Featured Members

We use this page to showcase our Featured Members. Feel free to include what information you would like if you receive an email from a Board Member to be a featured member. This link also has some common questions.

Monday, January 25, 2016
Featured Member – Rosemary Bodnar

Tell us about yourself
I’m from Kalamazoo, Michigan, number 5 of 8 kids. I’m married. I teach kids with Autism. I like to read, go to the movies and recently took up sewing. I used to teach swimming, diving, skiing and snowboarding.
How long have you been doing triathlons?
I think my first race was in 1989. Prior to that I was a collegiate gymnast then ran marathons, triathlons and did some bodybuilding. Due to injuries I stopped running around 1998. Two years ago I saw Maggie Fournier to see if my feet were the cause of my problems. It turns out they were. Maggie got me running again.
How long have you been a Bluff Buster?
Two years
What is your triathlon background (How did you get started? Do you have a background in swim/bike/run?)
I was a gymnast…learned how to swim laps for fitness…rode bike since I was a kid.
What is your favorite distance?
Olympic
What are your triathlon goals for 2016?
Don’t get injured…hoping to do Aurora Baycare ½ iron in June…signed up for Big Swell, Grand Rapids Titanium, and Devil’s Challenge so far.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I was one of the first women in the country to receive an athletic scholarship (Title 9)
What is your favorite song, album or music to workout to?
My own playlist Queen, Prince, Nickleback, Satriani, Bruno Mars
What motivates you?
A challenge
What accomplishment (triathlon or non-triathlon related) are you most proud of?
Going back to school to become a teacher at age 40 and coming back to racing as an older person
What is your favorite workout?
P90X 3
What can’t you live without?
air
If you could have a superpower, what would you choose?
Invisibility
What is one book everyone should read?
Anything by Christopher Moore…he’s funny
Biggest pet peeve?
Gossip
Do you have any hidden talents?
no

Monday, January 25, 2016
Featured Member – Stephan Brunelle

Stephan 1Stephan 2

Tell us about yourself-I was born in Frankfurt Germany in 1965. My father was a professional musician and was conducting the German American choir. He met and married my German mother while he was there. I only spent my first year of life there living with my parents and maternal grandmother Omi who watched me while my mother worked on her doctorate and my father finished his responsibilities. We then moved to Davis, California where I was to spend my childhood. Davis is well known as a bicycle town. It has the bicycle hall of fame and bike lanes, lights, on every street. I grew up riding my bike around all year long. My mother still lives there. She got to see me finish Ironman Wisconsin in 2014 which was a great experience for me. I think she enjoyed it for a while too. Too bad I couldn’t finish up in 9 hours to make it an easier experience as a spectator. My father passed away in 2009 around the time that I started riding bikes again. He was a very successful musical teacher and has a music hall dedicated in his name http://www.djusd.k12.ca.us/ipab Another interesting triathlon fact about Davis is that Dave Scott  grew up there too. He started swimming in High School there and continued at the University of California Davis. I probably was in one of his swim classes or saw him swim when I was a kid. I don’t know him personally. I  am married to Crystal Brunelle. We just celebrated 25 years this past summer with a trip to Europe. She is a triathlete and Librarian and Teacher at Northern Hills Elementary school. I work at Gundersen Health as the Clinical Manager of Spiritual Care. We provide chaplaincy services for the Health System and run an interfaith school for professional chaplains and ministers who need clinical time in the hospital. We train about 18 students each year. We have two children who are now both adults. Elizabeth just turned 18 and will be finishing up High School in Holmen this year before heading to Winona State University to study English. My son Joshua, who has competed in Got Energy, has been studying engineering at UW Madison. He is 22 years old.

How long have you been doing triathlons? I completed my first triathlon at Got Energy in 2010. I  finished the sprint that year. I tried the Olympic distance the following year, and then moved up to Half Ironman distance in 2012. I have an addictive personality, and kept wanting to do more and  more, so I then had enough courage to go after the full distance in 2013 at Ironman Wisconsin. I did it again in 2014 and completed  Ironman Louisville last year. I’m signed up for  Ironman Wisconsin again this year.

How long have you been a Bluff Buster? Not sure exactly.  I think I became a member in  2011.

