Ramirez, 41, had never run a mile in her life until about four years ago, when she decided she needed to get healthy to enjoy life with her husband and two young sons. A pack-a day smoker for 15 years, Ramirez says she ate and drank too much, leaving her overweight and out of shape.

When she got to the race, she was feeling proud of herself for taking on the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and full 26.2-mile marathon run.

That is, until she saw a visually impaired woman — tethered to a fellow triathlete on a rope — competing in the race. Humbled by the courage and strength of the woman, Ramirez decided she had a new purpose.

Gruson doesn’t want to be defined by her disabilities and wants to focus on the positive, so she‘s always looking for the next mountain to climb.

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