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'The Bachelorette's' Ryan Sutter raises more than $100,000 completing his First Descents Challenge

November 30, 2010 | 12:52 pm

(from left) Ryan Sutter with First Descents founder Brad Ludden and friend Ethan Zohn at the finish line of the New York City Marathon.

An update on Ryan Sutter, the Vail, Colo., Fire Department lieutenant likely better known to the public as the finalist on Season 1 of "The Bachelorette," who participated in the 10.10.10 First Descents Challenge.

Sutter was pushing to reach his goal of completing 10 athletic challenges and along the way inspire 10,000 people to contribute $10 each, hoping to collect a total of $100,000 for First Descents, a nonprofit organization that provides free outdoor-adventure therapy for young adults with cancer.

Sutter finished the last of 10 events, completing the Nov. 7 New York City Marathon in 3:20:39. He also reached and surpassed his fund raising goal, ending up with $100,424 donated, which will provide 100 young adults the opportunity to attend the weeklong First Descents camp.

"Going into this journey I expected a test of my physical endurance. What I did not anticipate was the profound affect the 10.10.10 Challenge would have on me as a father, husband and man," said Sutter. "Through the eyes of the young adults in the First Descents programs I was given a window into life’s tremendous potential and the importance of each day. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to give back to an organization that has given me so much."

Based in Vail, First Descents provides outdoor-adventure opportunities at no charge for young adults ages 18 to 39 who are fighting cancer. Founded by pro kayaker Brad Ludden in 2001, the program has grown from a single camp event its first year to nine weeklong programs held in six different states in 2009.

"When Ryan came to us with this idea early in 2010 I have to admit that I was concerned about his ability to pull this off. Not only from a fundraising standpoint but a physical standpoint. It would be a huge feat if your only job in life was training but he has two kids, a wife and a full-time job," said Ludden.

"When I heard the news that he had done it, I was overcome with emotion," Ludden added. "It was a huge feat for both Ryan and young adults with cancer. I’m honored that he chose to represent First Descents and hope that his challenge will serve as inspiration for others to become more involved with Team FD."


"The Bachelorette's" Ryan Sutter has one more event to go in his 10.10.10 First Descents Challenge.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: From left, Ryan Sutter with First Descents founder Brad Ludden and friend Ethan Zohn at the finish line of the New York City Marathon. Credit: First Descents