What is your triathlon background? I had been sitting around gaining weight throughout my thirties and early forties. Crystal  would leave to go on these obscenely long bike rides to Winona, or wherever. I thought she was crazy. At some point she decided to wake up early on a good Saturday morning to go and compete at Got Energy. She completed the sprint distance in 2007 and 2008. I had not interest whatsoever. I was dangerously obese and had many alarming medical conditions due to my obesity. I had been trying to lose weight for years and was not successful. I decided to have bariatric surgery in 2008 and that is what changed things around for me. Once I got the weight off, I started enjoying exercise. I slowly started walking and running short intervals until I got up to 5k distance. I would ride my  bike for 3,4, 5 miles. I remember the first time I made it to Mindoro from Holmen. I was elated. Signing up for races keeps me motivated and moving forward.

What is your favorite distance? This is a tough one to answer. I would have to say the Half distance. I do not enjoy going anaerobic and find the short distances very painful. The half distance is just right in that it doesn’t wipe me out too much, and it is easier to train for compared to the full Ironman distance.

What are your triathlon goals for 2016? In my 50s, I’m always worried about getting injured. I want to stay healthy and injury free. I want to have some fun and not take my training too seriously. I hope to pr on the run portion of the Ironman Wisconsin. That will mean averaging around 10:00 miles or better. I want to maintain my level of fitness and ability on the bike and swim.

What is an interesting fact about you? I was in the Air Force from 1983-1987.

What is your favorite song, album or music to workout to? Most of the time, I don’t listen to any music when I workout. I tend to like to listen to nature, or whatever is going on around me. I try to work on being present in the moment when I work out, which is part of my spirituality. That being said, I am embarrassed to admit that I go to hard rock and metal music to get me pumped up. I just try not to listen to the words too closely. There is an adolescent rebel that still lives inside me.

What motivates you? Finding meaning through the tough challenges of life. I also like to eat a lot, so that motivates me to keep exercising.

What accomplishment are you most proud of? I was really proud of finishing Rev3 Dells, Half Ironman. That was one hard race. I didn’t like that Mike Bouska passed me on one of the hills on the bike portion like he was a bird or something.

What is your favorite workout? I like bike workouts the best. During the winter, I like the short, one hour workouts that have high intensity, like  2 x15 minutes zone 4, FTP, and 3 x 4 zone 5, vo2. I always feel great after those, not during them. My favorite workout is during the summer when I have the whole day and I can pick a new area to explore. There are so many roads in Wisconsin that I haven’t discovered yet. Last year, I did a lot of riding out beyond Melrose to places like Disco Wisconsin.

What can’t you live without? Wow, this is a tough question. I feel like saying something silly like, a new road bike. What comes to mind right now is resiliency. I am very grateful that I have had the ability to recover from tough times I have faced in my life. Without personal resilience I would have thrown in the towel quite a while ago. This is one of the reasons I work with chaplaincy and find the challenge of Ironman so appealing.

If you could have a superpower, what would you choose? Force persuasion.

What is one book everyone should read? How am I supposed to answer this. I’m married to a Librarian who reads stacks of books each week. Me, on the other hand, I don’t read as much because I am a really slow reader. For triathletes wanting to get faster on the bike without dying on the run, I would recommend  “Training and Racing with a Power Meter.” by Allen and Coggan. For inspiration, I would say the book of Psalms in the Hebrew Scriptures, and/or  The Spirituality of Imperfection by Kurtz and Ketcham. I don’t read easy books, that is probably why it takes me a while too.

Biggest pet peeve? Whining.  I do it too.

Do you have any hidden talents? I can play trumpet and piano.

What is one question you wished we would have asked but didn’t and what is the answer? Could you use some help with your children’s tuition and housing cost in college?  The answer is sure.

Sunday, August 30, 2015
Featured Member – Kevin Schleicher

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Tell us about yourself – I am from Cedarburg, WI (near Milwaukee) and moved to La Crosse for university 8 years ago. I stayed active throughout college with intramural sports and hiking but found a void in competition after completing my degrees in 2012. Triathlons and other endurance races have become a big hobby in my life over the past few years.

How long have you been doing triathlons/How did you get started. – I started doing triathlons in 2014 by throwing myself into Lake Neoshonec without a wetsuit and making my way to a nearly dead last finish out of the water. But don’t worry, the bike and run went much better! In my second season, I’ve seen a big improvement.

What is your favorite distance? – I’ve only done one Sprint and one Olympic so far but I’ve enjoyed both distances. I’ve sprinkled in a few duathlons and half marathons into my schedule as well.

What have you done and what is coming up for the 2015 season? – I completed my first Olympic this year and improved in both my swim and biking pace drastically. Thankfully the YMCA Master’s swim class refined my swimming technique over winter. I’m looking at doing one more half marathon and possibly the Devils Lake Challenge in September. Winter will involve lots of swim and bike training while I look towards doing a HIM.

