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I think this is my eighth or ninth year, so I've been doing them a while. My mom and dad roped me in. :-) I was a swimmer for 10 years, and they said swimming's the hardest part for most people so I was like sure, I'll give it a try. Been doing them ever since. My first one was just a sprint; it wasn't anything major. It was a super small town one up at our cabin. It was a really good experience. Everybody was cheering you on whether they knew you or not, and it was great just to get that feeling the whole entire race. (Why do you love it?) I don't know... that's the thing! lol I can't pin point what it is! I think it's just the feeling of actually having a routine to your day and knowing that you have to get this amount of time in, and then crossing that finish line feels really good too. ..I'm training for Ironman Wisconsin actually this year, and trying to fit it in with work and school is a little tricky. I actually just graduated in May and have one summer class left, and I'm done for good! I work part time because this is the last summer before I start my real job. I just want to enjoy it, have fun, and train... So it's been good. (Mom & Dad still race?) Yes :-) They are doing the Half (Ironman) right now; I'm waiting for them to come in.
(*Note: Marissa is a seasoned triathlete at only 22-years-old)
I did a few triathlons when I was in my 20's. I played tennis my whole life, and I got bored with my tennis, so I did a couple of triathlons, and then I didn't do them again until I was 43. Just got bored playing tennis and decided to do something different. :-) (Today's Liberty Triathlon?) Good! I haven't done an Olympic, in a while - I've done Ironman the last couple of summers, so I've been doing all long course. I had to remind myself to go a little faster, because I wasn't going to be riding my bike 112 miles, it went good! Hot. (Olympic distance) It hurts differently. You have to remind yourself more - can I go harder, can I go harder. I think you feel a little more gassed, but in a different way. I love triathlon because... Well I met my husband biking, and he unfortunately passed away; I met my boyfriend now biking, and I really enjoy all three sports. I think it keeps you less apt to get injured, keeps you doing something kind of different every day, and being outdoors. (Next race?) Waconia, which is two weeks from tomorrow. (Tri blooper?) When I was younger, in my forties :-), I do remember putting my helmet on backwards, and they got it on camera. I was so embarrassed because I realized it before I got out, but other than that, no. Fortunately, I don't have anything too crazy that happened.
Gear West Duathlon
(Emily (L) Nikki (R) ..Train together?) Sometimes - We both have kids and different work schedules.
Emily: We're neighbors. :-) This is my first duathlon, and I've done a few tri's. For me it's having a new neighbor (Nikki) doing these awesome triathlons, and I thought that's looks cool. So she convinced me to sign up for one last year, and I just kept on going. It's been an awesome addition to my life. Fun people, and my body actually felt better when I was doing triathlon and doing three different sports, especially adding the swimming in - It was more interesting and better than just exercising for exercise's sake. More balance. (Background?) Just some high school sports and a little bit of college track - sprinting.
Nikki: Let's see, about 12, 13, 14 years ago, I decided I wanted to do adventure racing, which at the time wasn't like it is now. I had been running marathons, and I needed to do something different, so I signed up for my first Ironman. ...Well, I did some coming up to it, but I signed up for an Ironman without ever having done a tri. It was good - I was in the best tri shape of my life. I mean I've been "tri-ing" now since then, so since 2004. I was in the best tri shape of my life, but I didn't finish. It was a year that was really really cold and windy, and I just froze out on the bike. I quit at mile 84, but after that, I knew, well I can't quit things. So I came back and finally finished a couple Ironmans. I'm a slow and steady - My main thing is to finish with a smile on my face and get people into the sport, make sure people know that it's accessible to anybody. I'm really good at getting people into the YWCA women's tri because it's just a bunch of women having fun. It's just really supportive, and it's a good one to start off with. Like this one, I'll be honest, is probably a little bit more intimidating. Usually I'm not in the bottom quartile anymore when I finish, but I will be today - but that's ok! :-) It's all about supporting each other and getting people into the sport. I like to call my swim, um, I walk swim. I mean, I'm usually the last person out of the water, but I can swim 2.4 miles. That in itself is amazing. Don't give up on yourself and don't think you have to be an uber athlete to do triathlon, because you don't.
