TeamEN vs Wisconsin: Meet the Team

150 150 Rich Strauss

On September 12, 38 TeamEN athletes will put months of hard work to the test at Ironman® Wisconsin. Most notably, 22 “EN Chickas” will be racing! What started out as a bet between Coach Rich and the gals has turned into an incredible movement, complete with a Moo Jo and 10-12 male members of EN pledging to wear pink speedos at mile 18 to support the ladies! Wisconsin ’10 will certainly be one for the history books so let’s begin by meeting the players!

Marianne Park

I am an original member of Endurance Nation.  I joined in the summer of 2007 after completing Florida in 2006.  Coach Patrick/ Coach Rich have been there to see me finish Ironman® Kentucky in 2007, Ironman® Coeur D’Alene in 2008, Lake Placid in 2009 and this year Ironman® Wisconsin.  I have a goal of completing all of the United States’ Ironmans so I have picked different venues.  2011 finds me at Ironman® Texas. I have been married for 26 years to Joe and we have five children:  David, age 21, Andrew age 18, Daniel age 16, Joshua age 11 and Grace age 9.  I also enjoy running with my Irish Setter dog Rudy.  My motto has always been “If I can, anybody can!” because I did not do sports in school rather started running/swimming just 6 years ago and cycling 5 years ago.  Five marathons and four Ironmans later….?  and the Bible verse “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me” Philippians 4:13 has been my inspiration!   Meditation, quiet time for prayer outside, good health, good friends, laughter,  mental toughness, stress relief, fun times, flexibility, speed, power, and healthy eating are all benefits derived from Ironman® training.  Honestly?  I just like swimming, biking and running!!  and what better way than to do that all day with 2400 other people!!!


Linda Patch

I am so excited to be racing Ironman® Wisconsin! I have been doing triathlons for nearly 20 years. This will be my third Ironman, and my second one training with Endurance Nation. I’m proud to an EN “original gangster”—a member since day one! I’ll be part of a posse of 20 incredible EN women who are doing this race. The support between us as we trained “together” is hard to convey. But let me put it this way—the connection and friendship I shared here is the most powerful experience of my training life. I am 52, and have been married to my husband Keith for 29 years. We have four sons, 24, 21, 19, and 17. I have had my own marketing and PR consulting business since 1991, Linda Patch & Associates. Training for Ironman® Wisconsin has been a roller coaster to say the least. A perplexing health condition threw me far off my game this spring. It took months to zero in on a thyroid condition, get matters regulated, and get back on track. At the end of June, my husband had a serious cycling accident that caused me to stop all training and cancel all plans. After several weeks of touch-and-go issues and a major surgery, he was doing amazingly well. Training for WI was now back on the table. With great guidance from the coaches and the team on how to pick up the pieces—and with my husband’s total support—I decided to see it through. You can be sure that I will spend every minute of this race in profound thanks and gratitude that I am able to participate in this incredible event. Whatever the finish time is, I can assure it will be triumphant!


Moo Jo

I am a very busy cow who travels the country to train with and bring mooooootivation to the EN Chica’s training for Wisconsin this year.  Steering the 20+ EN Chica’s was not an easy job for one cow, but I am a true believer in the EN Motto, Work WORKS!  This year I have endured many 6-hour rides being very hot in a Bento Box,  supervised food choices at the grocery store and restaurants, navigated the Chica’s to various training camps, and put up with the Chica’s pets trying to eat me!  Through all of this, I’ve become a pro at staying inside my box (especially a Chica’s bento box) and I am really looking forward to riding the course there on race day.  I know the Ironman® will be a long day, but my One Thing is to see all my EN Chica’s cross the finish line!  Oh, and in case you were wondering, hell yeah, I’m getting my calf branded with an M-dot tattoo when this is over!!!


