Grace Ragland: Find A Way to Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Endurance Mountain Biker, Inspirational Speaker, Living a Successful Life with MS 

By, Grace Ragland
 
Grace Ragland 

My name is Grace Ragland (named after my grandmother) and I am a true-to-life southern belle, who just so happens to enjoy playing in the dirt. Life has lead me to a direction of being single, yet living life to the fullest. At this point and time, I travel the country speaking about living a successful life with MS 'aka' Multiple Sclerosis along with racing and instructing mountain biking. Although I did grow up in Chattanooga, Tennessee where my family resides, Huntsville, Alabama has become the place where my heart falls.

For most of my life I’ve been a very athletic, outdoorsy girl. In my younger days I was a long distance runner, enjoyed rock climbing, and kayaked some crazy water. However, my one true love is mountain biking. I first learned of the sport after I graduated from college when, while on a back-packing trip out west, I rode my first mountain bike (long before anyone had heard of such a thing). When I was a competitive trail runner I found myself tripping over my foot which is affected with MS and falling almost everytime I ran the trails. Since I truly love the trails on Monte Sano Mountain in Huntsville, Alabama, I had another option, a mountain bike. Since my motto is to “Find a Way to Keep My Eye on the Prize” I decided to jump headlong into mountain biking.

These paths, which are right outside my back door, have served as an escape, allowing me to leave my worries and concerns about MS behind. My passion for mountain biking grew and eventually I was led into competitive racing all over the world. I shared my passion by starting an all-women’s mountain biking group in Huntsville called the Rocket City Cycle Belles and most recently I am on the Alabama committee to bring mountain biking as a sport to middle and high schools 'aka' NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association) to our state. It brings me great joy to teach kids the importance of getting over obstacles on a bike as well as in life in general, one must have balance and momentum.

MS 450


Grace's #MyMIX 


#MyMIX
  "Sustaining Grace" was formulated to help me endure long training rides as well as racing in endurance events.  My endurance training began in 2008 when I made the Leadville 100 lottery. Through trial and error I discovered that all of the perfect training in the world did not matter if I did not have my nutrition dialed in.  Fortunately in 2009 a fellow pro racer introduced me to INFINIT NUTRITION. Through a consult with a Formulation Specialist at INFINIT, we came up with the perfect formula for someone my size, sex, age, type of training and racing. 
 
As of today, using nothing but my "Sustaining Grace" formula, I have competed in The Breck Epic two times, BC Bike Race, Transylvania Epic, several of the NUE's (National Ultra Endurance Series), 4 Leadville Trail 100's, ridden across Scotland, completed several road bike centuries, MS 150 and 450's as well as many other cross country races. New to my bucket list in 2016 will be my 1st double century in Solvang, California. 
 
Grace Ragland's #MyMIX
 
Living in the south we are subject to high temperatures and high humidity which usually leads to serious cramping, With #MyMIX I never get hungry, bonk, have to fiddle with bars or gels, or experience cramping or stomach bloating. In 2009 I chose a Gluten Free diet to help me deal with my life long disease of Multiple Sclerosis, so needless to say, INFINIT Nutrition products being naturally Gluten Free was another deciding factor.
 
Over the years I have trained my body perfectly to ingest 20-24 oz of #MyMIX ever hour. Finally, I can honestly say I know how to listen to my body. My favorite flavor has been Lemon Lime for the most part, yet lately I have found I am also enjoying the grape flavor. 



Grace is an IMBA ICP certified mountain bike coach level 1 and 2 since 2012. She is also WFA and CPR certified, and has over 20 years of experience of riding, racing and instructing.

Learn more about Grace by visiting her Blog 

Bike MS 

Join Grace at this year's Bike MS 450 or Bike MS: Tour de Beach 

Bike MS is the largest fundraising cycling event in the county, find your closest ride at bikeMS.org!