Gear West Duathlon
(L to R: Erin, Joe, Emma. So you have all done Ironman!)
Erin: Yes, I've done 7 Ironmans. :-) We all have another one again this year. I got into racing.. um, a friend invited me to do my first triathlon, and then he bailed. I was broke and had already paid the money, so I decided to continue to do it. My takeaway was - I didn't die in the swim, and biking and running were ok, and so, we might as well try it again. With success, it spurs more success, and then you fall in love with the sport. You get hooked. :-)
Emma: I got started because I was a gymnast for a long time, got a lot of concussions, then needed some outlet for my competitive energy. So my dad got me into triathlon. (Dad tri's?) He does! He's not doing this one because he hurt his knee, but yeah, usually he would be here with us.
Joe: So I ... met her. :-) (Emma - we're married) A week before I actually met her I was about 40 lbs overweight. So, I decided to start running. Then I met her, and she said well if you want to hang out, you gotta come running with me. Running led to biking, led to swimming, led to doing races. Like Erin, you start doing a couple, you start succeeding more and more, and it gets more and more addicting. The rest is history.
Emma: Just do it. Just show up and do it. You'll meet people through the sport, and then you'll be able to train and succeed - get hooked. :-)
Erin: Have fun and make sure that you're smart about racing, smart about practicing, smart about training, and you'll have a good time.
Gear West Duathlon
I got into racing a year ago in January - I ran Disney Marathon. That was my first ever race, a marathon. Actually, it was my sister's idea. My sister was like, hey, I'm gonna go do this marathon, and I'm like, sign me up! I just decided to do it. Then I did three marathons last year and raced tri. My first one was Trinona in June, that was a sprint. Then I did another sprint on the 4th of July, and a couple of other ones. I won my age group in a couple of them. Then I did Superior Man up in Duluth, half iron. It's awesome; it's so cool! I got into it, turned out I was relatively decent at it, and I got hooked right away. It's way too much fun. (Track or running background?) No. I was a hockey player and a football player, so this is all new to me. I was better at the bike than everything and when you're good at the bike, it's like, that's half the battle usually. The running side of it was "eh," swimming I was horrible. Actually, I went in to Tri Fitness in White Bear Lake and got a swim coach. Then I also met my now triathlon coach, who kicks my butt on a daily basis. Her name's Vicki Ostendorf. ...Today's race was good. I took 5th overall, I think, or something along those lines. The first run, I didn't have my watch on me because it was dead, so I paced it off the field, and then the bike went really well. I held my wattage that I wanted to and just tried to hold off the guys at the end that were coming up behind me, and I was able to do it. :-) I enjoy it! There's no way I could have won, I mean Matt Payne's out here and guys that are nationally renowned duathletes and triathletes. Yeah, there's some amazing competitors here. (Day Job?) I'm a 5th year in the chemistry department at the University of Minnesota. I do research, and I have a year and a half left on my Ph.D. I'd love to work for a company like 3M. (Chemistry background help training?) Absolutely. You understand metabolic processes a lot better. You understand the importance of doing different things like, recovery things in particular - what not to do, what to do, rolling is important, and things like that, so you stay healthy. (Advice?) Absolutely do it. Sign up right away. My best advice for anybody - don't be afraid of the swim. If you're worried about anything, find a support group. I know Gear West does things for beginners. I know Tri Fitness in White Bear Lake, they actually put on a race that's called My First Tri (http://www.trifitnesswbl.com/my-first-tri-overview/). It's fantastic. It's really well supported, tons of people out there to help you. The last thing would be - just do it hard, I mean, the dumbest things you can do is really blow up on a hill or give it all out on the way down.. But. Do it all. Then just have fun with it! Don't worry about what you're going to do in your first race, just enjoy it. That's really what I did in my first one.
