Meet the Newest Team WBR Ambassador

01.31.2014 | 8:50 am

A Note from Fatty: The Hammer applied to be one of the three Team World Bicycle Relief Ambassadors for 2014, and I’m indescribably happy to say that she won! More info as she sets up her donation page and we figure out how she (and we) are going to use this opportunity to talk about a cause we love. For now, though, I thought you might like to see her application. 

Lisa Nelson
Team WBR Ambassador Application

Basic Information

“Tell Us About Yourself”


I would love to be an ambassador for WBR. After traveling with WBR on one of their Africa Ride tours I developed a great love for the people of Zambia.

I saw, firsthand, how rural Zambians struggle daily just to live!

I saw how few creature comforts they Zambian people have. They live in huts, they have no indoor plumbing or electricity, they grow their own food — and the majority have no form of transportation, save their own 2 legs.

Despite these hardships, the Zambian people always seem to be smiling. There is a great sense of community and love among the people.

I have seen firsthand how the addition of a bicycle can affect an entire community. As a nurse here in the United States, I can relate to the volunteer healthcare workers in the villages of rural Zambia. They are willing to sacrifice hours of their time helping others…but the majority of this time is usually spent walking from place to place. The addition of a bike can greatly affect their productivity.

As an avid cyclist and lover of all things bike related, I would love to share the vision of WBR and what with other cyclists.

“What Interests You About WBR, and Why?”


What I’ve seen and who I am both make me love the mission of World Bicycle Relief.

As a woman, I know and appreciate the value of having an education. It can empower a woman and offer them endless opportunities.

As a mother of three girls, I understand how important an education can be to them in fulfilling all their dreams. I would love to see the dreams of thousands of Zambian women fulfilled by the addition of a bike in their lives.

As a nurse, I know the benefits of one-on-one communication with my patients. I know the time constraints of travel and know that by moving fast I can see and care for more patients. I would love to see more caregivers with bicycles, so that more patients can be seen thus making their village a safer and healthier place to live.

As a cyclist and athlete, I know the benefits of having a bike in my life. Biking and being outside make me happy and productive in all areas of my life. I would love to see more people in rural Zambia—and elsewhere!—develop a love for the bike.

“My Favorite Riding Adventure”

I like to say that the mountain bike helped me discover who I am and what I am capable of. About fifteen years ago, I was a mother of three young children and a wife in a failing marriage. I was being forced to leave my stay-at-home mom job and return to full-time work as a nurse.

In the process of finding a job, I had also been training for a “little” mountain bike ride called the Leadville 100. I had never raced before in my life. My one attempt at a marathon ended in an injury two weeks before the event.

Leadville would be my first attempt at racing-first attempt at pushing myself beyond my limits. I spent hours riding my mountain bike and hours fretting about my nutrition. And in many ways, the race itself was a disaster in ways I could never prepare for.

Just forty-five minutes into the race, I felt a wobble in the rear of my bike. What was it? A flat tire! After an agonizing forty-five minutes changing the tire (believe it or not, I had never actually changed a tire by myself) I got back on the bike. I was literally the last person in the race. Every single rider had passed me; I was alone.

For the next forty miles, I pedaled as fast as I could, and slowly started reeling cyclists in. By mile fifty, all seemed to be going well — I had made it to the halfway point, with six hours to go. Barring a catastrophe, I would finish this race within the twelve-hour allotted time.

And then the first raindrops began to fall. The downpour began. For forty miles I rode through a torrential downpour and lightning storm. The temperatures at 10,000 feet (and higher!) were probably in the fifties. I was soaking wet, wearing shorts on and only a windbreaker for a jacket.


By eighty miles, my fingers were so cold I could no longer shift. The dirt, mud and grit had destroyed my brake pads (this is before disc brakes). I stopped eating. My blood sugar levels were in the toilet and I was freezing.

But I kept pedaling. I had started this race, and I was going to finish it. I would overcome the obstacles before me. No matter what.

With only five minutes to spare before the twelve-hour cutoff, I crossed the finish line. (I then spent the next several hours in the medical tent warming up!)

This race taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to. No matter what obstacles are thrown at me, I can work through them and succeed. This lesson has carried over into all aspects of my life. This twelve hours literally changed me.

