There is one thing that sets Chris apart from other ultra-endurance cyclists. He was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2012. For those that don’t know, MS is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. It is considered to be an autoimmune disorder where the immune system will incorrectly attack the healthy tissue of the spinal cord, optic nerves, and brain. This can lead to blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, paralysis, blindness, and more.
Chris and I met through another friend and client of mine, Andrew Willis. Both men are incredible ultra-endurance cyclists who are doing amazing mental and physical feats that recreational cyclist can’t even begin to fathom. Andrew has been a wealth of knowledge and mentor for Chris during these past few months of training.
After Chris’ diagnosis, Rudy Mendez and Andrew Raymond set up Team Wingman to encourage Chris to take the disease head-on and prove anything is possible while living with Multiple Sclerosis. The big project that Chris recruited me for was the Texas RAAM Challenge. He plans on completing the 400-mile journey through the great Texas hill country starting on Saturday, March 19th. It will take 32 hours and he’ll climb 18,000+ feet. (That’s similar to climbing Denali but on a bike) Adorning each of his wheels are the names of those that lost their battle with MS and multiple that are still fighting MS daily.
His long journey will be supported by a 5-member crew.
- His Crew Chief is his wife Melissa Potter. She is the woman responsible for keeping the team together, happy, and has all the logistics under control.
- Traughber Nutrition is making sure that Chris and all 5 crew members are eating and drinking correctly so everyone is properly nourished and hydrated during the 32 hours on the road.
- The other 3 crew members are Ken Potter, Aaron Pratt, and Matt Cowan.
Be on the lookout for the race report after we finish. It will give you an in-depth look into crewing for an ultra-cycling event like this.
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Shane Traughber is a sports nutritionist that focuses on helping endurance athletes of all skill levels acquire the nutritional knowledge needed to perform at their peak physical and mental ability.