“The desire to fulfill my potential is what keeps me going” – Rachel Ragona
When Rachel was in her teens she started running to school a few days a week to save her bus money so that she could use it to go out with friends. Much to her surprise, Rachel soon discovered that she actually enjoyed running!
Rachel was inspired after seeing Paula Radcliffe set the world record at the London Marathon in 2003. While this sparked her curiosity it was a while before Rachel worked up the courage to start racing. About seven years ago Rachel started her racing career with some 5ks, 10ks and sprint triathlons. Flash forward to 2015 and Rachel’s running prowess has grown exponentially. In 2015 Rachel knocked out four challenging 100-mile trail races, while also setting a sub-3:15 road marathon PR. While she is (rightfully so) super proud of these accomplishments her greatest accomplishment is that she is still able to run. While Rachel truly loves running to its core, running does not and has never come easily to her.
Injury has definitely been Rachel’s greatest obstacle to achieving her athletic pursuits. Even in her early days of running to school Rachel struggled with biomechanical issues which led to constantly being injured. Rachel has found creative ways to diversify her training so that she can continue racing and checking goals off her bucket list. First and foremost Rachel factors in a few off months each year which allows her to focus on racing and training for 8-9 months of the year. Rachel practices banded exercises, strength and balance work weekly in an effort to stave off injury before it happens. Rachel’s ultimate goal for 2016 (and hopefully every year thereafter!) is to have a full year uninterrupted by injuries.
Rachel’s favorite Orange Mud product is her “Jet-Pack,” also known as her Hydraquiver Vest Pack 2. She is also never far from her Transition Towel which is now a permanent fixture on her car seat. Believe it or not, Rachel discovered Orange Mud from a pop-up ad online! She is now admittedly is addicted to her Orange mud gear! When racing and training Rachel fills her Orange Mud bottles with Proven Nutrition to stay hydrated and relies on Hammer Nutrition for fuel.
The best advice Rachel ever received wasn’t advice meant for her at all! While watching the Tour de France, commentator, Phil Liggett once said “that it comes down to who is able to suffer the most and still come through at the end.” This really stuck with Rachel. Rachel says that while she may not be the most naturally talented, or fastest out there, she is really good at suffering hard and not giving up! This is evident by the adversity she has already overcome. Growing up in foster care in Northern England Rachel has never given less than 110%. She now lives in Los Angeles, has a happy and healthy family, a degree in exercise physiology and a kick ass running resume. We here at Orange Mud are pumped and honored to have her on our team!
Rachel has some epic goals on the calendar for 2016. She’s vying the California Triple Crown of Ultrarunning. This is three 100-milers, each just one month apart: San Diego 100, Santa Barbara 100, and Angeles Crest 100. Hashtag impressive.
Follow Rachel on Instagram @rachel_ragona and cheer her on!