My determination is infinite!

“What Will You Do as a WBR Ambassador?”

As a WBR ambassador, I plan on:

  1. Joining forces with my husband (Elden “Fatty” Nelson of and help him spread WBR’s message with the world through blog posts describing my races and encounters with other racers. By doing this, I’ll be able to help make WBR a focus of the blog throughout the year, instead of something he just talks about annually during his “Grand Slam” fundraiser.
  2. I intend to continue to fundraise for WBR with Elden/, doing a WBR fundraiser on the site specific to my being an ambassador with WBR.
  3. During our busy racing season this summer, I would love to wear the WBR kit and spread the word at the races and events that we attend.

Event Resume

  • 20+ Half Marathons
  • 10 marathons (including Boston in 2012, 2nd in age group Ogden marathon 2013)
  • Wasatch Back RAGNAR (1st place, coed team ultra distance 2011)
  • 5+ Sprint triathlons
  • 5+ Olymic triathlons
  • LOTOJA 2008
  • St George half Ironman 2013 (4th place in age group)
  • St George Ironman (2010)
  • Nine-time Leadville 100 mountain bike race finisher (3rd place in age group 2012, 1st place in single speed division 2013)
  • 100 miles of Nowhere X 4
  • Rockwell Relay (1st place Coed division 2011,2012, 2013)
  • Breck Epic (3rd place Duo division 2012)
  • Crusher in the Tushar X 2
  • Salt to Saint Relay 2013 (1st place solo, First woman to ever complete as solo rider)
  • 25 Hours of Frog Hollow 2013 (1st place solo single speed woman/new women’s record)

2014 Proposed Race Schedule

  • Canyonlands Half Marathon (March)
  • 6 Hours of Frog Hollow (April)
  • St George Half Ironman (May)
  • Ogden Marathon (May)
  • 100 Miles of Nowhere (May)
  • Rockwell Relay: Moab to St George (June)
  • American Fork Half Marathon (June)
  • Leadville 100 MTB Race (August)
  • Fall Marathon (TBD)
  • 25 Hours of Frog Hollow (November)


  1. Comment by aussie kev | 01.31.2014 | 8:57 am

    You “Spread that word”

    Allez Hammere

  2. Comment by NancyJBS | 01.31.2014 | 9:24 am

    I can’t even wait to finish reading this amazing post before making a comment, I’m THAT excited!

    Lisa, you inspire me profoundly and there could be no better choice as an ambassador for our well loved cause.

    Congratulations and a huge THANK YOU for signing on in this important role!

    Now, back to my reading…

  3. Comment by owen | 01.31.2014 | 9:36 am


  4. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.31.2014 | 9:37 am

    Like Nanctythe first thing I had to say is YEAH!!!!!!!!

    Now to get son to school and then back to reading. What the heck, I’m sure he knows the way to school……

    Way to Go Ambassador Hammer!

  5. Comment by Dave T | 01.31.2014 | 9:45 am

    Congratulations Lisa they could not have pick a better ambassador.

  6. Comment by Nic Grillo | 01.31.2014 | 9:47 am

    Man, the Hammer is so inspiring! Congratulations Lisa!

  7. Comment by Jeff | 01.31.2014 | 10:13 am


    *Love* the fact that the 100 Miles of Nowhere is on the event list and schedule.

  8. Comment by The Hammer/Ambassador Lisa | 01.31.2014 | 10:53 am

    Thanks everyone! I’m excited AND a little intimidated! Thanks so much for your support and encouragement. I look forward to an awesome year helping out WBR’s mission as an “ambassador”! Hey I kind of like the sound of that….Elden maybe its time to retire “the Hammer”. :)

  9. Comment by New Zealand Ev | 01.31.2014 | 10:56 am

    Woo Hoo!!!!!!! Congrats WBR Ambassador!!! Just fantastic and an inspiration!!! I am so excited and looking forward to hearing about the next year!!,

  10. Comment by Anonymous | 01.31.2014 | 11:11 am

    YAY LISA! Congratulations – you are such an inspiration!

    Is The Hammer proposing a name change to The Ambassador? It has a nice ring to it!

