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Published August 17, 2013, 05:17 PM

After major weight loss woman does local triathlon

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV)-- About 400 athletes swam, biked, and ran their way around Detroit Lake today.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV)-- About 400 athletes swam, biked, and ran their way around Detroit Lake today.

Among them was a Fargo woman competing in her first ever triathlon, in celebration of dropping a third of her body weight.

A triathlon is the ultimate challenge.

Many of those lining up for the Young Life triathlon in Detroit Lakes were seasoned, experienced athletes.

For others, like Michelle Jennison, it was a completely new experience.

Michelle Jennison- Lost 70 Pounds: "I am about to go swim in lake DL! That's totally insane!"

Jennison was competing in her first ever triathlon after recently dropping 70 pounds.

Jennison: "It's a big journey and I'm really close to my final goal, I'm about four pounds away from where I wanted to be. So, this is a big celebration and it's kind of crazy."

She says she began to struggle with her weight about ten years ago after losing her father.

Jennison: "I drank a lot of alcohol ate a lot of pizza just didn't take care of myself."

During that time, she reached a maximum weight of 232 pounds.

But two years ago, she decided to make a change.

Jennison: "I just decided, you know what? I have a daughter and I want to be there for her and it's time to get healthy."

She started doing 5K races, walking at first, then running.

This spring, Jennison ran her first 10K.

She is now down to 160 pounds.

The whole time, her husband Jay and daughter Brooke have been there cheering her on.

Brooke: "Go mommy, you can do it!"

Jennison: "Not even two years ago would I have ever thought I would do more than walk a 5K but it's totally possible and anyone can do this."

Jennison did the sprint course, which included a 500 meter swim, 20 kilometer bike ride, and 5k run.

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