MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee is hosting the Professional Triathletes Organisation U.S. Open this weekend. It brings in thousands of athletes from all over the world.
Anna Marie Strehlow is one athlete competing in the pro triathlon. She made it in as a wildcard and will be side by side with Olympians and world champions for the competition.
“It was a dream come true,” Strehlow said. “To be able to race in my hometown, in my own backyard, it’s absolutely amazing.”
Strehlow has been training twice a day for the past five years to prepare for this moment. She only started at this type of sport five years ago, so to be where she is now is pretty incredible.
She said she has been working hard to prepare, and although she is feeling some nerves, it’s more excitement for what’s to come.
“The only expectation I have is that I give 110%” Strehlow said.
The competition will be a 1.2-mile swim, 49-mile bike ride and an 11-mile run. It will all take place along the lakefront in Milwaukee. Strehlow said her family will be in attendance to cheer her on for the big day.
Many of the other athletes competing in the triathlon solely focus on training as a full-time job. However, for Strehlow, being a physical therapist comes first. She works as a PT at Froedtert and is balancing a strict training schedule with work.
“If anything, I have learned to put more of myself into the time that I do have, to manage the balance between work and training,” Strehlow said.
While at work, she is able to use her skills to get her patients to the top of their game, all while focusing on the same for herself.
“I think it’s an incredible opportunity to race against these women,” Strehlow said. “This is the only way to make it to the top, is to compete against the best. So I’m really excited,”
She said it’s an honor to be a part of a race like this and is excited to show off her skills this weekend. Her race starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday.