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That Time I Almost Drown (Or How I Became a Triathlete)...

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By Binam Shrestha

The year was 2004. I had recently moved to the United States from Nepal, a developing nation with few swimming opportunities for lower and middle class families. Like most people, I never learned how to swim. Now in my new American apartment building was a small swimming pool. The weather was hot and the pool was cool. One thing lead to another and I tried my hand at “swimming”. I put that in quotation marks because what I was doing couldn’t really be called swimming. Eventually, I lost my momentum in the middle of the pool, away from any walls. My head slipped below the water at 9 feet deep and I had no way of getting back to the surface. My only saving grace was another person from the building who was also at the pool that day who dove in to pull me out. Needless to say, my relationship with water and swimming from then on was one of anxiety and fear.

Over the years, I tried – and failed – at swim lessons at my local gym because I couldn’t get over my fear of the water. In 2015, my 3 year old daughter started swimming lessons and was surprisingly good. Watching her learn and develop motivated me to try again. I observed her swimming, and some of the things the swim teachers told to timid preschoolers to get them in the water. I started personal lessons once again, and started to slowly improve. By early 2018 I could swim a few laps in a pool, but I was always exhausted after doing only a few lengths. Fortunately I met an amazing group of people, including Coach Luke and some great Triathletes from Gear West. They encouraged me to continue to develop my swimming, and even took me swimming in open water for the first time! ...

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Patrick, Becky and Hanna...

 

beckybridge.png2019 MINNESOTA MULTISPORT HONORS: Today we reveal the DUATHLETES OF THE YEAR and the LONG DISTANCE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR.

 

DOY Winners:  PATRICK PARISH and BECKY YOUNGBERG

 

These were slam-dunk choices. Here are their duathlon resumes:

Patrick Parish, 34, Minneapolis

- 1st @ Standard Distance Duathlon Nationals

- 1st @ Gear West Duathlon

- 2nd @ Apple Duathlon

COMMENT:  Is this resume good enough to earn him USAT DOY? We hope so. At the very least, he should receive a DOY HM.

 

Becky Youngberg, 44, Eden Prairie (photo)

- 1st @ Apple Duathlon

- 1st @ Gear West Duathlon

COMMENT: Her Resume speaks for itself....

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Hanna and Patrick...

hgkona2019 MINNESOTA MULTISPORT HONORS - Today we reveal the PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR: 

 

Female POY Nominees: 

HANNA GRINAKER - 2nd US amateur @ Hawaii Ironman World Championships - 9:55:57 

HANNA GRINAKER - Win @ Buffalo Olympic - Course Record - 2:06:57

DANI VSETECKA - Win @ Texas 70.3 - 4:23:56 (fastest women's 70.3 time in 2019)

CATHY YNDESTAD - Win--her 8th!--@ Minneapolis Olympic - Course Record - 2:05:33

 

WINNER - HANNA GRINAKER's 2nd US amateur @ Kona - 9:55:57

Though Hanna received all five 1st place votes here, there were strong arguments for all the performances, plus a few of Becky Youngberg's, as well. In the end, it was 
Ironman's "Super Bowl" mystique that prevailed here.

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Zilinskas and Mork are 2019 "Most Improved"...

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MINNESOTA MULTISPORT AWARDS - Here are the winners of the 2019 MOST IMPROVED honors:

 

Women Nominees: JENNA HORNER, JENNIFER FITZHARRIS-FUNK, JESSIE MAHER, RACHEL ZILINSKAS

 

WINNER: RACHEL ZILINSKAS

While it was obvious that Maher demonstrated the most "actual" improvement in 2019, two of the other three nominees--Horner and Zilinskas--posted the kind of results that would land them officially on Team Minnesota, with Fitzharris-Funk coming darn close to doing so, as well. Horner won two races and excelled in sprint and OLympic races, but Zilinkas demonstrated, in the opinion of three of the five Selectors, more versatility, racing admirably at half and full IM, as well as Olympic distance. Her 2nd place finish at Minneapolis in 2:08:46 was the kicker, though. That kind of speed is rare....

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