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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)....

2019 Race of the Year Finalists...

MINNESOTA MULTISPORT HONORS - This year's RACE OF THE YEAR finalists list looks a lot like last year's list. Four of the 2018 five races are back, with Chisago  the new addition.

One of these racing experiences will be named "2019 Triathletes Choice Race of the Year:"

 

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"A Lot in Common"....

sibs.pngED. Here is a cool article in a local online newspaper serving communities in the northwest metro, about the siblings KRISTINA and KYLE SWENSON, both of whom are nominated for 2019 Minnesota Multisport Honors.

 

By Aaron Brom (hometownsource.com)

Some siblings have nothing in common. 

Rogers/Maple Grove natives and St. Michael-Albertville students Kristina and Kyle Swenson are not in that number.

Not only do the sister and brother have a lot in common, they will attend the same university and are both internationally competitive triathletes.

Kristina, 22, is a senior at Iowa State University currently studying in France before graduating this spring. Kyle, 17, is a senior at St. Michael-Albertville High School, where Kristina is a graduate. Like his sister, Kyle will be attending Iowa State and competing for the same college triathlon club his sister currently belongs to.

TIP OF ICEBERG
The Swenson kids grew up in Maple Grove with parents Greg and Jamie and attended St. John’s Lutheran School in Maple Grove before the family relocated to Rogers. Greg and Jamie Swenson are lifelong Maple Grove residents who graduated from Osseo High School.....

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