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YWCA Member and Triathlete Takes Seven Medals in Minnesota Senior Games

By YWCA of Minneapolis
July 7, 2013
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YWCA member Pat Lillehei recently competed in the 2013 Minnesota Senior Games, taking seven medals in cycling, running and swimming events. Her performance helped her qualify for the National Senior Olympics in four swimming events. She’ll travel to Cleveland in two weeks to compete.

Pat won gold medals in the 5K and 10K cycling time trials and the 20K cycle race and credits the YWCA staff for its “superior” expertise in helping her train. “After doing cycling with Joe [Ede] at the YWCA, I learned that I really love cycling and I am good at it!” she said. “I was the only one in my three races who wasn’t wearing clips, and I still took gold in my age group in every race.”

Pat’s other golds came in the 5K running event, and in swimming for the 50-, 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events. She was also awarded a bronze medal in the 500-yard freestyle event.

“The Senior Games are so amazing – over 300 athletes just in Minnesota,” Pat says. “I saw athletes who were over 100 with grandchildren in their 40s who were competing just as hard as anyone. Three and four generations were there. I think more seniors would do these games, if they just knew they were there.”

She says she became a YWCA member because of the Women’s Triathlon. “At the Women’s Tri, everyone supports you and encourages you no matter what. At the YWCA, everyone is respectful and so supportive of what I am doing.”

In 2015, the Twin Cities will host the National Senior Games, with thousands of athletes 50 and over traveling here to compete.  Pat will be training hard for the qualifiers in all of her eight events (and maybe even more) in 2014, so that she can be ready in 2015!