  11. Comment by Kukui | 01.31.2014 | 11:12 am

    … and I’m apparently Anonymous today. ;)

  12. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 01.31.2014 | 11:19 am

    Awesome. Just awesome!

  13. Comment by MC | 01.31.2014 | 11:28 am

    Way to go Lisa! You and Fatty are an awesome and powerful team, that’s for sure! Can’t WAIT to see what the year has in store for you (us)! WBR chose wisely! (and that’s an amazing resume btw!) I feel like such a slug reading what you did last year, let-a-lone what you plan to do this year!

    Any chance you and Fatty will make the WBR/Red Bull event in the Seattle area June 28th? I’m thinking about it…tho the 1100 mile 1-way drive (and hotels throughout) is weighing heavily on me…I’m thinking I need some ‘persuading’, possibly by some Ambassadorial type person…(in case you know somebody in that type of position).

  14. Comment by Fat Cathy | 01.31.2014 | 11:58 am

    Congrats Ambassador Lisa! They couldn’t have chosen a better person!

  15. Comment by Heidi | 01.31.2014 | 12:17 pm

    “Ambassador Lisa” has a fantastic ring to it! It sounds so stately and respectable. Do you get to wear a sash?

  16. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.31.2014 | 12:22 pm

    @Hammer Pants Matt

    Carpool, carpool, carpool. If we can get you southerners to team up as you move north (Zeeter, Nic, Chapeks…etc) I’m convinced by the time you reach San Francisco we can find a Magic Bus to get us the rest of the way:
    Tommy can you hear me?


    Matt with your experience with wind you’re on top, o.k.?

  17. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 01.31.2014 | 12:45 pm

    Congratulations Ambassador Lisa, you will be fabulous in the role and the FoF are behind you all the way. WBR is lucky to have you promoting them.

  18. Comment by Gumby | 01.31.2014 | 12:46 pm

    Well, if The Hammer label is in the past, you could be “The Hammered Ambassador”. Wait, no…

  19. Comment by TominAlbany | 01.31.2014 | 12:51 pm

    Congratulations, Lisa!

    I think I know how Fatty will keep his blog humming while he works on the books he’s got in mind. Regular columns from Ambassador “The Hammer” would be great!

    Side note: Lisa and my son share the same birthday! I’ll remember to wish Ambassador “The Hammer” a happy birthday!

    Ride on!

  20. Comment by Brian in VA | 01.31.2014 | 1:03 pm

    Congrats Ambassador Lisa! You absolutely rock life!

    Reading your events listing at the end of your resume made me smile……and exhausted. You’re truly amazing.

    Brian in VA

  21. Comment by KevinM_Indiana | 01.31.2014 | 2:46 pm

    Congratulations Hammer! Very impressive resume!

  22. Comment by GregC | 01.31.2014 | 3:25 pm

    Awesome, just Awesome!

    Congrats Lisa!

  23. Comment by Katie Bolling | 01.31.2014 | 3:50 pm

    Hambassador? Please?!

  24. Comment by SteveB | 01.31.2014 | 4:28 pm

    I think it is “The Smiling Ambassador”, judging by the pictures.

  25. Comment by AKChick | 01.31.2014 | 5:14 pm

    Yay! I’m so excited for The Hammer! I can’t imagine a better choice to be a WBR Ambassador! Having met her, I can vouch that you will be hard pressed to find a more genuine, caring lady. She makes you feel really special and gives you her full attention. (I might have a little crush – platonic one though!) I can’t wait to see how we can help her in her mission. :)

    Fatty – please tell The Hammer congratulations for me!

  26. Comment by Mike C | 01.31.2014 | 5:15 pm

    Way to go, Hammer! Congrats, congrats, CONGRATS!

  27. Comment by Jerry Pringle | 01.31.2014 | 6:22 pm

    Congrats and all the best this year!

  28. Comment by PNP | 01.31.2014 | 6:40 pm

    I’d be proud of myself to do just one of the events you listed! I don’t know how you do it.

    Congratulations! I will definitely be checking out your official ambassador website.

  29. Comment by rita | 01.31.2014 | 8:48 pm

    Fabulous, Lisa! Have a great time in your new Hambassador role.

    @ Katie B — habsolutely right!!

  30. Comment by BamaJim | 01.31.2014 | 9:06 pm

    Congratulations, well deserved!