Nemo and Joe Brauch

I’m a proud Endurance Nation Chica, L’il Peep, and OG (Original Gangsta).  This will be my second time racing Ironman® Wisconsin.  The last time I raced in Madison I earned myself a 1:55:09 PR thanks to the training and racing guidance of Endurance Nation.  I’ve been nursing a chronic calf injury for most of this year (spending countless boring hours pool running) and was not able to do much run training, so I anticipate coming up about an hour or so shy of my prior Wisconsin time.  But that’s OK, I’m really doing the race this year for two reasons; 1) to raise money for the Outer Banks SPCA and 2) to celebrate the journey with approximately 20 other pink visor wearing Endurance Nation Chicas.  It is going to be a 140.6 mile party with the pink Speedo brigade at Mile 18 as the icing on the cake!  When I’m not racing Ironman® you can find me living on the Outer Banks of North Carolina with my husband, Joe, and two cats, Otto and Lilly.


Kris Frazier

I live and work in Louisville KY (right off the Louisville Bike course).   I have a two grown children- daughter, Meagan, (25) and son, Michael, (19). Born & raised in Kentucky, I work in purchasing at Northland Corporation as well as teaching fitness classes part time. I started my athletic endeavors at the age of 30 with running.  After a stress fracture handed me a no running for 6 weeks sentence, I took up biking with the help of a good friend and training partner.  After 2 years of duathlons, I decided swimming had to be easier, so I completed my first sprint tri in 2005.  Since that time, I’ve been blessed to have competed in numerous sprint, oly’s,  half-iron & 2 full iron races. After my vow of an “IM free” year, I was lured by the opportunity to race with so many of my strong, supa cool EN Chicka friends.  Training with the girls this season has brought a whole new fantastic element to IM training.  I am truly thankful for my EN family!


Gina Hamel

48 yo residing in Chattanooga, TN with my partner, Susanna, and our dogs, Indie & Belle. This will make IM #3 for me, having completed Florida ’08 & IMA* ’09. 2010 was going to be a non-IM year for me, but the collective vibe of the EN Chicas convinced me to sign up. It is that spirit & the many wonderful friendships I have made, that has gotten me to the line. People think our forum is busy? You should see what goes on behind the scenes! I truly am fortunate to have come to know such a great group of people. I am looking forward to sharing race weekend, once again, with my family. They have been with me to each IM thus far and there is nothing more special than sharing the day with them. ( I really think they are coming to be sure I don’t sign up for one in 2011!!)


David Wonn

I will be working on EN Race Day Execution this year at Wisconsin.  After 2009 IMKY, I immediately transitioned into several months of sitting in a chair doing finger aerobics (day job is main frame code slinger – programmer).  That resulted in barely being able to walk by the start of 2010.  Well that is in the rear view mirror now … Right now I feel the best I have felt since last year.  The problem is, my power on the bike and my pace on the run is way behind previous years due to the injuries earlier this year.  But for due to various sob stories, I have yet to put together a good Ironman® …

Lake Placid ’99 – bad nutrition – so walked 20 miles to 14hrs,
GFT  ’03 head cold so inner balance problem – 16hrs,
IMKY ’07 – my best year leading up to race but stomach bug race morning led overdoing the “Racing in a Box” – it was a Green Box (20+ portaJohn stops lost track) 15hr,
Coeur d’Alene’08 cold water, lowest body fat for a race, plus being a slow swimmer bit me in the behind resulting DNF w/hypothermia & 92deg core body temp,
IMKY ’09 – close to ’07 fitness leading up to race, Ergomo died right before race – but the killer was stepping in a hole on the bridge after running on the side of my foot for 10 miles, did substantial walking/hobbling but still a 13:44 IM PR


Kitima Boonvisudhi

Wisconsin was never on my radar (I had never thought to ever travel to WI!) until a certain pink speedo bet was announced on the EN forum a year ago.  I am excited to show up for my second IM as part of a tremendous social event complete with many matching pink garments and plastic cows. Also, this race is my first IM under the tutelage of EN: finally a chance to execute to the best of my ninja ability.  I don’t have any aggressive time goals for this race (good thing given it’s the second slowest IM), but I would be tickled pink to “chick” my hubby’s 2006 Lake Placid time. I could then claim the title of “Fastest Ironman” in our house at least until he races another one and blows that time away. Most of all, I am looking forward to sharing this big race party weekend with my EN friends and family!


