stage race, August 14-19, from Buena Vista to Beaver Creek, Colorado.  Check the website to follow these remarkable firefighters on their quest to make a difference. 
--Lori Lyons