What is your favorite discipline? – It varies to be honest. I used to favor biking the most, but I tend to really enjoy the discipline that I’m training the most at the time. Seeing improvement makes the sport fun!

What is your favorite race? Why? – The GOT energy sprint is my favorite because it was my first race. I was hooked from the start.

What are your plans going forward? – Training as hard as I can to do a HIM next year. I’m a newlywed that recently bought a house so finding a balance in training and other parts of life have been interesting. I want to make sure my wife knows she’s number #1 and training is #2. 🙂

What else would you like to share? – I’m happy to continue growing in this fun sport and I appreciate the comradely that bluffbusters offer. It really helps me push myself to become better at triathlons!

Thursday, May 28, 2015
Featured Member – Jake Kuhse

Turkey Trot

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Tell us about yourself:
I was born and raised in La Crosse. I’ve got 2 younger brothers, Jeff, and Josh. A few of my interests and hobbies include fishing, running, waterskiing, reading, building computers, and browsing Reddit.

How long have you been doing triathlons?
My first triathlon will be Got Energy.

How long have you been a Bluff Buster?
I joined in early February of this year.

What is your triathlon background (How did you get started? Do you have a background in swim/bike/run, etc, have you done many?)
I ran cross-country and track in middle / high school and one year of college. I don’t have much experience in swimming or biking, but have a strong running background. I took over a year off from doing any type of exercise and am finally getting back into shape.
What is your favorite race distance?
My favorite race in high school was the mile. Now my favorite race is 5k.

What are your triathlon goals for 2015?
Complete a few triathlons and learn the strategies for achieving top racing performance.

What is an interesting fact about you?
I love staying up late and reading

What is your favorite song or album to workout to?
When I do listen to music during my workouts, it’s only on the treadmill or stationary bike. A few of the bands I listen to are Papa Roach, Linkin Park, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and The Offspring.

What motivates you?
Being able to measure continuous progress and see what my body is capable of.

What is your favorite workout? My top 3 are:
· 6-8 mile run through Hixon
· 400m repeats on the track
· Early morning runs on golf courses when no one else is awake

What can’t you live without?
Nalgene water bottle, Asics shoes

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
Teleportation or underwater breathing

What is one book that everyone should read?
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Biggest Pet-Peeve:
Tangled ear buds

 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Featured Member – Dawn Jacobson

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Tell us about yourself (where you’re from, family, work, other hobbies and interests, etc… whatever you’d like to share): I am originally from a small town in Iowa and am a proud Iowa State University alumni. My husband and I moved to Sparta this past summer, where we relocated to be more centrally located between families, with his family residing in northern Wisconsin. I am a certified athletic trainer, working at Black River Memorial Hospital in Black River Falls. My previous 10 years was spent working in collegiate athletics, so this has been a big change, but a good one for finding life balance.

How long have you been doing triathlons? I did my first triathlon in 2002 and hated it, vowing to never do one again. However, eventually the itch came back to try it again a few years later, this time far more successful with better training. I have been actively participating in triathlons and loving it for about the last five years.

How long have you been a Bluff Buster? I just joined! I am anxious to meet with team and take advantage of some of the training opportunities, as I have primarily trained alone throughout my time in triathlon.

What is your triathlon background (How did you get started? Do you have a background in swim/bike/run, etc, have you done many?) I started with sprint races for a couple years, then added in a few Olympics races, and then in 2013 completed my first 70.3. I usually compete in about 3-4 races per year, as I can fit it into my schedule.

What is your favorite race distance? Olympic-distance

What are your triathlon goals for 2015? My goal this year is simply to compete in a handful of sprint distance races. I took last summer off from racing due to relocating, starting a new job, and everything that goes with that. I am itching to get back into my training routine and feel that exhilaration that can only come from triathlon!

What is an interesting fact about you? I am an identical twin. My sister has focused primarily on running events in the past, but she is doing her first duathlon this summer, so maybe I will get her into triathlon in the future!

What is your favorite song or album to workout to? I very rarely listen to music when I work-out. Exercise is my time to get away from all the noise in life, think, and de-stress.

What motivates you? The thrill of setting and reaching new goals. The awesome feeling of accomplishment that you get from pushing your body to its limit and achieving something challenging.

What is your favorite workout? A long bike ride out in the country, where I can get away from the busyness of life and just enjoy the blessing of being able to be physically active.

