You Are Complex: Meet Triathlete, Coach & Therapist Hunter Ralston

You Are Complex: Meet Triathlete, Coach & Therapist Hunter Ralston

Here at Vibrant Health, we believe health is an inside job, unique to you. After all, you’re one-of-a-kind and your needs are complex – that’s why your supplements should be too.  

To celebrate all of the beautiful complexities of our lives, each month we’ve been highlighting individuals in our community – taking a peek into the behind-the-scenes of their work life, wellness routines and all the wonderful things that make them who they are.  

In honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day February 7th, we got to speak with Triathlete, Coach and Mentor Hunter Ralston. As a therapist by day, she wears many hats — and sports have remained an important part of her life since she was a little girl. Nowadays, not only is she a competitive triathlete, but she also coaches a New England based youth cycling team and is the founder of Women on Wheels, a feel-good nonprofit organization bringing together female cyclists.  Runner crossing the finish line

In this inspiring interview, Hunter opens up about her journey as a female athlete, some of her proudest moments (including when she competed in her first Ironman) and the inspirational quotes she leans on for motivation. We hope you enjoy our series…and remember, keep being you! 


How would you describe yourself in three words? 

Outgoing, Leader and Dedicated  


As a triathlete, coach, therapist, and mentor, you wear many incredible hats. What does a typical day/week in your life look like? 

Solid question…are you ready for this? Wake-up time is usually in the 4 a.m. hour. I usually have two workouts a day. I need one to one and a half hours to get going in the morning, which includes some phone scrolling, some reading and breakfast. Then I will do my workouts.  

Following workouts, it’s time for breakfast number two and then I get to work. I work Monday through Thursday; Fridays are dedicated to appointments and errands. On the weekends, I am either training, racing or traveling.  

Usually, at least once a week, I have some type of event for Women on Wheels that I do. As you can imagine, it tends to be quite more than once a week. New this year, I am going to take a day off from working out every seven to 10 days, compliments to a new coach. 


February 7th is National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), celebrating female athletes and their accomplishments. Tell us about yourself and your own evolution as a female athlete. How did the journey begin for you? 

Sports have always been a part of my life — from our neighborhood kickball games to being a competitive triathlete. I started riding horses when I was four years old and dabbled in all sorts of sports, but really got into basketball in 6th grade when I started AAU. In middle school I played basketball, and in high school I continued with basketball and picked up volleyball. I continued to ride horses throughout this time.  

In college, I was a Division I equestrian athlete at the University of Tennessee at Martin, where I competed in flat and fences. While in college, I started to dabble in running and triathlons. In 2013, I completed my first half marathon then In 2014, I completed my first sprint triathlon. In 2017, I completed my first 70.3 triathlon. And the rest is history! 

Currently, I compete in triathlons, mostly focusing on the 70.3 distance. I am starting to get into cyclocross racing in the past two seasons and I dabble in gravel races and MTB events throughout the year as well. I am fortunate to have some incredible parents that often race bikes with me. When they aren't racing, they are cheering me on and taking all the pictures. They have been great role models throughout my athletic journey. 


What's been your proudest moment/biggest achievement thus far? 

I have a proud moment for different moments of my life! In college, I was an All-American on the Flat and the Bettye Giles Female Student-Athlete of the year for our University.  

Since college, I have had a handful of proud moments. I went 11:53 at my first Ironman (140.6) and podiumed in my age group (at Ironman Lake Placid in 2022). I have five podiums for 70.3 races and have qualified and competed in 70.3 Worlds. I also qualified and competed in Xterra Worlds, which is an off-road triathlon. 

Outside of athletics, my women’s cycling group, Women on Wheels, is my proudest achievement. We are currently awaiting our 501(c)3 status which has always been a dream of mine. We have created an inclusive community that empowers women in sport. In 2021, I received the Social Media Impact Award presented by Outspoken, Women in Triathlon Summit. 


NGWSD also advocates for equality for women in sports. What changes would you like to see when it comes to support for female athletes, and what has your personal experience been like as a woman?  

I truly believe in sports you aren't going to try something new unless someone brings you to that event or race. I remember who that person was in my life who took me to my first triathlon, cyclocross race, and Xterra race. In my group, Women on Wheels, I try to be that friendly face for women. I will answer questions and calm your nerves. I will encourage you and cheer like crazy for you.  

When it comes to female athletes, I believe more events that focus on just them are beneficial. Whether that is a women's only clinic at the event, women’s only start time, or women-specific events. These female-inclusive events show women that they aren't the only ones and can empower them to try something new. 


As an Assistant Coach for a New England Youth Cycling Team, CT Chainlinks, you also work with younger athletes. What's one message you want to share with other young athletes? 

This is an endeavor I am taking on for the first time this year. During cyclocross season, I became close with many of the junior racers as we often race side by side. I was honored to be asked to coach the team this coming year. I have been to one event so far with them, and I am overwhelmed with joy for the messages I have received so far from the parents. It is hard to find female role models in sport, and I am excited to be that for the Chainlinks. 

The one message I have is, “Keep it FUN.” So often we get caught up in the hype of being the best and winning. While all of that is fine and dandy, having FUN with our team is most important. It is a simple message, but so important. 


What are your go-to healthy snacks to fuel your fitness performance? 

I love a good snack. If we are talking real food snacks, I love Hippeas Chickpea Puffs and all the fruits. I enjoy my carbs too, and consider them healthy! If we are talking during performance nutrition, I use products from Precision Fuel, Hydration, Skratch and Science in Sport. 


Do you have a go-to mantra, inspirational quote, or song to inspire you when you need motivation? 

I have a few, very situation-dependent:  

  • “It is what it is.” This is my go-to when I don’t nail a workout or something in life derails a workout. 
  • When was the last time you did something for the first time?” I think about this question a lot. Getting out of your comfort zone is so powerful. 
  • “One workout, one stride (or stroke) at a time.” This I think about when I feel overwhelmed with a week ahead or a specific workout. 


What does health look like for you? 

Health is all-encompassing to me — from my mental health to my physical health to my spiritual health. It is the workouts that make me stronger, the massages and chiropractor work that help me recover or spending time with people I love to fill my cup. It is engaging in activities that serve me and following my passions!