Should Triathlon Define You?



By Sarah Barker (triathlete.com)

Five steps to maintain a sense of self when triathlon gets put on the backburner

At 33, Rick Crump was single and living la vida triathlete: hammering Saturday rides with a group of guys, going to Kona. They loved to work out; they loved to compete.

—as the three ‘R’-named athletes called themselves—were age-group aces. Yes, middle school PE teaching paid the bills, but in Crump’s (very efficient) heart, he was a triathlete.

“I was top dog and 36 when the triplets were born,” Crump says of the big life change. “I became an instant 24/7 dad. It was a rude awakening. I had no time and no desire to train. My bike hung in the garage with the shoes still clipped into the pedals for two years.”

Crump now admits that stepping away from the sport cold turkey triggered an identity crisis. At 52, he became depressed and gained 20 pounds. “I loved being a dad and a PE teacher, but I couldn’t think of myself as a competitive athlete those first two years, and neither did other people.”  ...

Nexts in Line....Part III...


SkinnySki.com photo of Nicole Heininger. Skinnyski.com is an awesome site. If you are not a regular visitor, check it out.


Here is Part III of our "Next in LIne" series of posts, which highlight those athletes who were the next in line for MMA nominations.


- Long Distance AOY - In addition to those who received nominations, three athletes were also considered: JORDAN ROBY, DIANE HANKEE and KELLY TROM. Kelly's effort at Chisago (3rd in 4:40:58) was arguably the best half IM performance from these three, though Jordan's 4:15 70.3 debut at Superior Man was close, but Hankee and Roby duked-it-out for the Next in LIne. Diane's 4th place finishes at both Florida 70.3 and Chisago gave her the slightest edge here.


- Performance of the Year - Men - This was not a toughie. Our pick for Next in Line was KRIS SPOTH's win at Copper Creek Sprint. Why? Because he outraced runner-up Evan Culbert (IA), who won at Minneapolis and placed 6th overall at Nationals, and is a likely 2017 USAT AOY HM, and 3rd placer Reece Linder, 19 (IA), who dominated at Maple Grove Olympic and appears to be a shoo-in for a US Junior of the Year HM.


- Performance of the Year - Women - Our Next in Line was GABY BUNTEN's runaway victory in Life Time - South Beach. Her margin of victory was ridonkulous--9+ minutes--over former Brazilian Olympian Carla Moreno. ...

Nexts in Line....Part II...



Yesterday, we revealed the names and resumes of those talented athletes who just missed receiving MMA nominations in five categories. Today, we'll introduce a few more Nexts-in-Line.


- Most Improved - Men - JOSH MORK, 34, Lino Lakes - Josh had a great season, featuring four podiums in four starts. One of those efforts--Big Lake Sprint--produced a win. Additionally, the only guys that beat him were men who have made Team Minnesota in the past and will make it again this year. Three of the four men who received MI nominations have earned spots on 2017 Team MInnesota. The fourth nominee placed 11th in the Selector's polling, while Josh  finished in 12th place.


- Most Improved - Women - Battling for the Next-in-Line acknowledgement in this category were SARA CARLSON (37, Brainerd) and BETTINA KEPPERS (33, Duluth). Though Carlson won three of the four multis she entered this season, Keppers was the next in line for a nomination, and had, in fact, received support from two selectors. What the Committee preferred about Bettina was the fact that she raced well against some of our region's best women, e.g. Elaine Nelson and Lisa Lendway, and in her repeat victory at Timberman Sprint, she outraced that event's deepest women's field ever.  Carlson's best effort of the year, according to all of the Selectors, was not one of her wins, but her 6th place effort at wetsuitless Chisago Half IM (4:55:44), though her W at Lakes Country was impressive.

Here is Kepper's 2017 Resume:

- 1st @ Timberman Sprint

- 2nd @ Brewhouse Sprint (Behind Lendway) ...

Nexts in Line...Part I...



In a recent conversation, a triathlete asked us why there weren't any 45-49 women nominated in the Master of the Year category. Though we were able to give her a plausible explanation, in hindsight, we wished that we had added a 45-49 nominee.

We argued that Hankee and Myers, both 40-44ers, were slam dunk nominees, as were 50-54s Weisbecker and Kippenhan. We stand by these picks.

She then asked us who was the next in line for a nomination. Great question. Not only did we give her an answer--Jody Quesnell--we decided to create a post highlighting the "next-in-liners" for MMA nominations.


- Junior of the Year - MACY IYER, 13, Edina - Macy is going to be a star. We're convinced of this. Had she had one more great effort in 2017, she would have been nominated. Also, she is one several young female triathletes (under 16) who appear destined for greatness. That list includes Bella Buenting and Simone Lundquist


- Grand Master - MIKE FLYNN, 67, Elk River - Mike had an awesome season, featuring divisional wins at Maple Grove Sprint, Heart of the Lakes, Trinona Sprint and Oakdale Du, but two other men from his AG--perennial GMOY nominee Neil KIng, and Spike Millslagle, who set three AG records--were slam dunk selections. Because of this, if the Committee had chosen a fifth nominee, it would likely have been HELEN GUNTHER, 60, of Excelsior....

2017 MMA Nominees...Complete List...


Photo - Gaby Bunten is nominated in three categories this year.

2017 MINNESOTA MULTISPORT AWARDS - Here are all of the 2017 MMA nominees:


  • ROOKIE – 1. Jake Braam, 2. Keeghan Hurley, 3. Emily Muellner

  • JUNIOR – 1. Anders Broman, 2. Carter Deichman, 3. Taylor Lundquist, 4. Garrett Welsch

  • GRAND MASTER – 1. Jan Guenther, 2. Neil King, 3. Daniel Kirk, 4. Pam Stevens

  • MASTER – WOMEN – 1. Diane Hankee, 2. Christel Kippenhan, 3. Andrea Myers, 4. Julia Weisbecker

  • MASTER – MEN – 1. Brooks Grossinger, 2. David Holden,3. Matthew Payne, 4. Chris Tatton

  • MOST IMPROVED – WOMEN – 1. Gaby Bunten, 2. Nicole Heininger, 3. Kelly Trom, 4. Maggie Weiss

  • MOST IMPROVED – MEN – 1.Joe Adrieans, 2. Nathan Ansbaugh, 3.  Jordan Roby, 4. Andy Wiberg

  • DUATHLETE – 1. Wade Cruser, 2. Brian Sames, 3. Kris Spoth, 4. Dani Vsetecka ...


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