What can’t you live without? In terms of triathlon, my Asics Gel-Kayano shoes!

What is one book that everyone should read? The Bible. All the answers for life are hidden in that book  🙂

 

Saturday, February 7, 2015
Featured Member – Don Stoeckly

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23 ½ hour Service

Almost everyone knows Don Stoeckly. What I didn’t know about Don was that he was one of the founding fathers of the Bluffbusters.
It all started, Don jokes, in 1998 when he weighed 248 lbs. Realizing that the waist size of his pants was getting greater than the length, he and his wife Diane decided to start an exercise program. A 10 minute walk every day. “After work I was tired” Don said “and sometimes I just walked around the block. Diane was timing me and if I walked 5 minutes one day, I had to walk an extra 5 minutes the next day”. In addition, Diane would pack a lunch of health food, and one day a week the two would walk to Walgreens for weigh-in (since they didn’t own a scale)
The pounds started coming off. The walks turned into a run/walk eventually he was running. “The Running club wanted me to run with them” he said “but I didn’t think I was good enough”. So he set a goal to run a half marathon on his own. Once he did that first 13 miler, he was ready to run with the group and was literally off to the races.
While in the running club he was was inspired by Greg Olson and Barry Clark who were going to try the new Ironman Wisconsin triathlon. Don was so inspired that he signed up for the following year. The fitness thing was definitely taking hold.
As a novice, Don relied on the help of the veteran triathletes, of which he had a long list of names. There were a few missteps along the way though. He fell numerous times until he realized he had to unclip his pedals before stopping (but we have all been there haven’t we?) . His first flat tire had to be changed by Maggie. His first half IM swim took over an hour, but Don said it was real easy to find his bike in T1. But he managed to put it all together and he successfully completed his first Ironman.
Don has since done 3 ironmans, marathons, ultra runs and too many other events to keep track of. Now he changes tires for others, which he did in an IM event when he saw a fellow Bluffbuster with a flat, he thoughtfully stopped to change it. The Don’s Towing slogan is “23 ½ Hour Service”. Apparently that applies during races too!
Don graciously thanks his family, and all of his fellow athletes for supporting him in his pursuits.
He is a humble, kind, caring, thoughtful, businessman, family man, and fellow triathlete. He has sponsored the Bluffbusters as long as I can remember, and he played a major role in the formation of our tri club. Although Don thanks everyone else, I think we owe him thanks.

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Monday, December 15, 2014
Featured Member: Jenny Roberge
Triathlete with a Cause
By Jenny Roberge

At first I did it for myself, but I later realized that it was bigger than me. (Pardon the pun).
In early 2006 I was 5’ tall and weighed 285 pounds.
I think even as a child I was a bit heavy, but it gradually got out of control. I would diet for a while, but then gain it back again. I realized that with the lack of exercise, and poor eating habits I was on a path of self-destruction both physically and emotionally. I decided enough is enough!
I started a strict diet, and began exercising. As I started seeing results, I became even more motivated. In 6 months, I had lost 100 pounds. Exercise was becoming easier. I bought a bike, and was commuting to and from work on it. I was exercising on a home treadmill, and the weight was still coming off. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and thinking, “I can’t believe this is me”. I was feeling happier, and even had more confidence in my career as an x-ray technician. I joined the local YMCA and was meeting other healthy people who were giving me even more inspiration.
I noticed a couple of people who had a similar unique tattoo on their calf muscle. When I asked what that represented they said it was the Mdot that meant they had done an Ironman. At the time, I thought they were crazy.
By 2007 I was down to 125 pounds, and I thought I could handle my first sprint triathlon. I was immediately hooked. I then decided I was going to be one of the crazies who attempted the long course.
In 2008, I completed my first IM triathlon in Wisconsin. Maybe my motivation was out of control, but I had to keep going. I have since done 5 full Ironman’s. I represented Team USA in long course world championships in Henderson NV. What a thrill it was competing on the world stage! I have also done more other triathlons than I can keep track of.
In the off season, (just to stay in shape mind you) I run marathons. I have done about a dozen so far (including Boston).
I realised that a person doesn’t have to go to the extremes that I have to have fun with the sport and get or stay healthy
When I see overweight people, I sympathize with them and wish that they would experience the healthier lifestyle that I now have. I am sometimes asked about my diet, or training plan and I am more than happy to help.
Fellow runners and triathletes have inspired much of my transformation and being affiliated with that athletic peer group keeps me challenging myself to stay healthy.
I believe that the athletic community and I can inspire and influence people into staying or becoming more fit and healthy.
I am living proof that lives can be transformed through fitness I am proud to share my story as an example in an effort to be an inspiration to others.
I want to make a difference, and fitness is my platform.

