Monthly Archives: July 2014

From Sprint to Ironman, and Nothing In Between

Brigette-CA-finish“You can’t put limits on yourself because you never know what you can do.”

Spoken like a true Ironman.

Brigitte Setness is such an Ironman.

Her name has come seemingly out of nowhere in the South Dakota triathlon landscape this season with some solid showings at nearly all of the SDTA-sanctioned races, helping her earn enough points to put her in second place and quite close to first-place leaderboard holder Kathy Grady in the SDTA standings.

What many people didn’t know before Setness dipped her toes in the water at the first race in Brookings is that she was already a stud triathlete. This girl is no rookie to the sport. She completed her first Ironman in Couer d’Alene in 2013 and now has two IM completions under her belt with her completion of IM Canada this past Sunday.

Furthermore, this girl has some legs. To date, Setness has put 39 marathons in 27 states and 2 countries on her running shoes and aspires to complete 50 marathons in 50 states.

Setness’s aspirations began young like many an Ironman. She remembers seeing a triathlon–be it Kona or something like it–on the television as she lounged on her parents’ couch as a kid, and she consciously thought to herself, “I could do that someday.”

And then she did.

Setness did not have a youth triathlon career. The furthest she ran was the 300 meter hurdle event in high school track. Then after running a few times with a friend during summer break while in college, Setness was encouraged to try out for the college cross country team. So she did. Brigette-CA-running

Fast forward a few years, and Setness tried her first marathon after a friend, whom she’d been logging miles with as he trained for the Fargo event, signed her up. Clearly she fell in love. On the first race she saw a “50-races-in-50-states” t-shirt and thought that sounded like a pretty cool goal. So she put it on a bucket list and apparently never looked back.

Move ahead a couple more years, and Setness found herself waiting tables in Mitchell near her hometown of Stickney. A group of visiting hunters commented on how fit she looked and asked if she ran. Unbeknownst to her,  among the hunters was Setness’s future Ironman coach. Setness found out one of the hunters specialized in coaching triathlon, so she got his name and number and tucked it away for future safe keeping.

And then once again, a few years later, Setness found herself in the perfect season of life to try this whole triathlon thing out. In 2008 she tackled the Wall Lake sprint . . . and hated it. Stiff wind forced race organizers to change the swim to a shore swim which essentially pushed athletes to the beach. The same wind wreaked havoc on this rookie with her hybrid bike, and she gutted out the run. She completed two other triathlons that summer and basically put the sport behind her, considering it fun but done.

In 20Brigitte-CA-bike12 Setness once again felt the itch to cross something off the bucket list, so she contacted the aforementioned coach and told him that this time of life allowed her the best opportunity to train. She began to look for an event and ended up selecting Couer d’Alane for the following June. She trained hard, and when her coach told her she really needed some kind of a warm-up race to practice, she hesitated, remembering that unpleasant first experience. Setness signed up for the Omaha Women’s Tri, and after taking a few breaths on the beach to calm herself down after the gun had gone off, she ended up finishing 10th overall. Yes, this girl has game.

Setness has set no limits on herself. Her completion of two Ironman events clearly indicates this along with her aspirations to continue to fulfill the dream of joining the 50-in-50 club.

Furthermore, according to Setness, she has the best support staff. “I couldn’t do this without my husband’s support,” Setness states.

We’re keeping our eye on you, Brigitte. We’re pretty certain that you’re going to continue to do some pretty amazing things and inspire many people along the way.



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Riverman/Riverwoman: the Official Preview

Farm Island Stone Sign 9-27-11Ever wanted to escape to an island? 

While it’s not exactly Escape to Alkatrez, The Riverman/Riverwoman triathlon offers just that kind of feature, something no other tri in our fine state boasts of. This year’s event will take place on Farm Island State Park near Pierre on August 2.

Participants have the excitement of a .4 mile swim which basically takes them to island of Farm Island and back. Then they jump on their bikes for a mostly flat (and thus beginner friendly) ride out of the park, down Highway 34, and back. The run offers the beautiful scenery of the island with participants hoofing it across the causeway, into the island, and back for a total of 3.5 miles.

