Woman with MS Bikes to Raise Awareness


Kristen in Arizona

Kristen Larson Keil didn’t start out as an athlete. She classifies her pace as more steady than fast, but she doesn’t let that slow her down from being an active person. She has crossed marathons and triathlons off her list of accomplishments and now she is focused on raising money in Arizona’s Bike MS: Ride to Gold on May 2-3.

This event is close to Kristen’s heart because she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis five days after completing her first iron-distance race. Since then, Kristen has dealt with a few issues like blurry vision and minor side effects, but she is still determined to race.

“I’ve been very lucky,” Keil explains. “MS is a very unpredictable disease. Coming to terms with what that may mean for my future has been a challenge, and the new symptoms that pop up every now and then are no fun to deal with.”

Lauren Olson, Software Engineer at Garmin, discussed how she helped coach Kristen in her last iron-distance race in Germany. This event consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run.

“She’s kept on doing what she loves to do and is making the absolute best out of her situation,” Olson said.  “She was already someone who was dedicated to making the world a better place and really all her diagnosis has done to change her is made this particular cause a very personal one.”

Bike MS in Arizona

Kristen used to use the Forerunner 910 and now she has transitioned to the 920XT to help her through all her training.

“I don’t know what I would do without it,” Keil adds. “I use it every time I work out. If I didn’t wear it, I don’t feel like I worked out.” 

Kristen is focused on moving forward with the cause and doing everything she can to help.  

“I’m not going to let it affect my outlook on life,” she stated. “I’m going to keep doing everything I’m doing for as long as I’m able.”

You can read more about Kristen’s story on her web page for the Bike MS race

The post Woman with MS Bikes to Raise Awareness appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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