Me as a couch potato

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Me as a triathlete

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Monday, June 2, 2014
Featured Member: Nancy Gansen

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Tell us about yourself:
I grew up on a farm in River Falls, WI, with 3 brothers in a Catholic Irish-Polish family. That should explain a lot. I did my undergrad there, and then I went to U of Iowa to get my Master’s in Speech Pathology. I’ve always worked with children and now work part-time in early intervention (ages birth-to-three). My husband is from LaX and is a physics prof at UW-L. We have two kids: our daughter Jenna is 7, and our son Riley is 4. I love physical activity, but my first love is running. Besides triathlon training, I also enjoy hiking, canoeing, and downhill skiing. Hobbies I’d like to do again someday are photography and more reading.

How long have you been doing triathlons?
Since 2001 ish

How long have you been a Bluff Buster?
Um, 1.5 yrs

What is your triathlon background?
On the way to the Fitness Loft on Iowa’s campus, I saw a flyer for the tri club, and I had to join. I was allowed to train w/ the club even though I had graduated, but I did feel old when I went to Vegas w/ the 18 year olds (nationals was in AZ so we had to stay in Vegas for a night.). I ran track and cross country in high school; swimming was my weakness. I did a number of Olympic races with the Iowa club, and now I’m doing sprints.

What is your favorite race distance?
Sprint

What are your triathlon goals for 2014?
I want to bike 18 mph and run 8 min miles. I want to remember to appreciate the ability to even compete.

What is an interesting fact about you?
I like to photograph repeating patterns in nature. At least that’s interesting to me. Too many to list really.

What is your favorite song or album to workout to?
I’m low-tech while exercising.

What motivates you?
I feel great when I’m active.

What is your favorite workout?
Hills in Hixon

What can’t you live without?
Chocolate dipped in peanut butter

What is one book that everyone should read?
Lonesome Dove. A tad violent but it all weaves together so well.

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Most of them

If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?
It’d be for all my girlfriends, and I’d have a mimosa bar. In central California with the vineyards and hills all around. We’d have to bike and hike, as well.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I can tie a cherry stem w/ my tongue of course.
Featured Member: Michael Linse

Michael
Tell us about yourself:
I’m originally from Jefferson, down in south-eastern Wisconsin. I grew up very involved in sports, but rarely in individual sports. Triathlon has been a whole new adventure for me

I originally found myself in La Crosse during my college years. I left for a number of years, but moved back to La Crosse when my wife and I decided to get married.

I am married to my wife Shannan Stephens and we are blessed with two children. Braeden (7) and Moira (5). I am a financial advisor with the Pritchard, Jaehnke & Linse Wealth Management Team at Stifel Nicolaus. When I’m not on a bike, in a lake, or slowly running along, I am usually at one of my kids events. I also am the current President of the Board of Directors for the Children’s Museum of La Crosse and I coordinate the 6-7 year old baseball program for Holmen Youth Baseball. Outside of that – I also enjoy cooking in the kitchen, on the grill or in the smoker.

How long have you been doing triathlons?
I have been competing in triathlons for three years.

How long have you been a Bluff Buster?
I have been a Bluff Buster for 3 years as well.

What is your triathlon background:
I grew up playing basketball, baseball and football. Never was running, biking or especially swimming in my life. After college I started biking, but always lived by swim if your drowning, run if your being chased, and bike like hell. I really never considered triathlon until I watched my wife qualify for her first Boston Marathon. Her accomplishment made me take a look at myself and realize that getting older didn’t mean getting inactive. I wanted to do something challenging. Being afraid of heights took mountain climbing or sky diving out of the equation, and I had this awesome bike… why not triathlon. Over the past three years I have done a number of sprint triathlons and last year I completed my first 70.3.

What is your favorite race distance?
I really enjoyed the 70.3 distance.

What are your triathlon goals for 2014?
This year I will complete a sprint (Lake Mills), on Olympic (Got Energy), and a Half Iron (Door County). I will also run my first marathon in September (Fox Cities) and volunteer at Ironman WI to get my registration spot for IMWI in 2015. I’m sure something else will fall into that calendar along the way.

What is your favorite song or album to workout to?
There’s something about “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones that always gets me moving a bit faster.

