Juggling taxes and triathlons
Grant Folske prepares for another
By MEGAN THOMAS
Express Staff Writer
Grab a beer at the Cellar Pub in Ketchum,
and he may be the guy with the draft Mirror Pond beer sitting next to you. Have
your taxes done and he is the accountant upstairs.
But, enter the world of athletics and
Ketchum’s Grant Folske isn’t just any sociable accountant. He’s liable to sprint
right past you.
Pictured winning the 2003 Sun Valley Sprint Triathlon, Grant Folske is now
committed to Ironman pursuits. Express Photo by Willy Cook.
"I have always been a runner," said Folske,
27, who is also an accountant at Thomas and Johnston, CHTD, a frequenter of the
Cellar and the utmost humble athlete.
Folske’s running days, which could take
him all the way to the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, began while he was
growing up in the Midwest.
He said, "I lived in a town in North
Dakota known for the track teams, and my two older brothers were into track. I
followed in their footsteps."
Despite following his older brother’s
athletic paths, Folske forged his own identity through running.
"Twins are often identified as the same
person," said Folske, who has a twin brother. "We tried to separate ourselves
and find our own identity. I chose running and he chose basketball."
The younger of the two by 15 minutes,
Folske used running to carve a persona separate from his brother’s. His high
school running accomplishments led to track and cross-country scholarships at
Moorhead College in Minnesota.
While running in college, injuries
ironically became the impetus for a change in Folske’s athletic direction.
He said, "I was injured with stress
fractures in my foot and a knee injury. I started to swim and bike to cross
train, as a rehab process."
As they say, the rest is history.
Folske competed in his first triathlon in
Minnesota in 1999. He currently defends the title as two-time overall winner of
the Sun Valley Sprint Triathlon. Also, he is two-time overall winner of the
16.5-mile Elephant’s Perch Backcountry Run—one of the West’s biggest trail runs
held in Ketchum.
In the fall of 2003 he added an Ironman to
his resume. Folske finished 19th among the 151 athletes in his 25-29 age
division and 133rd among the 2,000 athletes at the Panama City Ironman in
His finish left him yearning to complete
another Ironman to qualify for the Ironman Hawaii.
During the past winter Folske began
teaching spinning at Zenergy at Thunder Spring to compliment his training for
the next Ironman.
"Riding inside is very different from
riding outside," he said. "A one-hour ride inside is much harder than a
three-hour ride outside because it is hard to stay motivated."
Motivation doesn’t seem to be a problem
for Folske, who is currently training for the 2004 Ironman USA Coeur d'Alene
Triathlon on Sunday, June 27 in northern Idaho.
There, athletes will vie for 80 qualifying
spots for the Ironman World Championship and a $50,000 pro prize purse.
He hopes his finish in the race will
qualify him for the 26th Ironman World Championship to be held Saturday, Oct. 16
in Kona, Hawaii.
In Hawaii, athletes must complete a
two-mile swim in under two hours and 20 minutes, and they must finish the
112-mile bike ride 10 hours and 30 minutes after the start of the race, and they
must run the 26.2-mile marathon in 17 hours from the race start.
Athletes are advised to train for seven
months prior to the Ironman World Championship—averaging seven miles a week
swimming, 232 miles a week on the bike and 48 miles a week running. Whew!
MT—What’s new with your training?
GF—I am preparing for Coeur
d'Alene. Last week I rode from Boise to Stanley.
MT—(Gulp.) How long was that?
GF—It took seven hours. The ride
was around 130 miles.
MT—What is the biggest hurdle you
have found in your training?
GF— Finding time. It’s hard to
juggle working out with work.
MT—When you are training or racing,
what is your fuel of choice?
GF—I’d have to say Poptarts. When
I’m riding I like to eat cinnamon and brown sugar Poptarts.
MT—What is the your favorite race?
GF— The Backcountry Run. You get so
many people from the community. It’s basically everyone you see out on the
trails all summer running together.
is in your CD player?
is your favorite run or ride in the Valley?
GF—Trail Creek…Corral Creek.
to this point, what has been you most memorable race?
GF—The Ironman Florida. It was a
great accomplishment for me, and I was really happy that I was able to complete
MT—When are you the happiest?
GF—When I’m outside.
living person do you most admire?
GF— Lance Armstrong. He works the
hardest out of any other cyclist, he knows what he wants and he works his a**
off for it.
MT—Who do you consider do be the
most overrated professional athlete?
GF— I would have to say as group,
MT—Which talent would you most like
quality do you most admire in a person?
quality do you most value in a friend?
MT—What advice would you give to
those triathletes just getting started?
GF—Be patient. It takes a long time