Some people say things happen in threes, but for Cherie Gruenfeld, they happen in fives! By now you’ve probably heard of Cherie, our official butt-kicker and World Class Triathlete, but you might not know everything she has accomplished in the last year. Besides being named 2015 Grandmaster of the Year, in FIVE races, she collected FIVE wins and set FIVE course records!
Cherie started the 2015 race season in May on the Central Coast of California with a win and new course record at Wildflower Long Course (70.3 miles). The next closest competitor was an athlete from the 55-59 age group that finished over 7 minutes behind her!
Less than one month later while most of us would still be recovering, she traveled to the Ironman 70.3 in Hawai’i for another triathlon and yet another course record! She beat out the next closest competitor in her own age group by well over an hour, and even edged out the top athlete from the 60-64 age group, 10 years her junior.
Then in July, it was back to the mainland for another 70.3 triathlon at the Vineman in Sonoma County. I know this is starting to sound repetitive, but she placed first again, and set another course record again! And she beat some of the younger folks, by over 6 minutes. AGAIN.
In August, it was on to the Olympic Distance National Championships, in Milwaukee, WI! Cherie once again dominated this 32-mile course. Second place in her age group trailed her by a comfortable margin of almost 20 minutes.
Now for the grand finale. Swimming, biking and running 140 miles in blistering heat, and throw in a headwind, because why make it easy? This Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawai’i was also where Cherie set another course record with a win at just barely over 14 hours. It was her 18th and final 140.6-miler, as she has decided to focus on Half Ironman races (70.3 miles) from now on. Needless to say, her last full Ironman didn’t disappoint.
She’s not just an athlete, she’s also a philanthropist. As founder of Exceeding Expectations, Cherie also devotes her time to inspiring and motivating young people here in Southern California. EE is a non-profit organization encouraging at-risk kids to move their lives in a positive direction using triathlons as a vehicle. Her highest priority is to provide the support the kids need to keep high school graduation and college in view.
Surely most of us would be completely wiped out from that grueling 2015 race schedule, but when you’re the 2015 Grandmaster of the Year, it’s just preparation next season. In fact, she’s already got her sites on a race for this coming April. We’re likewise gearing up to cheer her on again.
Race Plan for 2016 includes:
- April 10th: Ironman 70.3 Texas
- June 4th: Ironman 70.3 Hawai’I (Honu)
- July 10th: Ironman 70.3 Vineman
- September 4th: Ironman 70.3 World Championships (Australia!)
Congrats again Cherie, and thanks again for all you do!