What motivates you?
Seeing my kids take on the lifestyle example my wife and I are trying to set. Being young, they don’t realize that not all moms and dads don’t run marathons or complete triathlons. Seeing us do what we do is common for them and they just follow along. It’s encouraging to see them outside and engaged versus being glued to the Disney Channel. Last year prior to the Kid’s Tri at the Y, which they have competed in the past two years, I came home from work and my son, age six at the time, shared with me the details of his day. “Dad, you know this weekend is my tri – right? Well today I went to the pool and instead of going down the water slide, I swam a few laps….. then I got home and ran around the round-a-bouts a couple of times…. Then I had a Clif Bar. I’m ready!” That motivates me.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Being that three years ago, I couldn’t swim across the pool or run a 5K – I would say I’m most proud of my half-iron.

What is your favorite workout?
I will always love the bike. I love the feel of getting to the top of the hill.

What can’t you live without?
My patient wife, enthusiastic kids, My Trek Madone, electric shifting, Pizza King meat lovers pizza, great whiskey, my waterproof iPod shuffle, a bonfire, and as many times as I’ve tried – an ice cold Diet Dew.

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
The ability to enjoy all those things I cannot live without and still be at race weight and peak conditioning on race day. Or… to fly. It would make the running portion that much more enjoyable.

What is one book that everyone should read?
I’ve read so many for so many different reasons. It would be hard to pick just one. I would suggest you find something you are passionate about and read it. If it challenges you or makes you think differently – it was worth it.

What is your biggest Pet-Peeve?
I would have to say apathy. Laziness and indifference are choices not a circumstance.

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Washing dishes. Sorry landfills – I would rather throw it away before washing it.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Patience. With others and myself.

What is something you learned in the last week?
As much as I may argue with her, I will never be smarter than my 5 year old daughter.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Featured Member: Jennie Hartzheim

Jennie Hartzheim

Tell us about yourself:
I’m a lifelong Wisconsin Badger! I grew up in Beaver Dam, spent my college years moving around and trying out different UW campuses (my parents really appreciated my extended college career:) and recently moved back to LaCrosse after living & working at Beloit College for six years.

Currently, I work at UW-L as the First Year Experience coordinator (new student programs, student success, parent and family relations). Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, love to shop and to find a “bargain”, craft projects (really good at starting, not always the best at finishing), and of course, being active.

How long have you been doing triathlons?
This is my second year.
How long have you been a Bluff Buster?
Two years

What is your triathlon background (How did you get started? Do you have a background in swim/bike/run, etc, have you done many?)
Virtually non-existent. Growing up my main activities were figure skating and golf. I don’t remember the reason why, but I decided I wanted to run in the Twilight Beaver Chase (yes, that was the name and hopefully it gave you a good laugh. The make you snort kind.) when I was 8 or 9, and pretty much couldn’t make it the mile and was just about dead last. My love for running is a somewhat new thing. I have only been running about three years. In fact, my first marathon (Chicago 2010) I did completely as a walker.

What is your favorite race distance?
Still trying to figure that out!

What are your triathlon goals for 2014?
Finish IM Wisconsin

What is an interesting fact about you?
I dressed up as the Republican elephant for Halloween when I was in the third grade. I actually begged my mom to let this be my costume.

What is your favorite song or album to workout to?
I don’t have a favorite. It really depends on the day, my iPod has everything from Justin Bieber to Smashing Pumpkins.

What motivates you?
Thinking about how lucky I am that I have the ability to run, bike, swim, etc and that I know of many others (such as my mom) who would give anything to be able to do so. Those moments that I really want to throw in the towel, because I not going as fast as I want to or feeling a bit lazy, I make myself do a reality check and that usually keeps me going.

What accomplishment (triathlon or non-triathlon related) are you most proud of?
Losing 153 pounds! In 2006 I weighed 313 pounds and spent 5 1/2 years taking it off (it’s been quite a journey). Every day that I am able to enjoy biking, running… even swimming, I celebrate is a reminder of all that I have accomplished and all that I hope to accomplish in the future.

What is your favorite workout?
The ones where I feel that I have had my butt kicked, but feel totally awesome at the same time!

What can’t you live without?
My programmable coffee maker. It is seriously the best to come home from the gym in the morning and the coffee is freshly brewed and ready to go:)

What is one book that everyone should read?
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Cleaning the bathroom.