David Williams

Wisconsin 2010 will be my first ever Ironman® attempt.  I have been training with EN since October of 2008 when I lived in Hawaii and started training for the Honu 70.3® in 2009.  Now I live in Minneapolis, MN with my wife, Cheryl, of 12 years and our three kids – Joseph, 12, and Phillip and Emily who are nine years old.  My goals for this race are to 1.) finish, and 2.) want to do another Ironman.  Of course, in the back of my mind I have some time goals, but those are really wishes – I’ll focus on time goals in any subsequent Ironman® events.  So far the training and group camaraderie through EN has been a tremendously enrishing experience – one that I will always remember and value.


Beth Schwindt (standing)

Beth Schwindt —  I’m a Chicago dweller who has had the privilege of training with the NIL Sleeper Cell, and the EN Chicas this season. In my second season with Endurance Nation, I’ll be tackling my first Ironman.
What a journey it has been! New powermeter and TT bike to master, along with making four and half hour bike rides and eating lots of fake food the new normal. With all the work in the bank, I’m looking forward to racing with the bet-winning Endurance Nation women, and all of Team Ironman® Wisconsin 2010. This is the year of Endurance Nation bringing the pink!


Leigh and Dave Boyle

Wisconsin ’10 will be Team Boyle’s third household IM throw-down (it will be Dave’s 3rd and Leigh’s 5th). This years “friendly wager” = best even or negative split run. The winner will enjoy lazy evenings and weekends while the loser will be in the backyard with a flamethrower and machete scrambling to tackle the jungle yard before all the leaves come down. The neighbors are particularly happy that the spandex couple will go into hibernation for the fall and winter and that “that house on the street” will finally be taken care of. In terms of preparation, both Leigh and Dave are happy with their preparation and ready to race! No time goals are on the table other than to run to the best of their ability in true EN ninja fashion and enjoy the Moooooo-party!


Todd Glass

Todd Glass —  I have been with EN since the very beginning.  IMMOO is going to be my 6th IM.  This will be the forth time I have raced in Wisconsin and I am looking to exact a little revenge on this course.   My wife Kate and 3 kids, Justin(6), Tyler(4) and Vida(2) will be supporting me in Madison.   If you see the kids wandering about, be careful, they might ask you to take them to the bathroom (ask Coach P about that one).  This year has been one full of incredible highs and awful lows, all of which made training a little crazy.  In the end, my one goal is to execute the best race that I can.


Michele Cellai

I live in Massachusetts, about 20 miles west of Boston, but I am not a native, I don’t say “wicked”. Work FT as a Nurse Practitioner. When cable came to my home town in 1980, I saw Kona and knew that someday I wanted to do that kind of racing. I have been racing tris for 16 years. Wisconsin will be my second iron distance event, but my first M-DOT. Endurance Nation prepared me for my first independent iron race, I raced by HR and PE. This time around I race with POWER! No amount of “thank you’s” could ever express the gratitude I have for teaching me how to train and how to execute a race. My race is dedicated to the men and women of the armed forces that have fought for our country. I have met my fund raising goal for the charity “Homes for Our Troops”. This charity custom builds homes for permanently disabled soldiers. None of this would be possible without the support of my wonderful husband, Max. Go Chickas!!!


