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Embracing Setbacks...

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By Bonnie Gagnon


“Can I touch it?” I asked my friend Adam. I had never seen a prosthetic leg this up-close and I was genuinely curious as to what it felt like.

“Absolutely,” he beamed.


Then he took off his leg and handed it to me.


I met Adam Warden in 2009 when we were racing triathlons. By 2012 both of us had jetted off in every direction that outdoor activities could take us. Adam has always been passionate about adventure. So passionate that on October 14th he competed in the Paratriathlon Word Cup. He kicks my butt.


The prosthetic leg was lighter than I thought it would be – it was made of carbon fiber and built to last. He also has a Blade for when he runs and races - he pulled it out of his car and let me check it out as well. Crazy impressive technology.


It was almost surreal seeing Adam standing there in my living room. He was fit, smiling ear to ear and exuded a confidence that was deeper than ever. I asked him for his autograph which elicited a hearty laugh and a bear hug. In July of 2016, Adam underwent amputation surgery due to what he calls a tree allergy – “Allergic to having them fall on me!” On June 23, 2013 he had initially undergone surgery after a tree fell on him, breaking his back, several ribs and nearly amputating his left foot. The doctors...

Why Emily?

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MINNESOTA MULTISPORT HONORS – Last Friday we explained why TED TREISE was named Most Improved Male, noting that his 2ndplace finish at Superior Man allowed him to overtake early season MI frontrunner JOSH MORK. Then Ted's stunning POY-nominated victory at Augusta 70.3 further sealed the deal.

Determining the women's MI honor was not as easy. Not by a long shot. That was because a strong case could be made for each of the five nominees.

Let's break it down.

BETTINA KEPPERS - What ultimately may have hurt Keppers was the fact that she, while not receiving official nominations, had been part of the MI discussion for each of the last three years. At first glance, her 2018 resume, featuring two wins, two seconds and a third, looked a lot like her 2017 scorecard. Another glance revealed that she managed to set some PRs (Buzz Ryan, Timberman). In the end, though, her unofficial Team Minnesota ranking was 13th, basically matched her 2017 placement.

 

KRISTINA SWENSON – The former Minnesota Junior of the Year enjoyed an impressive start to the 2018 season—two seconds and two fourths against solid competition. Her time at High Cliff Olympic—2:09:56 on the difficult .5 – 22 – 7 mile route—caught our attention. However, she did not finish the season as strongly as she began it. Plus her unofficial rank of 18th was basically identical to her 2017 position....

Why Ted?

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MINNESOTA MULTISPORT AWARDS - Two of the most intriguing categories to determine were male and female MOST IMPROVED. Let's start with the men, a terrific group of nominees, certainly one of the most talented groups to ever be considered.

We'll discuss the women's MI selection in a later post.

We have no doubt that GARRETT WELSCH is destined for stardom, but a spot on Team Minnesota may not be available to him until 2020. We need only remember, however, that we felt the same way a few years back about a guy named DAN HEDGECOCK, who emerged as the Triathlete of the Year and #1 on Team MInnesota in his sophomore season.

BRANDEN SCHEEL's improvement in 2018 was meteoric. He won five races in course record time, but he never went head-to-head with any of the guys--WADE, SEAN, MATT, PATRICK etc.--that set the performance standards in our region. Could he have held his own against those guys? We think so, but we wanted proof.

Which brings us to JOSH MORK. When he placed 2nd against the deepest men's field of the year in a Minnesota multi (Lake Waconia), he truly proved that he can bark with our region's Big Dogs. Josh was thus the early season frontrunner for the MI....

Why Becky? Why Kevin?

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MINNESOTA MULTISPORT HONORS - HEATHER TAYLOR's selection as Rookie of the Year was a true slam dunk. Only one other pick was as slam dunky as that one: BECKY YOUNGBERG's selection as female MASTER OF THE YEAR.

Analysing past F-MOY winners, we were unable to come up with a resume that rivaled Becky's. Check out these highlights:

- 1st overall @ Lake Waconia - Masters Record

- 1st overall @ Green Lake Olympic - Course Record

- 1st overall @ YoungLife Olympic - Masters Record

- 1st overall @ Maple Grove Olympic - 2:05:04 - Course Record

- 1st overall @ Hopkins Royal Triathlon - Course Record

- 2nd overall / 1st Master @ Heart of the Lakes

- 2nd overall @ Chisago Half IM - 4:37:04 - Masers Record

Here's the breakdown: Five wins. One Performance of the Year nomination (Maple Grove). Three course records. Six masters records. Ranked #3 on Team Minnesota....

Hot Messes, Unreasonable Expectations, Recognizing Patterns...

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By Hanna Grinaker

 

It was my boyfriend, Sean, who introduced me to the sport of triathlon. I never had any intention of trying out a sport where equipment was involved. I had only ever been a runner. I remember walking into our condo back in the fall of 2015 to discover a new tri bike propped up against our couch in the living room. When I found a brand new tri-kit in my closet a week after the bike showed up, I realized I was really going to do this.  


After my first successful triathlon experience, I was on a vengeance. I signed up for every triathlon Sean did, entering each race in a blissful state of ignorance. Will I be able to unclip my bike shoes from the pedals today? Get my wetsuit off? Run the race without smashing into a cone on the side of the road and find myself splayed all over the pavement? (Yes, I did do this…in my second triathlon). 


My point in all this is that my first year in triathlon was a little bit of a hot mess. But gosh, was it fun. No expectations, no pressure, no idea that I could and would do the thing I set out to do that day....

 

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