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Published August 19 2012

Wagner: Experiences can fuel inspiration

Bemidji, Minn.

One of the best parts of life is finding what we love – sometimes through trial and error, other times through the singular pursuit of our passions, or even by accident.

A work assignment piqued my interest in running. One year later, I ran as part of a relay team in my first competitive race. And a year after that, I was a first-time marathon finisher and training for my second.

Along the way, I met new friends, and even joined a team of Twin Cities’ runners for the Ragnar Great River Relay. In each of the past five Augusts, I’ve made the trip to join them for the 198-mile relay, now a well-organized event drawing thousands of runners to dozens of venues across the country.

Before I ran a marathon, my goal was to complete in a triathlon. While that three-sport goal was put on the shelf as I pursued marathon times with a singular purpose, a chance encounter this past winter rekindled my interest in cycling and triathlons.

Inspiration can come from many sources and forms. For me, sharing experiences and meeting new people serves as inspiration.

This past weekend, after completing Ragnar with friends, I headed out on Sunday morning to watch a triathlon in Lakeville, Minn.

As I stood and cheered, my eyes were trained on the transition area in hopes of picking up tips and tricks to make my own fledgling triathlon goals easier. While I walked away with some new found knowledge, I was more impressed by the effort of these athletes, many of them who were out there racing against the clock and themselves.

So while my body began healing from running race pace on the rolling hills of Ragnar’s course from Winona, Minn., to Minneapolis, watching the triathlon fueled my mind and competitive spirit for events to come. Soon, those memories will bolster me during the final stretch of training for the Twin Cities Marathon, and serve as the fire for training through cold months.

What experiences will fuel your inspiration?

Bemidji Pioneer Editor Steve Wagner writes a running blog, which can be found online at runningspud.areavoices.com. He can be reached via email at swagner@bemidjipioneer.com.