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Ryan Reeve, 29

-Inman, South Carolina

-Triathlete -Married with 2.5 year old daughter,Sienna.

-Full-Time Sales Rep for Pest Control company

-Assistant Head Coach for local American Legion Junior baseball Team

Ryan’s Awakening

You’ll probably notice that I haven't always been an endurance athlete. Nearly three years ago, you would have seen a 350lb+ pound couch potato. Heck, the word ‘triathlete’ would have been the last way to describe myself, much less, ‘swimmer’, ‘cyclist’, or ‘runner.’ Three years ago I passed out at work at my heaviest weight: my blood sugar was over 450 and my blood pressure well over stroke levels. Noticing my pregnant wife, my doctor at the hospital asked me when she was due. “Two months,” I replied. He told me in no uncertain terms that if I didn't make an immediate lifestyle change, I wouldn’t live long enough to witness her birth. From that day forward I made a promise to myself, my wife, and my daughter that I would do everything in my power to be here as long as possible. That year I started the ketogenic diet as a way to lower my blood sugar levels. Two and a half years later I had completely transformed: I lost over 150 pounds, became a runner, started swimming and cycling, and now I am a triathlete. Just like my weight loss, triathlon gives me goals to accomplish and PR’s to beat. I also like to think it gives my friends, family, and strangers a little motivation. I hope my transformation helps people believe that anything is possible, as long as you lay out a plan, you execute that plan, and never give up. The triathlon community is just amazing: everyone likes to talk, and share stories, tips, and tricks. It's a huge family out there and we all kind of recognize that we share the same brand of crazy.


24 Hours of Cycling


The 24 hour Make A Wish Ride was my idea: I watched one of the presenters from the Global Cycling Network complete a 24 hour ride on the trainer, which of course inspired me to do the same. In South Carolina, we have the Trailblaze Challenge for the ‘Make a Wish’ foundation, which is a one-day, 28.3 mile hike. I first completed the hike in 2016, then again in 2019, and was expected to return this year for a third time. But due to the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, the event was postponed. The Trailblaze Challenge may have been put on hold, but children making wishes was not: I wanted to do something just as crazy as the Challenge for these kids. Then it hit me: 24 Hours on a bike trainer is crazy. So crazy in fact, that it just may peak people’s interest. I started with a goal of raising $500 for wishes. When we hit that. I upped it to $1,000. When we hit $1,000 we just kept on fundraising,reaching a total of $2,600 to grant wishes for these amazing kids.

A Transformational Ride


The 24 hour ride was the most physically and mentally challenging undertaking I have eve4r experienced. The first three hours were just another training ride. Hour six was just a long ride. Hour nine was: “Man it's getting dark outside, what am I doing?!” Hour twelve was: “Holy crap, I'm halfway there. But I'm ONLY halfway there!” Spinning through the night was difficult: your body is used to being asleep. I was lucky to have a great support team, keeping me motivated, hydrated, and fed. The support I received from friends on facebook, instagram, phone calls, texts, were a huge inspiration. I thought constantly about the kids I was raising money for, and how they can’t give up, no matter how much they may want to.


Fuel for a Hero

UCAN was a major part in keeping me going. I developed my fueling plan with Matt Bach, UCAN’s Director of Endurance. My plan consisted of 4 hours worth of UCAN intake and 1 hour of actual food. For example: the first hour I drank UCAN Energy Orange, the second hour I ate my favorite Chocolate UCAN Energy Bar, the third hour I drank UCAN Energy + Protein Cookies and Creme, and the fourth hour I drank UCAN Energy Cran-Raz. I kept this rotation up the entire 24 hours, only changing out Cookies and Creme for Cocoa a few times. These kept me going strong and actually full until my real meal on every fifth hour.

Food for Thought

If I had to share one thing with everyone reading my story, it’s the quote that has always inspired me. "When you feel like quitting, think about why you started."
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