TriWadena: No Spandex Necessary!

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By: David Kloss, MD, FACS

A triathlon is a fun way to stay active and meet people.  It can be a great excuse to travel places you might never go to otherwise, and it gives you an excuse to eat a little bit healthier, to get more sleep at night (a definite health bonus!) and to stay active!

Signing up for any race, whether it is a local charity fundraiser, a three-mile run on the far side of Minnesota, or perhaps Grandma’s marathon in Duluth, all are a great motivator. The very act of plunking down 15 dollars (or more?) is a great motivator to train for your event; it motivates you to eat a little bit healthier, to go to bed a little bit earlier and to actually GO TO THE GYM, rather than just talk about going to the gym!

This is the 2nd year for “TRIWADENA, no spandex necessary”, the little local beginner’s triathlon.  This could be just the ticket for you to get motivated! It is a FUN way to participate in a sport you may never have heard of before!  As our advertisement says: “no spandex necessary”. You do not need expensive exercise clothes, no funny looking skin tight bike shorts, and certainly no $3000 bicycles!  Our race is geared for the person who can barely swim, but who IS interested in becoming a BETTER swimmer.

Last year we organized our race at the Maslowski Wellness Center. It was a spectacular day for our 22 competitors. All of them were first time triathletes!  The youngest was 17 and the oldest was 72. We had 25 volunteers who also had fun cheering on the racers and also keeping them safe while riding and running the course around Wadena.  You had to swim (or walk) eight lengths of the pool, bike 12 miles around Wadena, and run 2 miles around St. John’s Lutheran church.  Don’t think you can do it? Train a little bit and TRY IT!!!  Register for the race at the Maslowski Wellness Center and you can come to our three training seminars!

Jeremy Moonen was our first male finisher and Dr. Laura DuChene was our first female finisher.  But “best time” and

Dr. DuChene

winning were not primary; finishing, having fun, and just the act of training for the race…….those were REAL goals.  Each participant had to spend some extra time at the gym practicing each of the three events: swim, bike, and run.  And actually two other areas of the triathlon race get ignored by beginners: the TRANSITION.

The TRANSITION is the process of getting out of the swimming pool and then hopping on the bike while you are still a little bit winded.  This is Transition one.

TRANSITION two is harder: getting off the bike and running. Your legs are tired and they rebel! This takes training and practice to condition your muscles to change gears and to run!  Don’t make a rookie mistake! Practice this transition!

The other part of triathlon and indeed any event, is the discipline to TURN OFF THE TV and actually go to the gym regularly.

The training, the extra time spent at the gym instead of on the couch, the practice in the swimming pool, the time spent with your friends running around the track is REALLY what our race is about.  Our race doesn’t have a large cash prize, there is no huge trophy!  Our race is about having fun and staying motivated to stick with your New Year’s Eve resolutions!

So come on! Try something new! Call the MAS and register! We’ll help get you ready for this mini-triathlon!  Your family will be impressed! They’ll come cheer you on! And you do get a REALLY cool athletic shirt!!!  If you can’t swim or you have bad knees and can’t run, you can still participate: we have a RELAY TEAM division!!! Get three friends to participate with you!

And to help motivate the adults even more, we’ve added a kid’s race (10-14 years old) on Friday evening at 6PM. The kids can swim one length of the pool (with life jacket if needed), ride their bike around the MAS, and run around the high school! Come cheer on the future Olympians!!!

See you at 0800 on the starting line, Saturday, May 20!

To learn more about TriWadena click here: www.TriWadena.org.

About the Author: David Kloss, MD, FACS, has worked at TCHC for five years. He completed the Iron Man Madison race in 2014 in 14 hours 27 minutes. He’s completed many full marathons across the country, in Paris, France and Dublin, Ireland. He loves to be active and stay in shape for ski season and canoe season in the Boundary Waters! He has two grandchildren who add even more motivation to stay in shape!