Kathy Nelson

I live in Minneapolis, MN with my husband Andres and our 5 boys, Joel (21), Jonah (19), Jon (17), Josh (15) and Joseph (12)…oh and I can’t forget our 8 year old yellow lab, Job (also male)!  I began my journey into triathlon 7 years ago at the age of 40.  I had a running injury, so ended up in the pool and decided since I had to be in the pool I might as well learn to swim; because pool running was really boring!!  So, taught myself to swim, joined a masters class, learned lots more and entered my first triathlon. Since then have done many sprints, olys, halfs and now training for my first IM!  I have enjoyed my first year training with EN. Love the vibe in the haus, the massive amounts of information and the great people!  I want to publicly thank my awesome family…they are an inspiration to me and have supported me 100% in this IM en devour!  Thanks guys I love you!


Heather La Freniere

Heather La Freniere, 41, resides in Evanston IL, married, mother of three (ages 11, 8, 5), senior executive at fast-growing technology finance company based in Denver CO.  I’ve always been a competitive athlete, part of that first wave of Title IX girls – started soccer at age 8 and played through Club level in college at Univ of WI. Competitive swimmer through college at UW as well, ok, 2 years anyway, then I went abroad to Madrid Spain for a year, way better than swimming at the SERF in Madison….Started running by accident after college, got hooked on the competition, ran my first marathon in 1993 – 3 hr 33 min. Completed my first Oly triathlon in 1994 and was completely addicted. Since then have completed 8 marathons (3’10 PR), 8 HIMs, god knows how many Olys and half marathons and one IM – WI in ’08. Preparing for IM-MOO in ’08 was one of the best experiences of my life, enjoyed every new challenge that each week brought; race day was a dream, everything went well and I had a smile from start to finish. Completed the race in 11 hrs 38 min quite satisfied. Found out I was 8th in my AG, 4 Kona slots – so close. Too close, in fact, to just check the box and move on, must try again. Spend next two years working on the bike which included joining EN to improve cycling power. In addition I hopefully have learned how to race properly in order to make use of that new found power and still take advantage of my strength, which is the run.


Robert Matusiak

Hello everyone. My name is Robert Matusiak. I’m 36 y/o and work as a 5th year surgical resident. I have a wonderful and supportive wife Jenny and three beautiful kids. This is my 4th. IM race. Took a couple of years off after my last IM (Arizona ’07) to work on getting faster at the olympic and 1/2 IM distance. My goals for Wisconsin ’10 are to execute a solid race plan and finish with a strong marathon. Would love to finish sub-12 hours but will see what the day brings. Looking forward to seeing all of the EN racers and supporters out there!


Mark Erkenswick

Sooo…..8-10 sentences about me.   First, I’m a dad x3 (Chloe-8, Ryno-5, Bella-3).  After that, the order isn’t really important.  This is my third year doing this tri-thing, started with a sprint, moved to an oly and a HIM (Augusta) in year 2 and up to the full monte for IM Moo in year 3.  I still fear the swim and dread the run (at least at the IM distance).  I love being on two wheels – MTB, road bike, street motorcycle, dual sport mcy, off-road mcy, you name it.  Mo wheels does not equal mo better in my book.  I live west of Chicago in Wheaton, IL.  For my day job I’m a partner at KPMG and basically deliver professional services mostly related to accounting and auditing.  Here’s me with Bella…


Pam Kassner

Two years ago Pam Kassner thought she said good bye to the hills of Verona, Mt. Horeb and beyond. But she’s headed back to Madison for the 4th time and her 6th Ironman. The pressure is on since she PRed the course by over an hour in 2008. But this EN Cowgirl saddles up with the support of the vast EN knowledge-base and the many wonderful friends that she’s made during the past year, and can’t wait to meet.  She can’t join us at the Team Dinner as she’ll be celebrating the Jewish New Year holiday but look for her on her little pink Guru and sporting some pink clothing including the stylish EN Chica visor come throughout the weekend and race day.


