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Getting  prepared to dive in

Triathlon: Recent ConVal grad among many training for August race

  • Maxine Dunn of Peterborough powers through one of her training runs in preparation for the 4th annual Monadnock Challenge Series Sprint Triathlon set for Aug. 10. Dunn has competed in each of the first three events and was the youngest participant in the inaugural event in 2009.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Maxine Joselow)

On your mark, get set, go. Everyone thinks the race starts with this moment. The moment when the announcer’s voice booms through the megaphone, and the contestants dash into the water. But for Maxine Dunn, 18, of Peterborough, her journey with the Monadnock Challenge Series Sprint Triathlon began much earlier than the start of the race. In fact, it has spanned her entire high school career.

Dunn first entered the Monadnock Challenge Series Sprint Triathlon when she was 14 years old and a freshman at ConVal. She placed 42nd out of 91 competitors despite being the youngest contestant in the event. Since then, she has consistently placed in the top half.

Now Dunn is spending her last summer before college training for the 4th Annual Monadnock Challenge Series Sprint Triathlon, which will take place on Aug. 10 and will consist of a 0.4-mile swim, 15.8-mile bike ride and 3.1-mile run.

Dunn has been finding time to train in between field hockey practice and a full-time job as a lifeguard at the Peterborough Recreation Department.

“I’ve been adding in a bike or a run or a swim whenever there’s time in the day,” she said in a recent interview with the Ledger-Transcript on the back porch of her Peterborough home.

“A lot of it depends on work. So if I’m working 11 to 5 that day, maybe I would swim in the morning and take a run at night before dinner,” she said. She added that she typically runs three miles around her neighborhood, and swims in Adams Pool at the Peterborough Recreation Department.

She said her family has been very accommodating of her training efforts. “They’re always supportive. Sometimes we eat dinner a little bit later so I can go for a run. And they’re up at five in the morning to drive me to the race,” she said.

“Even though she’s 18 now, it’s a team effort,” said Dunn’s mother, Michelle. “It’s always been a family kind of thing.”

Field hockey is a major time commitment for Dunn this summer, and it takes time away from training. She is doing strength exercises and running in preparation for joining the field hockey team as a freshman at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y. in the fall. She was recruited by Hartwick after helping her ConVal team make the playoffs three years in a row, and being named to the Division II first-team all-state squad.

Luckily for her, training for college field hockey and the triathlon “go hand in hand,” she said, because both require running.

Erin Lyons, race director of the Monadnock Challenge Series Sprint Triathlon, said she has enjoyed watching Dunn dedicate herself to the triathlon in an interview with the Ledger-Transcript on Monday.

“I think it’s really cool that Maxine went out there and did the triathlon, found out she enjoyed it, and stuck with it every year,” Lyons said.

“She’s disciplined and she stuck to it. It’s good for other kids to see,” Lyons added. “I’m excited to see her in the triathlon this year. I think she’ll do a great job.”

Looking ahead, Dunn said she will continue to train for the triathlon “day by day.” She said her goal is to improve her time from last year, which was one hour, 52 minutes and 31 seconds.

Dunn’s father, Martin, said he has a different goal in mind. “I just want her to get through training and the triathlon without getting injured, so she can play field hockey at Hartwick,” he said. “I think she’s going to hit the field running next year.”

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