‘Amazing Race’ host to ride Whidbey Island for MS

More than 2,000 people from Seattle and the surrounding areas will traverse through Skagit and Island counties to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis Sept. 7-8.

Among those pedaling will be Phil Keoghan, host of TV’s reality show “The Amazing Race.”

Keoghan is founder of No Opportunity Wasted and an advocate of MS research who is working with the tandem cycling organization called Together in MS.

Now in its third year, Whidbey Island has been a regular destination for the event.

The route offers riders an opportunity to “test their endurance on several dynamic courses each day, ranging from 22 to 97 miles, offering views of stunning landscapes as well as access to several stocked rest stops,” said Rick Desimone who is handling public relations for the event.

The two-day Washington Bike MS Ride begins and ends at the Skagit County Fairgrounds. During the two-day ride, cyclists can traverse one of four courses each day, turning around at La Conner, Deception Pass, downtown Oak Harbor or North Penn Cove.

Keoghan will be pedaling on a tandem bicycle in this year’s ride, along with Regina Lyalls, a mother and professional who is living with MS.

Her connection to the Bike MS rides is personal. On the same day she received her first Bike MS ride registration packet, her doctor called with her diagnosis. Lyalls is determined to continue forward on her path and not allow her disease to take her away from what she loves to do — cycle.

Lyalls attributes her determination to the many dedicated individuals she has met through the Together in MS program.

The Greater Northwest Chapter of the National MS Society sponsors three rides annually: the one in Washington, one in Montana which occurred in August and one in Alaska which is occurring Sept. 7-8 as well.

According to organizers, the campaign seeks to inspire the MS community by showing that MS does not have to define or limit the aspirations of the more than 400,000 people in the United States of America who are living with the disease. There are 100 Bike MS events a year all around the country.

Keoghan’s 25 years of work earned him nine prime-time Emmy Awards as a producer and host of the CBS’s The Amazing Race.

Since 2011, the Together in MS tandem cycling teams have ridden approximately 1,200 miles at 17 National MS Society Bike MS events across the country to help raise awareness of MS in local communities. Together in MS will participate in a series of five Bike MS rides across the country in 2013.

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