Hooked, Fitzpatrick skiing in Second GBC

Kelsae Fitzpatrick grew up on a little hobby farm in Minnesota. After becoming a Registered Dietitian, she accepted a position at UP Health System Portage. At that point, she had never been to Michigan and didn’t even know the U.P. existed. She’s been here since 2012 and never plans on leaving!

Kelsae participated in the Great Bear Chase for the first time last year. Her first experience with the event was “amazing!” However, she tells us that she did learn some things. “Skiers are HARD core! I was so impressed by how many people participated, how nice everyone was, and how fast everyone was”! Kelsae fell a few times, but many racers extended help and asked if she was ok. “I had a wonderful experience, which is why I am back again!”

A couple years after moving to the U.P., she began her fitness journey. She started with running (5k’s that eventually led to marathons), mountain biking (which led to road biking) and swimming (which gave her confidence to try out a triathlon). Two years ago she wanted to start enjoying winter more so she learned to ski (“which was a challenge!”). She now loves the sport, even though she feels she is “still so slow and has terrible technique I always have fun and that’s what matters!”

Not only is Kelsae back for the 2019 Great Bear Chase, but she went from the 10k distance in 2018 to trying out the 25k freestyle this year. She’s a bit nervous, but her friends keep teasing her that this is nowhere near the distance of an Ironman — and Kelsae has completed 3 of those in the last two years. Kelsae tells us, “I like to challenge myself, so it will be fun!”

We love Kelsae’s enthusiasm and hope to see more first timers at the 2019 Great Bear Chase on March 9th!