Trevor Garson

Born and raised in Melbourne Beach FL, but live and work in Cedar Rapids IA as a Software Engineer developing fixed and rotary wing displays (avionics) for Rockwell Collins, Government Systems. Started triathlon in 2009 completing my first sprint and Olympic in June and first half in August (Pigman Long Course). Started off 2010 with my first Marathon (Walt Disney World), joined EN shortly after and have been looking forward to my first IM ever since. Picture is of my mom and I on the right from RAGBRAI this year. My mom got me to sign up for my first half marathon in 2007 (my first race ever), and bought me my first road bike. She is flying up from Florida to support me and I would never have started triathlon if it wasn’t for her.


Eric Rueppel

I’m married with two children. My wife’s name is Angella. I have a 14 year old daughter, Anna and an 11 year old son, Aaron. We live in Sturgis, MI-located in the heart of the Amish community. I am an Electrical Contractor with my own business, Prime Quality Electric, LLC. I have been running since high school cross country. I got into triathlons in 2008 doing sprints. I have been with Endurance nation since May of 2009. I really enjoy the triathlon sport and being on the EN team. I have completed two HIM races (Steelhead 2009 and Race for Recovery 2010). At the HIM race this year, I had a 1 hour + PR. I give all the credit to my offseason plan.   Ironman® Wisconsin will be my first full Ironman.


Mike Castle

This is my fourth Ironman.  All have been at Ironman® Wisconsin.  I gracefully entered the 50-54 age group this year.  By the rules I an 51!!!  For those of you who might know him I am Mike Biarnesen’s (Mike B.) brother in law.  Mike has be an EN racer in the past.  In fact his picture is on one of the website banners.  Joined last fall and was able to follow the OS plan and that in combination with a more focused diet resulted in my losing 25lbs.  I can now wear the rehearsal dinner suit from our wedding in 1994.  Married to Kathi with two daughters, Sam(13) and Madison(10).  They will be back and forth during the weekend as they will be playing soccer just west of Milwaukee in a tournament.  While I am the fittest I have been in terms of body composition I have never been known for speed.  Work this spring/summer (it’s good to have a job!) has been a real bear and along with a nagging ankle injury I am not where I planned to be from a fitness perspective so I will just manage accordingly.  Overall, I hope to cross the line between 14:00 and 14:30 right at bar time for the EN crew!  Finally,  racing in the same race as the EN Chicas will be quite the privilege!!!


Jim Hansen

Jim Hansen and Family

I’m 35 and live in Gurnee, IL with my wife Andrea and son Drew (2).  Wisconsin will be my second Ironman, my first being Louisville in 2008 after joining Endurance Nation earlier that year.  This will be my first attempt at racing for Kona qualification.  So, while I’ve announced that goal, I have not set the expectation that I will get it.  This has helped immensely with my mindset going into this race since I always tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to perform.  However, I will do everything I can to achieve this goal that so many spend years chasing.  I will need all the positive mojo from the on-course and on-line Nation to help me get there.


Tony Stocker

Number of previous Ironman® finishes: 3
Goals for IM-Moo 2010:

  • Make cut-offs (especially challenging will be T2)
  • Finish race
  • Have decent transition times
  • Make up for DNF at Canada 2009

Stretch Goals:

  • PR marathon section (5:38:10)
  • PR race (16:07:02)

Random thoughts/facts: After Canada last year I was highly motivated to come back strong, but a series of professional and personal issues has pushed IM training farther and farther back in the priority list.  My original goal of not just finishing the race but killing it with 2+ hour PR is long gone and at this point I just want to finish the race on time.  Swimming has been almost non-existent this year, so while I’m a big believer that swimming is just the price of admission and without fixing your stroke your swim times stay basically the same, I’m not sure what my swim will be.  Hoping to be in the same (crappy) ballpark as the last 2 years and come in around 1:40-1:45 but concerned that lack of swimming this year is going to bite me in the untrained muscles big time.  I should be capable of an 8:00 bike on the course if I stay on top of my nutrition and ride steady; most difficult part will be around mile 80-90 when ‘the blues’ sets in and I have to use the One Thing to fight them off — hopefully my One Thing is strong enough this year.  The marathon is a total crap shoot for me; my running base and speed was killer in the spring but hasn’t been up to par recently.  The good news is that if I get off the bike at T2 in time I’ll finish the race in time.  So, unfortunately, as it’s been for me the last 2 years this race comes down to making it to T2 in time, I was hoping to avoid that this year but it is what it is.  It’s about executing now, and executing smart.