  31. Comment by Bicycle Bill | 01.31.2014 | 9:13 pm

    Congratulation, Lisa!!

    And of course this was an easy choice for WBR.  Because the Hammer and Fatty are a package deal, in selecting Lisa they got two Ambassadors for the price of one.


  32. Comment by Kate | 01.31.2014 | 9:57 pm

    Fantastic, and so well-deserved! Congratulations!!

  33. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.31.2014 | 10:37 pm

    Dear Hambassador Nelson:
    I am so grateful you were able to include 100MoN as a portion of your palmeres. Certainly that put you over the top for selection. Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

  34. Comment by Corrine | 01.31.2014 | 11:03 pm

    Way to go, Lisa! You are the perfect ambassador. It’s going to be a great year for WBR!!!

  35. Comment by Sylva | 02.1.2014 | 9:16 am

    Congratulations! You will be a great ambassador. They chose wisely.

  36. Comment by Sylva | 02.1.2014 | 9:17 am

    Oh, this is the Hammer’s blog now, right?

  37. Comment by Libby | 02.1.2014 | 10:53 am

    congratulations Ambassador Hammer! You inspire this ol’ lady (I actually remember 1968! (I was 10)). Combining biking and social work–a sweet mix!

    Definitely will follow your journey this year. And yeah, love that “100 miles to Nowhere” is on the list!

  38. Comment by AUChefDave | 02.1.2014 | 11:24 am

    I’m going to print that list out and put it on my bike. So that when I’m struggling up a hill all I have to do is look down and see that list, WOW! The Hammer,Fatty and Jennse now that’s a trio!

  39. Comment by NancyJBS | 02.1.2014 | 1:44 pm

    “Hambassador” is beyond apropos!

    Can it be long before there’s a Hambassodor sandwich? Or perhaps a Hambassador omelet. Both would also have avocado, naturally.

  40. Comment by Slo Joe | 02.1.2014 | 5:48 pm

    Kudos. Kudos. Kudos Lisa. Having “gotten to know you a bit” vicariously on here, the WBR selected a stellar but most important, a truly caring person.

  41. Comment by Heidi | 02.2.2014 | 10:49 am

    You are a lucky, lucky man to be on the same team as this woman, Elden…

  42. Comment by Daddystyle | 02.3.2014 | 8:40 am

    Spread the love, well done

  43. Comment by Gumby | 02.3.2014 | 9:16 am

    Woah, as Ambassador for Word Bicycle Relief, does this mean your entire year of riding and events will be considered tax deductible donations/expneses for a non-profit?

  44. Comment by BostonCarlos (formerly NYC) | 02.3.2014 | 9:45 am

    Nice work Lisa!!! Can’t wait to help you support WBR!

  45. Comment by ChrisW | 02.4.2014 | 7:00 am

    Way to go Ambassador!

    I’ll also be fundraising for WBR this year by doing the TransContinental Bike Race: London to Istanbul in under 15 days (3500 km / 2200 miles), riding solo with no support allowed. Check out my website for more details and donation links:

  46. Comment by MC | 02.4.2014 | 8:32 am

    Oooh…nice point Gumby (and I’m not kidding)…WBR is a 401C organization. I’m certainly no expert here (however I DID spend a night at a Holiday Inn Express!) but I’d think there should be some deductables allowed for events Hammer does for WBR…gas/mileage, hotels, food, etc…but a tax expert would be good to consult here.

  47. Comment by Eric L | 02.4.2014 | 11:32 am

    Wow, looking at The Hammer’s Strava page…

    HOKEY-SMOKES almost a million feet climbed!

    If that’s not a humbling number for most of us, I’ll eat my Campagnolo hat.

  48. Comment by Liz M. | 02.4.2014 | 12:32 pm

    Congratulations! You are an inspiration, Lisa!

    (And you were born on the exact same day as my awesome brother. Must have been a good day.)

  49. Comment by Rumpled/Jim | 02.4.2014 | 2:11 pm

    Congrats, I’m sure the Hammer will be a great ambassador. Do we have to address you by that title now?

    I see 100 MON mentioned as in May. Tentative date yet? I kinda was planning June 8 for me and my group; but would prefer to be on the real “race” date.


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