July 2018 AOMs....



JULY ATHLETES OF THE MONTH - Which Minnesota triathletes rocked out the hardest in July? 

The competition for some of these acknowledgements was stiff in some categories, especially overall ATHLETES OF THE MONTH. There were other categories where it was hard to find an athlete that meets the basic criteria, i.e. at least TWO performances that uphold current elite performance standards. Men's MASTER OF THE MONTH and men's GRAND MASTER OF THE MONTH are examples of this. KEVIN O'CONNOR, 47, and DAVID HOLDEN, 49, for instance, each turned in one truly outstanding performance in July, KO at Chisago Sprint and Holden at Minneapolis Olympic. If they had only entered one more race....

So, here are our picks for MALE and FEMALE OVERALL JULY ATHLETE OF THE MONTH:  SEAN COOLEY, 32, St. Paul & HANNA GRINAKER, 28, St. Paul (photo L)

Sean raced three times in July, winning the prestigious Minnespolis Triathlon, then placing 2nd at Heart of the Lakes and Chisago Half. There were two HMs in the men's AOM: JORDAN ROBY, winner at Timberman and Turtleman, and KRIS SPOTH, winner at Heart of the Lakses Sprint and 2nd at Minneapolis....

Dream Follower...


“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire”



By Erin Ladendorf

In breaking news, I quit my job.

After many, many years in the bar industry, I’ve decided that my passions are taking me down a different career path. 
After 16 years in a restaurant, I have spent countless hours behind the bar, made thousands of mojitos, done more clopens than I can count, forged some amazing friendships, drank gallons of Jameson, and walked away with tons of stories to tell. 

But as I reflected and thought about the moments that made me the happiest in life, I continue to come back to the health and fitness world...

Once an Athlete, Always an Athlete..


By Maddy Pesch (usatriathlon.org)


When I dove off the blocks for the 200 breaststroke at my 2016 conference championship meet for Grinnell College, I thought I was competing for the final time as an athlete. I was 22, and after 12 years of competitive swimming, I thought it was time to retire. After all, I had to move on with my career and into my adult life. There wasn’t any time for serious athletics anymore, and I thought I couldn’t ever be as fast as swimming as I was at 22 ever again. So what was the point? 

The first few months of my “retirement” from swimming were nice, but it wasn’t long before I noticed a hole in my life. Being an athlete was a larger component of my personal identity than I realized. Athletics meant more to me than swimming laps. I was a leader in my...

June 2018 Athletes of the Month...





June was beset by yucky weather and the unfortunate cancellations of great races like Buffalo, Lake Minnetonka and RochesterFest. This made it difficult for athletes to post at least two outstanding efforts during this 30-day period, which is what is necessary for AOM consideration. Many athletes--Sean Cooley, Hanna Grinaker, Matt Payne, Christina Roberts, Becky Youngberg etc. had one truly elite-level effort--and probably would have had more if lightning and cancellations weren't part of the deal.

Still, some managed to fulfill the criteria, thus here are MTN's Athletes of the Month for June, 2018: ...

Staring Out Over the Edge...



By Erin Ladendorf (bikesandcatsrightmeow.blogspot.com)


And just like that, it's race season again.

I thought I had all the time in the world to get race ready. But, just like every year, the first race of the season has crept up and surprised me again. This Saturday I will be racing at Apple Duathlon along with some of the best talent in the state. And I am not sure if I can confidently say that I am ready.

While last year was my Ironman year, this season is a complete 180 from what I was training to do last year.

My workouts have been short. They have been aggressive. And they have pushed me to the edge more times than I can count. But the edge this year has been so different for me. While last year it was about tackling distances I have never fathomed, this year it has been about hitting speeds and times that I didn't think I was capable of.

Another key difference is that this year I have decided to take the pressure off of myself. While my race season goals this year are monumental, my focus is to keep my head clear of the unnecessary pressure that I always seem to place on each race....

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