This tri offers the appeal of a small-town tri with many advantages. For one, a person cannot deny the cost. The event at most costs individuals $30 AND still includes a t-shirt. All monies go back to a local youth group, making this a feel-good race to consider. Organizers are hoping for up to 75 individual participants, making this an on-average tri as far as participants go in South Dakota.

More than anything, this particular event offers something that no event can create: the beautiful venue of a state park. Those interested in becoming a Riverman or Riverwoman can show up on race day to register since that’s when most participants throw their swim caps into the ring. Registration takes place from 6:30-7:30, and a mandatory race meeting occurs shortly thereafter.

Those who have more questions about the event can call Jessica at the State Park office at  605-773-2885.

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End the Summer with a SPLASH

Farm Island Stone Sign 9-27-11If a person didn’t know any better, he’d call August the hottest month for triathlon in South Dakota. North, South, East, West, and smack dab in the middle–pick a location, and you’ll find an event to tri.

We’ll do our best to give you a thorough preview of each race in plenty of time for registration. So if you’re still itching to race, we can help scratch that itch.

The Riverman/Riverwoman Triathlon will take place at Farm Island Recreation Area near Pierre. Triathletes begin on the beach, swim to the island, and then head back to T1. The bike ride stretches 18 miles through the park and along Highway 34. The 3.5 mile run will take athletes through the park and on the island trail.

This particular tri appears to encourage race-day registration with some old-school methods for registering. Participants will need to either mail in the registration or show up bright and early (6:30-7:30am) to lay down their $30 and toss their proverbial swim caps in the ring.

At a glance, this triathlon looks like a great way to kick off August and a reason to visit our fine state’s capital.

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Triathlon Advice For Beginners From Jesse Thomas

Beginings2d-701x421Honest advice for avoiding common mistakes in your first triathlon from pro triathlete Jesse Thomas.

“WAA. WAA. WAA. WAA. WAA. WAA,” exclaimed my alarm. 4:30 a.m., good Lord. I’d gone to bed about three hours ago, and was fairly hungover from a party the night before. Soooo tired. Forget it. Some other time. But something gnawed at the back of my brain and kept me from falling back asleep. After 10 minutes of tossing and turning, I relented. I spun around, dropped my feet to the floor, grabbed my gear and headed out the door. „

In a few hours, I would start my first triathlon—a sprint-distance race called the “Tri For Fun” in Pleasanton, Calif. Some of my friends had raced triathlon, and I felt like I needed something active to balance the grossly unhealthy long-day/late-night/early-morning mid-20s guy working for a startup in San Francisco lifestyle I’d somehow become accustomed to over the previous three years.

I drove in silence for about an hour. As I neared the course, the pounding in my head slowly made its way down into my heart—yes, cheesy, but it’s true! For a guy who spent the majority of his life racing at a fairly high level, I was really nervous. My last race was the 3,000m steeplechase at the U.S. Track and Field Championships—quite a different stage than the Tri For Fun. But that was four years before, and there were plenty of other reasons for self-doubt. Sure I’d ridden my bike a fair amount, and I knew how to swim—at least I thought I did—but like most beginners, I’d never put all three together in one day, much less one workout. I’d never swum with a gigantic group in a lake, and I hadn’t the slightest idea how to “transmission” or whatever it was called.

But somehow, I survived.

Read more . . . 

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8 Ways Triathletes Get Injured

outland swim 2by Marty Munson via 

Avoid these common injury-prevention pitfalls and your performance may even improve, too.

There’s no doubt about it: Injuries are frustrating, painful—and all too common. In a five-year study from Great Britain of a small group of triathletes, 72 percent sustained injuries, and rates were the same whether they were doing Olympic- or iron-distance training. Yet doctors, physical therapists and other experts say that too often, athletes make certain mistakes that help steer them right to the sidelines. Stay healthy the rest of your season by avoiding these common problems:

1. You go too far, or too fast, too soon
Injuries happen when the normal stress of training gets distributed to structures that aren’t designed to (or ready to) withstand it. If you don’t have good stability in your shoulder blades, for instance, stress is transferred to your shoulder.

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