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Roger Wertanen going strong at 75

Mon, Jul 27th, 2015
Posted in Peterson Health & Wellness

Roger shows his award-winning archery form. Photo by Rich Wicks

What adjectives come to mind when you read the phrase “75 year-old retiree with a pacemaker”? Would you think of words such as “fit, competitive, active, fast, and driven”? Well, if you knew Roger Wertanen, you might have thought of those words, and more.

Roger grew up in Minneapolis, but moved to the Peterson area after he graduated from college, because he and his wife wanted to raise their children away from the big city. He worked as a Registered Nurse for 30 years, from 1977 through 2007. Regarding his athletic background, Roger said, “I ran in high school, and I ran in the Air Force. I ran until ’04, and then I had so much pain in my back that I couldn’t even run 200 feet.” In such a predicament, many athletes, even those who are not senior citizens, might give up, but not Roger. He switched to other sports that didn’t cause him such pain, such as biking, swimming, and archery.

“Then, in ’09, I read a flyer from Humana about the Senior Games,” Roger explains, “and I said ‘Hey, I could do that.’ I had an old 1970 JC Penney bike with a 3-speed shift between the legs. And I thought it would be fun to throw the javelin, too.” Roger has been participating in (and excelling in) the Senior Games ever since. He added, “I swam in high school, and about two years ago, I thought I’d try swimming just to see what the competition was like. Well, I got three first place finishes in the backstroke (50, 100 and 200 distances). It blew my mind!”

Roger has competed in the Senior Games in five states (Minn., Wisc., Iowa, S.D., and Mo.), and he recently returned from the National Senior Games, which was held this year in the Twin Cities. At Nationals, he placed eighth in archery. At this year’s Minnesota Senior Games, he won two silver medals (second place) in cycling, and he has an impressive collection of medals from his years of competition. But he has an even more impressive collection of friends and memories from these experiences. Roger says that he’s made friends in all of the sports he competes in, from all over the country, and says the competitors are friendly and helpful, but when the game is on, it becomes highly competitive. He explains, “I saw an 80-year old woman who could not get on the bike by herself, but when she went for the time trial, she just took off! She was fast!”

In talking about the archery competition, Roger explained, “We .....
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Preston, Peterson chosen for prime bicycling event

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jan 31st, 2014
Posted in Peterson Health & Wellness

Two Fillmore County towns, eagerly awaiting news, received confirmation last week that they had been chosen as a part of a four-day, four-community bicycling event. Bicycling Around Minnesota (BAM), an eight-year tour organization, set up the event, ..... 
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Rushford and Peterson to Join Cities for “America’s Night Out Against Crime”

Fri, Jul 19th, 2013
Posted in Peterson Health & Wellness

On Tuesday, August 6, neighborhoods throughout Rushford, Minn. and Peterson, Minn. are being invited to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the “30th Annual National Night Out” (NNO) crime and drug prevention event. National ..... 
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