November 2023 Rider of the Month,
Teresa Fukumoto-Beebe

Teresa Fukumoto-Beebe is fast. She was the speediest woman on an elliptical bike at the 2023 ElliptiGO World Championships last month. Teresa is also the fastest female ever to complete a 100-mile ride on an ElliptiGO bike. She set the world record by completing the Sacramento Century in 6:11:49 on September 30, 2023. Read on to find out more about this accomplished athlete! Teresa lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband, Alex, two cats and a dog. She’s worked for Edward Jones for 12 years. Growing up in Flagstaff, Arizona, she played soccer, basketball and softball as a young athlete, then focused on basketball in high school in the hope of earning a college scholarship. She did, and played two years of collegiate basketball. In 2010, Teresa started running. She ran a half-marathon and loved it. Eventually, she ran close to 40 half-marathons in 11 states. She knew that she wanted to run even longer distances. The 2016 San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon was her first full marathon, and her time was fast enough to qualify for the 2017 Boston Marathon. Running was her exercise, her hobby and her social life, too. She had dreams of eventually running an Olympic-qualifying time in the marathon, running ultra marathons and becoming a role model for other young women. But while training for Boston, Teresa could tell that something wasn’t right. She noticed that sometimes when she was running, her right leg would drag. Then one morning, she struggled to lift her leg up while running. Teresa recalls, “I knew something was very wrong.” Doctors and physical therapists confirmed that she had strength, flexibility and range of motion, but every time she attempted to run, her leg immediately began dragging. She did round after round of physical therapy. Then Teresa would try to run again … only to experience her leg continually dragging. She tried forcing her body to run, but the day after a run, she would experience tremendous pain in her hips and back. Some professionals thought she might have Dystonia, for which there is no cure. “I was so angry at my body for not being able to run,” Teresa shares. In addition to the physical pain she was experiencing, Teresa felt isolated, missing her running community. She was frustrated and depressed. Her running coach mentioned that one of his other athletes had an elliptical cycle that she might want to try. So, in 2017, she borrowed an ElliptiGO bike. Standing tall on the bike was the closest substitute for running that she had found, and perhaps because it minimizes impact, riding it three or four times a week didn’t bother her leg, hips or back at all. A year later, when she was still riding that borrowed GO, she figured she ought to get her own. She bought her first ElliptiGO bike in 2018. Today, Teresa has four ElliptiGO bikes in her stable: two 8S’s nicknamed Toothless and Dory, an 8C named GreenGO and an RSUB named Stubby. She says a front pack, like the Relevate Design Handlebar Bag, is essential because it holds her phone, which plays the podcasts she listens to while riding. The welcoming community of ElliptiGO riders gave Teresa the fellowship she’d been missing since her leg issue had begun. She loved seeing so many people get outside or on their indoor trainers and GO, no matter their athletic ability. In-person rides with her fellow ElliptiGOers and shoutouts from the online communities on Facebook and Strava made her feel supported. “It’s so nice to have people encouraging you and believing in you!” she says. She still hoped to return to running. For five years, she made attempt after attempt to run. Eventually, Teresa realized that she had to stop forcing her body to do something it was not naturally able to do anymore. “It was too much of a heartache to keep trying to run and to be disappointed every time,” she shares. And so, after years of berating her body, Teresa finally let go of running in 2022. She knew she needed to find an activity that she could enjoy without being in pain, one that still satisfied her competitive streak. Teresa decided to set personal goals to challenge herself. She says, “I never thought I would find something that would fill that running void, but I truly love GOing.” She started to build her endurance and push her athletic abilities. When Teresa’s in peak training, her regimen consists of 10 training sessions a week. Those sessions include a weekly interval ride of speed intervals or hill repeats and a weekly long ride of 40 or more miles. On other days, she rides 90 minutes to two hours. She also swims and hikes. She says the key to staying healthy and strong lies in her twice-weekly weight training workouts. “I have a passion for health and I truly enjoy fitness,” Teresa says. She notes that she never wants exercise to become a chore or to feel like something she has to do. Earlier this year, she set her sights on the century speed record for elliptical bikes. The goal was a stretch. Teresa wasn’t sure she’d be able to hold a 16-mph pace for 100 miles, but that’s what it would take to beat Tera Moody’s time of 6 hours and 21 minutes. Teresa decided to give it her all, adding fast, longer rides to her already impressive training schedule in order to be ready for the Sacramento Century in September 2023. After she crossed the finish line and saw her time of 6:11:49, Teresa knew that her hard work had paid off! So what’s next for this speedy cyclist? Teresa says that the ElliptiGO World Championships in October are on her calendar annually, no matter what! She’s also planning to complete her first double century (200-mile ride) in 2024. She’ll build up to that distance by riding 200-kilometer and 300-kilometer events first. Teresa also says that she’s convinced she can beat her recent world record century time, noting that the Sacramento Century was quite windy up through mile 60. She’s currently looking for a flat century course that will give her the chance to break her own record. Despite her incredible accomplishments, Teresa says she’s simply an ordinary person who works hard. She shares, “I hope to be an inspiration to the ElliptiGO community. I want to show that you can do big things when you set your mind to it and have the discipline to strive toward your goals.” Teresa, you are indeed an inspiration! We look forward to watching you break more records and ride faster and farther in 2024 and beyond!       You can contact ElliptiGO with nominations to Rider of the Month or share your own story. It may just be the next feature!

11 Responses

  1. Jane Cremer says:

    Way2GO Teresa!! Your accomplishments are an inspiration & your positive smile is infectious!! Kudos, my friend! 🙌🏼

  2. Sheila says:

    WOW! What an inspiring article! I am so proud of you!

  3. Ellipti - goat says:

    Congratulations Teresa‼️Very much deserved, you are a ROCK 🪨

  4. Benton Runquist says:

    YAY!!! Sounds like you found your ‘happy’ place….I concur….these ElliptiGos are SO much easier on the body than running…now, if I could only get myself to put in the work to go faster….you are indeed an inspiration….congrats!!!!

  5. Steven Hay, Peoria, AZ says:

    So nice to learn your story after having briefly met you riding on the “Tour of Flagstaff” in June. I got inspired just by following your rides on Strava and now am inspired MUCH MORE by your ability to overcome life’s obstacles.

  6. Eric Korevaar says:

    Woohoo! GO Teresa!

  7. Kevin Gibbons says:

    Wow, what an inspiration you are Teresa! Congratulations on all of your accomplishments. Looking forward to hopefully seeing you and Alex at a baseball game in Arizona and possibly an Eliptigo ride 😜

  8. Katie Blau says:

    Congratulations! Your positive attitude and discipline are definitely an inspiration. I’m looking forward to seeing what you accomplish next!

  9. Patrick Gorman says:

    Awesome that is great to hear and very inspirational

  10. Dayna says:

    You rock, Teresa!!! Great GOing!

  11. Bravo Teresa! You’re a rock star in every way!

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