Linsey Corbin has left Missoula.
The professional triathlete who started her career in the Garden City and regularly wins top honors at races around the world packed up her car on Dec. 18 and drove with her husband to their new home in Bend, Ore. One of the area's best known professional athletes, Corbin says she's moving to be closer to her family and her doctor, and to train with a new group of athletes.
"It is a different community and change is good because it forces you to adapt in new ways," she says. "I think that is what I was looking for, some new challenges."
Corbin calls herself a "Montana Made" athlete, and receives sponsorship dollars from Big Sky Brewing Company and KAMUT. At the end of each race, she dons a cowboy hat as she sprints across the finish line to further illustrate her Montana connections. Despite the move to Oregon, she says she plans to maintain her "Montana Made" brand.
"The truth is I am 'Montana Made,'" she says. "When I started living in Missoula I didn't know how to do a flip turn in a pool, and I probably couldn't have told you what the distances of an Iron Man triathlon were."
She adds that Team Stampede, a local triathlon club, taught her how to be a triathlete. It was with Team Stampede that she started wearing a cowboy hat at races.
While excited about moving to Bend, Corbin admits she'll miss Montana's ideal training grounds.
"Last year I logged 7,000 miles on my bike, and a lot of that was on Montana roads," she says. "There are not many places you can ride a bike for 130 miles and not have to stop, but Montana has those rides. I used to ride once a week to Ovando and back, and there was hardly a single stoplight."
Corbin says her husband will continue working for Big Sky Brewing Company, and the couple plans to keep their house in Missoula. "It is not a permanent goodbye," Corbin says. "It's semi-permanent."