A word that is commonly used to describe Annamarie Strehlow is committed. As a full-time physical therapist, when Annamarie is not training she is fully committed to her patients, often receiving recognition for her outstanding care at Froedtert Hospital.
As a young athlete, Annamarie was captain of multiple soccer teams, leading her elite traveling team and high school to state championships. Going on to college, academics was a priority, but she could not leave her love for soccer behind. She played for the University of St. Thomas, receiving multiple honors through her years on the field as a Tommie.
Having a love for sports and people, Annamarie went on to pursue her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. With no soccer, but craving the commitment to sport, Annamarie began her pursuit as a runner, racing her first marathon in 2015, and qualifying for Boston.
After racing Boston, a new spark and commitment to running competitively ignited Annamarie to continue to train as a runner. When she returned to Milwaukee to pursue her PT career at Froedtert Hospital, she decided to train for the Milwaukee Lake Front Marathon. On the days she wasn’t running, Annamarie trained with her dad and his buddies, riding around Southeastern Wisconsin. Coached by Heather Haviland, a retired pro triathlete, when Annamarie was injured the winter of 2018, her coach advised she jump in a pool to aqua jog. Again, Annamarie with her commitment to sport decided aqua-jogging was not for her and started to “You-Tube” how to swim. She wanted to be with the athletes in the pool, not just jog around.
From there, her coach knew she could challenge Annamarie to compete in triathlon. Not only did Annamarie love running and cycling but she was now swimming. Annamarie’s first triathlon was in 2018, with her first 70.3 at Ironman Steelhead. Both of which she placed first in her age group.
Passing on the opportunity to go to Nice, France for 70.3 Ironman World Championship in 2019, Annamarie decided to try to qualify again, completing at 70.3 Ironman Chattanooga and she did just that. Receiving a 5 min penalty did not stop Annamarie as she again placed first in your age group and qualified for worlds. This time, she wasn’t going to pass.
Now committed to the 3 disciplines, Annamarie’s next goal was to qualify for the Ironman World Championship in Kona … and then COVID hit.
While COVID turned the world upside down, Annamarie stayed committed to helping others, jumping in at Froedtert Hospital to help on the COVID floor. When she was not working, she was pursuing her dream of qualifying for Kona. With Ironman being cancelled in 2020, Annamarie’s first opportunity to qualify was in September of 2021 at Ironman Wisconsin and she did just that.
Annamarie finished Ironman Wisconsin as first overall age group female, finishing her first Ironman 29 minutes ahead of the next female age group athlete.
While training for Kona 2022, Annamarie finished first overall age group female at 70.3 Ironman Blueridge and first overall age group female at Ironman Lake Placid. With that fire still burning for competition, Annamarie placed 3rd overall age group female in Kona, 1st American, and fastest female age group run split!
Annamarie’s commitment to helping others continues as she is a representative for the local chapter of Girls On The Run and continues to work full time at Froedtert Hospital. Her goal is to push herself to her next limit, competing with the best female athletes in the world.