Mike Blackburn

I am 45 and this is my second Ironman® after doing Lake Placid last year on my birthday.  This is my 4th year doing triathlons and I am completely addicted!   I listened in and used some ideas from Endurance Nation at Lake Placid last year, but seriously drank the Kool-Aid this year and am feeling good and looking forward to a great race thanks to all of the words of wisdom!  I am a Team in Training Triathlon Coach and a Certified Level 1 USAT Coach.  In 2009, I co-founded a triathlon club called Detroit Iron and 14 of us raised $20,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  This year we have about 55 members of the club (about 25 doing IM Wisconsin), and will raise about $30 – $40,000.  As a result, I will be wearing a Detroit Iron jersey with our sponsors represented on the jersey, (it is basically the same light blue as the EN Jersey).  However, I will have an EN hat on for the run and my heart is with the TEAM EN!  I have been practicing the gang sign and hope I can pull it out at Mile 18 with a smile on my face!  Can’t wait to officially meet everyone!


Sheryl Woodworth

On March 1st of 2000, my world changed when I was diagnosed with Stage III cervical cancer. Because the tumor was too large for surgery I had radiation and chemo.  My husband and I cried for one evening then decided that we needed to find something positive in all of this.  I credit my faith and support from friends with enduring the treatments.  In a small way, I credit my fear that if I didn’t survive my then young daughters would never have their hair fixed or matching clothing since my husband, by his own admission, doesn’t really want to braid hair or match clothing.   In response to cancer survival I knew I needed to do something to become more fit and fight the effects of early menopause. A friend told me about triathlon and I signed up for my first event, Heart of the Lakes Triathlon in Annandale, MN. What a blast, I signed up for another, purchased a bike for more than my first car and I was hooked. In 2003, I watched my husband complete Ironman® Wisconsin and thought, yeah…I’ll never do this. I have now attempted Ironman® Wisconsin twice and third time is the charm in 2010. Hear this, I am not an athlete. In fact, I really needed to lose 40 lbs before this race but failed. I’m just an average 49 year old woman wanted to do something fun to stay at some level of fitness.  Call me crazy but I’ve already signed up for Texas and have a dream of completing 5 Ironman® before I call it a day in the Ironman® world.   More important than all this is my family, two daughter, Kelsey and Shelby, 18 and nearly 20 and a husband of nearly 23 years.  He is the most patient and long suffering person I know.  They have supported all failed attempts and still plan to be there for this one.   Ya’ll probably won’t be at the finish line when I finish but believe me, all the support for Team EN will make the difference in me finishing!

Bob Arsenault

Bob Arsenault,  age 47, Hampton NH, Chiropractor.
Thanks to my wonderfully supportive wfe, Ellen and kids Ryan 18, Connor 17 and Kelly 11 and their enthusiasm for the sport of triathlon, that once in a lifetime Ironman® event in Lake Placid last summer, gets to be repeated again this year in Wisconsin. I chose IMMOO  because of it’s reputation for being hard and I thought by training and executing the EN way that it would allow me to best compete within my age group.  My goal is to improve on my LP time which was 11:03:00, and also place in the top 10 of my age group, which I figure I will need between a 10:30:00-10:40:00. As always my one thing is to make my family proud and to show my kids that by working hard, smart, making the necessary sacrifices, and having a strong will and being disciplined that you can achieve those goals that you set your mind to. I feel this being my 2nd IM that I’ve been able to enjoy the journey a little more this year which has been made particularly special by being a part of such an awesome team.   I will be eternally greatful to EN  and all of it’s members.


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