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"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.” ...

 

Labine and Grinaker still stay in touch, even speaking after Grinaker’s Ironman finish.

At Wisconsin, she was the 2006 Big Ten freshman of the year in cross country, an All-American 2006-07, All-Region 2006-08 and two-time first team All-Big Ten 2006-07, second team in 2008.

Her final collegiate season was wiped out due to injury and for the next decade she went through a variety of emotions about competing, both good and bad. READ MORE

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