I'm 28. ;-)
My family got me to try back in 1990 ("when I was '8' - I was doing good!"). Yeah, I started tri, then took 20 years off to raise a family and now getting back into it the last 5 years. When my youngest graduated I was just thinking, OK, I better get back to what I like to do. So I start up - start running and swimming. I found David. We did a tri together, found out we're neighbors! It's easy for us, so we started doing them together - It's been great! Yes, I did an Ironman too, Ironman Wisconisn. That year, it was brutal. It was windy and choppy. But that's ok - I lived! ...I lived to tell.. ;-) It was great! 13.5 hours - I didn't puke, I didn't do anything bad, I survived! On my schedule, I have 6 or 7 triathlons in the next few months. My next race is Apple Duathlon! (Game face and fist pump)
I'm from New Zealand. My wife, she's from Plymouth - we're coming up on our 10 year wedding anniversary this week. We have a 4-year-old and 2-year-old. She doesn't race, so I do all the workouts for the family. :-) I did cycling in high school. I never did any running or anything like that. I quit doing everything. My wife and I were flying back and forth a couple times when we could between the countries. When she was in New Zealand, we got married. Then we came here - That's when eating the American fast food, I thought I was getting too fat, so I bought a bike again and started riding. Like my fifth bike ride, I was out in Maple Grove, riding out of town and saw these people biking. There was an event going on. I thought, well what's going on? I went home and saw it was a triathlon. I thought, I can bike that quick. That's 5 years ago. Starting out, I couldn't swim at all, I couldn't even swim 25 yards in the pool. I just got on YouTube, watched Michael Phelps (*laughs), and went from there. It's kind of an addiction, you know, you get done with one and just want to keep doing them. I always do the sprint. I've only ever done one olympic distance. I like to get done and get on with the rest of the weekend.
Cinco Du Mayo
I played soccer, and I got too old to play that. I needed something to get fit - I was getting a little bit chubby. A friend of mine recommended I go watch a triathlon in St. Cloud, and I watched that one year and thought oh, I think I can do that. So the following year I did that race. That was two years ago. I bought a cheap bike, and just thought, see if I can do it, do it for a year, see how I like it, if I like it. I used to be a runner when I was a kid. You know, getting running speed back is quite hard when you're over 50. It's coming back slowly. It's enjoyable; It's not as hard on the body. The main thing is, I like exercise, but unlike soccer - soccer makes your body hurt - this doesn't hurt. I've raced and now I feel absolutely fine. (Longest Tri?) 70.3 - Racine and HITS Waconia, last year. I'm doing three 70.3's this summer. I actually like the distance, because I'm not exactly a fast swimmer. I don't lose as much on the swim, because I can make it up on the bike; and obviously, you're not right at your maximum heart rate like I'm in a sprint.
*Note: Rob finished 2nd in the short course.
Cinco Du Mayo
I started racing because my mom and step dad did, and I was like, if they can do it, I can. Then I did my first one about five years ago, and it was immediately addicting! The camaraderie of other racers is totally different than the running race. It's so positive - everyone here is always here to support and help each other. When you're on the bike course, people will pass you and say Good Job. It's really fun to be around other people and also set goals for yourself. (Running) Yeah, I would do some shorter races, but then I got into biking, and it turns out that's my strength - I didn't know until I tried my first tri, and I was like..oh... I'm pretty good at the bike part! :-) I think I've done this race the last five years. I love doing the short, because you can just go as hard and fast as you can through the whole thing and just see what happens. It's one of my favorite ones. Pretty good tacos too. ;-)
Cinco Du Mayo
For the short course, the run was longer than it was supposed to be, and I'm not the best of runners, so that was a little bad, but other than that - the course was nice, and the weather was perfect. It's just a fun community. People are awesome to get up at four in the morning and come to these. I'm in college - I go to St. Thomas down in the Twin Cities, but I just do these on my own.
*Note: Mitchell finished 1st in the short course.