It was great to see 20 Team BEEF SD runners among 2,000 people competing in the recent Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay.
About 2,200 runners participated, making the race the largest "trail" marathon in North America. Participants came from 48 states, as well as Canada. There were 225 marathon finishers, 1,537 half marathon finishers, 340 relay runners and 118 finishers in the fast 5K.
Started by South Dakota Beef Industry Council seven years ago, Team BEEF SD is a community of runners and cyclists who recognize the nutritional benefits of beef and the vital role high-quality protein plays in their training.
"Calorie for calorie, beef is one of the most naturally nutrient-rich foods. It contains all the essential amino acids the body needs along with 10 essential nutrients, including protein, zinc, iron and B-vitamins," says Holly Swee, director of nutrition and coordinator of Team BEEF SD, a group supported by the South Dakota Beef Industry Council. "These athletes are a highly visible group of beef advocates who promote beef through their healthful lifestyle and showcase their love for the protein by wearing their Team BEEF SD jerseys when participating in activities within and outside our state. We are proud to have their support."
Candace Gustafson, Nisland, S.D., is a Team BEEF SD runner.
"I come from a ranching family background, and so beef production has always been important to me. Being able to put my two loves together was awesome," Gustafson says.
Team BEEF SD is open to all South Dakotans who want to promote beef, be physically active and showcase eating beef in a healthy lifestyle.
Upcoming races where you might see Team BEEF SD athletes participating include:
• June 16 — Tri County Tour De Du, Beresford
• July 14 — Beef and Eggs 5K, Brookings
• Sept. 2 — Andy's 5K/10K race, Huron
• Sept. 9 — Sioux Falls Half and Full Marathon, Sioux Falls
You can find more information about Team BEEF SD at sdbeef.org.