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Two Joshes, Sean and Patrick...

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MINNESOTA MULTISPORT HONORS - Here are the four finalists for male TRIATHLETE OF THE YEAR, and their 2019 tri-highlights:

 

JOSH BLANKENHEIM, 39, Duluth

- 1st @ Timberman Olympic - 1:56:42

- 1st @ Brewhouse Olympic - 1:57:15 - Course record

- 1st @ Lakes Country - 57:49

- 2nd @ Heart of the Lakes

- 3rd @ Lake Minnetonka

 

COMMENT: Josh's results since 2014 have been stellar, and 2019 may be his most successful season yet....

Dan, Hanna, Josh and Becky....

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MINNESOTA MUTISPORT HONORS - Here are the finalists, and their 2019 highlights, for LONG DISTANCE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

 

DAN ARLANDSON, 42, Burnsville

- 3rd amateur @ Ironman Wisconsin - 9:20:31 (fastest IM time by a Minnesota male in 2019)

- 5th @ Chisago Lakes - 4:20:39

 

HANNA GRINAKER, 31, St. Paul

- 1st @ Ironman 70.3 Canada - 4:38:36 (17:24 behind male winner)

- 2nd US / 13th amateur @ Hawaii Ironman World Championships - 9:55:58 ...

Part II: Hanna's Ironman Love Story...

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By Bob Williams (DL-Onine.com / photo by Kelly Olson)

This story is the second of a two-part series on the training of former Laker running star Hanna Grinaker and her fiancé Sean Cooley culminating at the Ironman World Championship last month. 


In 2013, Hanna Grinaker and Sean Cooley ran together at the Fargo Marathon. That chance meeting turned into a relationship and over the next six years the duo found love on a path to the Ironman World Championship this October in Hawaii where the week of competition ended in a marriage proposal....

"A Long and Winding Road"...Part I

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By Bob Williams (DL-Online.com)

Hanna Grinaker, the best long-distance runner in Detroit Lakes high school history and standout at the University of Wisconsin, recently tested her endurance on the world stage at the Ironman World Championships in October at Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

The life path to Kona, however, was fraught with ups and downs physically, mentally and emotionally.

In high school, Grinaker was a two-time state cross country runner-up and dominated every regular season and section meet from her freshman through senior seasons, along with being a versatile star of the track and field team. She’s the school record holder in the 800, 1,600, 3,200m races, and anchor of the record 4x800m relay team, along with holding the best 4k and 5k cross country times ever.

“Hanna was probably one of the strongest competitors I’ve ever been around,” said former DL head track coach Mike Labine. “She was going to put herself out there on the line every day as hard as she possibly could. It’s just amazing how hard she worked.” ...

Jacob, Josh, Michael & Andy...

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MINNESOTA MULTISPORT HONORS - As we have explained many times before, the "Most Improved" honor is not a "general" award. It instead applies to those who have improved enough to either earn spots on Team MInnesota for the first time, or come close to doing so, or make a significant upward move on the Team. If, for instance, the 9th or 10th ranked athlete from 2018, has raced well enought to be ranked in the Top 5 this year, he or she would receive serious consideration.

Of the four finalists for 2019 MALE MOST IMPROVED honor, two were ranked among the Top 15 men in 2018.

The other two nominees were not on the MI radar last year, one because he he did not race, the other because he was a newcomer to our state and hadn't raced here yet.

Here, in alpha order, are the official nominees: ...

JACOB KEEHAN, 30, Maple Grove 

Jacob, a former runner at UW-Oshkosh and accomplished nordic skier, had Top 5 finishes in three of our state's most competitive races. The only MInnesotans who beat him in those events were recognized elites. He capped his year with an 11th place finish at Ironman Wisconsin (9:33:07)....

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