WESTON - Mosinee's Chad Esker may have still felt sore the day after he had finished an Ultraman triathlon. He had just swum 6.2 miles, biked 263 miles and ran 52.4 miles. Then, he decided to do something even crazier…
Chad Esker plans to go where only 8 men before him have gone before….to complete the EPIC 5 Challenge in Hawaii. Each day for 5 days Esker will swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run 26.2 miles. The races will take place on a 5 different Hawaiian Islands. It's a journey covering 703 total miles that will put both his body and mind to the ultimate test. "It's not even a race, it's a challenge," explains Esker.
But Esker hasn't always been a machine of a man. A few years ago he had no plans of ever doing a triathlon. "I originally was just going to do a relay and our biker backed out. So, I was forced to find a bike about two weeks before the race…..had a few days to practice on it and I did my first triathlon and then I was hooked," says Esker.
Hooked…or maybe even addicted. This EPIC 5 challenge isn't even the end for Esker. "I'm not ready to stop yet…If I could find another challenge…I'm going to do it," says Esker.
Some would say Esker's determination is downright super human. But Esker's training partner Nick Bradfish says perseverance can be a powerful thing for anyone. "You want something bad enough and you have the will power to do it…everyone has the means. It may not be easy but that doesn't mean it's impossible," explains Bradfish.
Esker will be one of 13 athletes from around the world to attempt this year's event. Dr. Larry Gordon, who practices at Aspirus in Weston, is impressed by Esker's resolve. "Now you're doing more. You're swimming, you're bicycling, you're running and you're doing that several days in a row. So, you're going to get more and more muscle break down. That can actually accumulate and become poisonous to your body. And in some cases can affect your kidneys," warns Gordon.
Dr. Gordon says proper nutrition before, during and after each race is critical in flushing out the toxins from the body. Esker has a team of people making sure he his properly fueled and ready to go. His team also tries to keep him from doing anything too crazy too soon. They tell him… "…don't be signing up for anything stupid tomorrow….it's kind of a habit I have when you get done with a big event… and you kind of go through a little bit of almost a depression. But you're leading up to this big day…and then it happens… it's over… so now what?" questions Esker.
Esker's life motto, "don't stop believing," is something that keeps him searching for new challenges."I haven't really found a limit I hit yet," says Esker.
Chad will compete in the EPIC 5 Challenge May 5th-10th. Until then, he will continue training more than 24 hours each week.
- We take our Long Summer Weekend to Tomahawk to bring you the following stories:
We talk to the Tomahawk School District superintendent and a parent about how the district is getting input from the community regarding an application for a state grant for security upgrades in their school.
We'll show you how the Tomahawk Clay Busters youth team is teaching kids trap shooting and gun safety at an early age.
And the Tomahawk police chief is staying loyal to the Pittsburgh Steelers even here in Packer country. We'll show you how the avid Steelers fan exhibits his support for his team and talk to him about how it's being received by the community and his wife...who is a Cowboys fan.
We'll bring you the details on these stories and more on our Long Summer Weekend tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live,
RHINELANDER - A scoop of frozen custard goes down pretty well on a humid day like the Northwoods saw Friday. Rhinelander's Associated Bank made grabbing a scoop an easy way to help others.
Culver's set up a mobile custard stand outside the new bank building on the corner of Lincoln Street and Oneida Avenue from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fifty cents from every $2.50 cup sold went to Associated Bank's Children's Miracle Network fund.
The bank is hoping to raise $500 through its fundraisers for CMN this month.
MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission has agreed to lift overseas ballot restrictions to avoid a legal battle.
The U.S. Department of Justice warned earlier this month that it's preparing to sue because Wisconsin law doesn't let temporary overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically or to submit downloadable back-up ballots in case they don't have time to return an official ballot.
Federal law allows all overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically and submit back-up ballots. Assembly Republicans passed a bill that would have aligned Wisconsin's statutes with the federal law but the measure died in April after Senate Republicans added language limiting special legislative elections.
MADISON - Wisconsin Elections Commission staff plan to hire a half-dozen new employees and upgrade software to bolster election security.
The commission received a $7 million federal grant in March to upgrade security after Russian actors tried to access a state Department of Workforce Development system before the 2016 election.
Staff told the commission Thursday that the Department of Administration has approved hiring six new four-year security positions, including an information technology project manager, an elections security trainer and a voting systems specialist.
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