 

 

Featured Member: Adam Binsfeld

adamB
Tell us about yourself :
I was born and raised in La Crosse, along with my three older brothers and younger sister. After graduating from Aquinas High School in 2002, I attended Arizona State University, and graduated in 2006 with degrees in business marketing and management. In my free time at ASU, I waited tables, then bounced and bartended at one of the local watering holes, and played on the rugby team. In 2006, I moved to San Diego and took a job with CH Robinson.

As much as I enjoyed being by the ocean, surfing, and the weather, I moved back to La Crosse in 2008 to begin working for Brennan in marine construction and transportation. In 2012, I finished the MBA program at UWL. My wife, Beth, and I had a baby boy (Tommy) in 2012 and now are expecting our second towards the end of 2014.
How long have you been doing triathlons?
2 years

How long have you been a Bluff Buster?
2 years

What is your triathlon background?
My oldest brother, Matt, talked me into the West Salem triathlon a couple years ago and I have really enjoyed them ever since.

What is your favorite race distance?
I have only done sprint triathlons and Door County has been my favorite venue.

What are your triathlon goals for 2014?
I want to finish strong in the 70.3 at Racine.

What is an interesting fact about you?
I’ve gone bungy jumping and sky diving in the same day.

What is your favorite song or album to workout to?
I listen to Pandora dialed in on the Lynyrd Skynyrd or Creedence Clearwater stations. If I need to stick with an album, it would be Metallica S&M.

What motivates you?
It’s incredibly motivating to see people finish an Ironman (or any distance) in the last few minutes of time allowed.

What accomplishment (triathlon or non-triathlon related) are you most proud of?
During my last year at ASU, I co-captained the rugby team and we finished the season ranked 14th in the nation.

What is your favorite workout?
A friendly rugby game

What can’t you live without?
Family

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
Assuming being able to fly is too much to ask for, I’d ask for intangibility….I hate carrying keys

What is one book that everyone should read?
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

What is your biggest Pet-Peeve?
Tardiness

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Unloading the dishwasher

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Master public speaking

What is something you learned in the last week?
While looking into a vessel’s tonnage for regulatory purposes, I learned that a ship’s tonnage (tunnage) was originally determined by the number of casks of wine (tuns) that could fit in the ship’s holds.

If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?
It would definitely be a bonfire on a sandbar on the river, with plenty of good people and no shortage of drinks.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Featured Member: John Manier

John M_HalfIronman

Tell us about yourself:
I’m originally from Neillsville, WI which is a small town (pop. 2,467) in Clark County. I grew up in the country and always enjoyed hunting, fishing, and camping. I moved to La Crosse to attend college; I graduated from Winona State University with a bachelor’s in Environmental Science in 2008. Now I’m going to grad school at UW- La Crosse, where I’m working on a master’s in Aquatic Sciences. I’m hoping to graduate this summer. I also work full-time for the US Geological Survey, in a water quality lab, where I test samples from the Mississippi River. I’m passionate about what I do and love my job!

How long have you been doing triathlons?
3 years.

How long have you been a Bluff Buster?
2 years.

What is your triathlon background?
I always enjoyed running. During high school, I was on the cross-country team, as well as track-and-field. Once I graduated from college, I started doing longer distances, including half and full-marathons. As much as I enjoyed running, however, I was always curious about triathlons, so I signed up for the Got Energy Triathlon in 2011. I had no clue what I was doing (and had a horrendous performance…haha!), but it only inspired me to train harder and do better.

What is your favorite race distance?
Half-ironman distance. The training is manageable, yet the distance is still a challenge.

What are your triathlon goals for 2014?
I would like to PR my half-ironman distance. Hopefully at Superior Man Triathlon in Duluth, MN on August 24th!

What is an interesting fact about you?
I’m a cancer-survivor. I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2000. By the time doctors found it, it had spread to my abdomen and lymph nodes. After two surgeries, one week in the hospital, and tons of support from my family and friends…I was cured! I have now been cancer-free for 14 years. In fact, I did my first marathon as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

What is your favorite song or album to workout to?
I don’t usually listen to music while I workout, but when I do, I like rock. Red Light King, Pop Evil, Linkin Park…

What motivates you?
Future races, taking on new challenges, overcoming obstacles, adversity…

What accomplishment (triathlon or non-triathlon related) are you most proud of?
Finishing Ironman Wisconsin! It not only felt good to cross the finish line, but two weeks later, it just hit me how amazing that entire experience was. I met so many great people (including fellow Bluff Busters); got to enjoy so much scenery (swimming across Lake Neshonoc at sunrise); and made so many lifestyle changes. For the first time, I started eating right and taking care of myself. Overall, that was one of the best summers of my life.

