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Mayoral Selfies, Super Soakers & Mindfulness...

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By Erin Lahti


Augusta 70.3 Race Report - In order to understand what this race meant to me, you must first understand what I went through to get here.  My “A” Race was supposed to be Ironman 70.3 Madison. However, 5 weeks before race day I was rear-ended and herniated 3 discs in my lower neck.  I pulled out of the race altogether. My coach and I decided to switch gears and focus on short course. My next big race of the season was Nationals in Cleveland in August.  I got a flat tire early on the bike. So, that is 2 big races of the season where I didn’t see a finish line. I got the go ahead from my doctor to pick another 70.3.  Other races were selling out. I pulled the trigger on Augusta and bought a plane ticket....

Masters Women Rule! ...

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2019 was the "Year of the Masters Women."

Several of our state's most accomplished female multisport athletes "aged-up" in 2019, most notably CATHY YNDESTAD, KORTNEY HAAG and ELAINE NELSON. And several other 40-plussers had stellar seasons, as well. Between them, 12 Minnesota female Masters had amassed 25 wins in 2019.

And there are others, like ANDREA MYERS, 42, JULIA WESIBECKER, 52, CHRISTEL KIPPENHAN, 53, and AMY WOOLSEY, 53, who didn't post outright wins, but performed brilliantly in 2019 nonetheless.

Put into perspective, no more than two Minnesota Masters women had ever earned berths on Team Minnesota in any given year. This year, however, it is reasonable to assume that 4-6 over-age-40 women will make the team.

Cool, huh!

Here are the Minnesota Masters women who won races this year:

JACQUELYN BACIGALUPI, 42, Baxter - 1st @ Lakes Country

SARA CARLSON, 41, Brainerd - 1st @ Young Life Olympic

JENNIFER FITZHARRIS-FUNK, 44, Minneapolis (photo L) - 1st @ YWCA Women's Triathlon, plus 4 other podium finishes....

Cool Words From Last Weekend...

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ED. On Monday we received an email from Mike Murray. He said his wife would kill him if he contacted us, thus we HAD to post this. In case you didn't know, Judy is a terrific multisport athlete. Her resume features five consecutive AG titles at Apple, and an age group win this year at Chisago. She had also won her division in past editions of Maple Grove Olympic, Green Lake Olympic, Buffalo Olympic and the Graniteman races.

 

Hi MTN,


My wife Judy (photo) would kill me if she knew I contacted you but she qualified for Kona this past Saturday at Ironman Maryland, so I thought I had to.  She battled breast cancer in 2009 and competed in triathlons with her bald head, so she has come a long way.  IMMD was hot and humid and the swim was a mine field of jellyfish.

 

Dani Vsetecka


Tough day on the playground at #ironmanaugusta703. Caught a cold and woke up feeling a bit feverish race day 🤒🤧, but felt good enough to give it a go. Felt ok on the swim cruising down the Savannah River 🏊‍♀️and was smiling at the start of the bike 🚴‍♀️, but soon enough...

Season Finale...

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FALL CLASSIC DUATHLON  - Midwestern summers are the best! Midwestern autumns are awesome, too, and Saturday's Fall Classic Duathlon was staged in perfect autumnal conditions. Sunny, breezy and crisp (50ish). 

The 14-year-old event, the last on our state's 2019 calendar, was won by a decorated cyclist with limited multisport experience, and a veteran whose 36 career wins feature vistories at Apple, Gear West and Oakdale, as well as a 2nd at Long Distance Du Nationals in 2014, and a 4th that same year at Standard Distance Duathlon Nationals.

STEVEN DECKERT, a tall attorney from Loretto, cracked the Top 10 at Gear West against a talented field in June. His next effort--Maple Grove Sprint Triathlon--was less successful because it included swimming. He needed the fastest bike split in order to slip into the Top 15.

Deckert's large lead heading into T2 at FCD was necessary to hold off his primary challenger, KOLE SEILER, the fastest runner in the field. Though Seiler, a medical professional, outsplit Deckert in the final 2.8ish final run by 2:29, Deckert was able to claim a 44-second victory.

Breakout efforts for both guys. Good stuff. ...

Smart Choices....

simonestride.pngED. Simone Lundquist, who is currently receiving serious consideration for a Junior of the Year nomination, is as impressive intellectually as she is athletically.

 

By Simone Lundquist (sisterswhotriblog.com)

My legs are tightening up and my lungs are burning. Pain is creeping everywhere through my body and exhaustion starts to become very apparent. I want to quit, but I know better than that. I was taught how to keep on pushing through the pain and to never give up. Every day at practice I had a choice to quit or to continue to work hard, but I knew that if I gave up, I would never be able to achieve my goals. Perseverance was ingrained in my mind and that’s what allowed me to finish the race. 


Any endurance athlete can tell you how painful the sport that they compete in is. They will tell you how much they’ve wanted to quit, the mental strength that it takes, and the physical toll it puts on your body. With all these hardships and tough moments, many life lessons can be learned. As an athlete who has competed in many races and has countless miles on a pair of shoes, I have had to experience all these tough moments that produce life lessons. I have to choose whether or not it’s worth putting in the time and dedication to make myself a better athlete and person, or if I’m fine with just being mediocre. My life has been centered around these types of decisions that can lead me to be excellent or can lead me down a path that won’t get me any closer to achieving my goals....

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