After The Storm Subsides
Gear West received our copies of the 2020 Multisport Calendar from the printer just as concerns about the Coronavirus closed restaurants and more throughout the state. The calendar has been a project I’ve had the pleasure assembling since 2004. With the generosity of local photographers - Paul Phillips, Kerry Yndestad and Nick Morales – I’ve tried to illustrate the determination and perseverance of home town athletic talent and the spirit and camaraderie found within our local triathlon community.
This year’s calendar included a photograph I shot last year at the Lake Minnetonka Triathlon. That June morning began with optimism. As the sun rose above Excelsior Bay, I captured the first athlete finding her spot in transition. Soon however, the skies turned ominous and a steady rain began to fall. By the race’s conclusion, everyone was cold and wet from a typical spring thunderstorm. I look now at that calendar picture with slight foreboding given our current situation.
This winter began to recede early and the promise of spring was on the horizon. Then the forecast of a global pandemic stormed into reality. Now our multisport season’s future is murky at best . Early races are in jeopardy or already canceled and we are left to contemplate our priorities while figuring out how to navigate what comes next.
Like all dark clouds - as the saying goes - there’s a silver lining. A generation physically and emotionally attached to electronic devices is discovering outdoor pursuits like riding bikes. Adults are dusting off bicycles idled for years and new runners are lacing up athletic shoes and finding solace in physical activity. Many of us are sharing creative ways to virtually train and race - confirming the determination and perseverance of our community.
I hope to be out there yet this summer – photographing and competing again. I look forward to maybe a new, energized populous joining our multisport community. For those returning, I’ll hope they’ll renew their athletic goals thru local race participation. I know of a race calendar that lists all the possibilities! Our local events are numerous and wonderful, but in recent years perhaps taken for granted. When this storm subsides, let’s share our spirit and camaraderie at our local races so they not only recover, but thrive.
- Drew Frakes