What is your favorite workout?
Swimming has always been my weakness, so I actually enjoy doing swim drills.

What can’t you live without?
Chocolate chip cookies

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
To walk on water. That would be a huge help during the swim portion of the race 🙂

What is one book that everyone should read?
Sand County Almanac

What is your biggest Pet-Peeve?
People who talk/text while driving.

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Cleaning the shower.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Swim 🙂 Just kidding…I’d like to learn how to play guitar.

What is something you learned in the last week?
Cyanobacteria of Canadian lakes grow best at mid-level nitrogen to phosphorus ratios. Also, Grand Canyon National Park is celebrating it’s 95th anniversary this year!

If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?
I don’t know…but it would include a flat-bed trailer, live country music, good friends, and many libations:)

Do you have any hidden talents?
I know how to identify algae (that’s the focus of my graduate work). I also like to cook!
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Featured Member of the Month: Jamey Makepeace

Jamey pic
Tell us about yourself:
I was born in Maine. A grade school teacher once told my parents I might be disturbed, but she was wrong, I’m a mainiac. I’m married to a non-triathlete-which is nice because we never argue about who’s turn it is to work out aaaalllllll weekend-it’s always my turn. I’m a civil engineer. Other hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting.

How long have you been doing triathlons?
My first was a sprint in Hudson in 2004.

How long have you been a Bluff Buster?
2008?

What is your triathlon background?
I was a swimmer from age 6 to age 8 until the club went belly-up. My folks were into road running so I ran 5k fun runs as a kid. If they had a 12 & under age group my best friend and I got ribbons. Apparently there were only two of us who were forced to run by their evil parents at such a young age. In high school I could not get myself to train. I skipped cross-country practices and hid at the mall with my other lazy friends. We called ourselves “the loungers”. I remember the coach giving us a terrible verbal reprimand one day and I knew my lounging was over and I’d have to quit the team. Luckily, I sprained my ankle a few days later and couldn’t run. I’ve been doing a few tris a year for a while now.

What is your favorite race distance?
I like long races-I just don’t have the right stuff to compete at sprints. I think 140.6 is becoming my favorite distance, although the olympic/international distance probably plays best to a weak biker like me.

What are your triathlon goals for 2014?
Lower my Ironman PR at Wisconsin.

What is an interesting fact about you?
I love to hear about people’s races. The details are fascinating. I wish Garmin could capture suffering and mood right along with time so I could see graphs of that and know how people really felt.

What is your favorite song or album to workout to?
Heavenly Day by Patty Griffin. It’s strange, but that song gives me some of the most powerful visualization time-I always visualize myself running the part of a marathon or Ironman where it really starts to get painful, but where you still have a choice. Sometimes you run into your physical limit before the finish line and your body breaks and you don’t have a choice. But sometimes you can occupy the fuzzy area right at your physical limit for quite some time and the only things that exist are pain, the road, cups of water, gels every 24 minutes and the finish line somewhere up ahead…and you choose to push-oh heavenly day-that’s what I visualize.
What motivates you?
Fear, if you don’t train, it’s gonna hurt like hell. Scratch that. If you do train, it’s gonna hurt. If you don’t train, you might not finish-scary. Sometimes guilt-not everyone is physically able to do this.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
There have been two or three times where it seemed I was really able to help someone in a race or training, and that was very satisfying.

What is your favorite workout?My favorite workout while I’m doing it is track work. The best post-workout feeling is after the 112-mile training ride. It always seems like an accomplishment-you get done and the anxiety that was there leading up to it goes away and you get to recover and relax.

What can’t you live without?
Running

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
I’d be VO2 Maxman

What is one book that everyone should read?
Winterdance by Gary Paulson is a great read.

What is your biggest Pet-Peeve?
Poor parenting. It’s too important!

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Making the bed. Seriously, what’s the point?

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Snowboard. I’ve tried. I suck.

Where’s Waldo?
What? I have no idea.

What is something you learned in the last week?
My glutes are not completely asleep.

If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?
A fishing and running party. We’d all go for a run and then go fishing. In the evening we’d have a big fire, Scott would cook for us…it would be great.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I can ….not think of any

What is one question you wished that we would have asked you but didn’t. And what is the answer?
The question: What is one triathlon thing I’m mad about?
The answer: I’m no faster with my TT bike, aero helmet, fancy $400 watch, new tri-suits, etc, than I was without them. I want my money back.

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