SWU grad wins silver at world championships
Southern Wesleyan University graduate and former student-athlete Lindsey Torgerson entered the endurance athletics scene, excelling on the world stage.
This past September, Torgerson, who played for the volleyball team and the 2007 NCCAA championship women’s basketball team, won a silver medal at the 2012 ITU Long Course Duathlon World Championships in Zofingen, Switzerland. The Duathlon was a challenging six miles of running followed by a 90-mile bike ride and another 18-mile run.
Torgerson is fitness director at Gold’s Gym in Fayetteville, N.C. Since graduating with a business degree from Southern Wesleyan University in 2009, Torgerson felt the need to compete again athletically. Working full-time and playing with a club team wasn’t an option, so she explored the alternatives.
“A friend recommended that I compete in a duathlon,” Torgerson said. “I bought a bike on Craigslist and entered myself into races.”
Torgerson began to focus on running and cycling, entering competitions where possible. As she gained experience in training and increased her distance, she took the competition to higher levels. In May 2012, Torgerson entered the Black Water Duathlon National Championship in Maryland – a combination of six miles of running, 60 miles of bicycling and another six-mile run at the end.
Arriving in Switzerland, Torgerson was impressed by the breathtaking scenery, and although the mountainous course took her breath away in a more real sense, she finished second in the 25-29 age group.
“The morning started out cold, windy and rainy,” said Torgerson, adding that running uphill on a 16 percent incline and battling buffeting winds were challenging.
“If you finish, it’s an accomplishment in itself – it’s grueling. Three quarters of the biking is going uphill,” she said. At the end of the cycling segment, Torgerson was barely able to even walk with her bike.
“When I got off the bike my back cramped up and I was thinking, ‘How am I going to get through this?’” she said. Torgerson worked through her pain and continued the duathlon with an 18-mile run.
“Honestly, it’s almost like the pain numbs away and all your focus is on finishing,” she said. “When you know you are about to finish, it’s beautiful. You’re in the Alps and you see the views.”
Torgerson said she enjoyed her first trip to Europe and getting to know the others on Team USA.
“I had been to South America and the Caribbean. Switzerland is clean. Everyone spoke English so you could get around without knowing another language. Everyone rides bikes and there are few cars. There are places to park bikes and bike paths everywhere,” Torgerson said, adding that the Swiss drive cars that are tiny compared to the typical American vehicle.
“I consider myself very lucky. It all kind of happened. If you don’t prepare and set realistic goals you’re never going to go anywhere you want to go,” said Torgerson, grateful she’s been able to apply what she learned – hard work and discipline – as a Warrior. She also learned about priorities and the place God has in her life.
Torgerson also gives credit to her father, Dr. Brian Torgerson, who passed away recently, for being very supportive throughout her experiences in athletic competition, and she continues to enjoy the support of her mother, Candace. Torgerson also competed Nov. 11 in the Miami Man Half Iron Triathlon, where she won first place for her age group.