My Name Is ... Maurine Sweeney

Retired physician is competitive cyclist

Posted 2/20/18

About me I was born in eastern Kansas in a small town called Holton. I went to Kansas State University and graduated from University of Kansas School of Medicine. In 1982, I moved to Denver to do my …

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My Name Is ... Maurine Sweeney

Retired physician is competitive cyclist

Posted

About me

I was born in eastern Kansas in a small town called Holton. I went to Kansas State University and graduated from University of Kansas School of Medicine. In 1982, I moved to Denver to do my residency and have lived here ever since. We moved to Highlands Ranch in 1989.

I was a physician at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Denver for about 34 years. I was also involved in teaching young medical students and doctors.

My husband and I have three kids and one grandchild.

A love for cycling

I used to be a runner but I trashed my knees. I started cycling about 12 years ago because a friend cycled a lot. I got into racing a couple of years later. I initially did road races and then transitioned to cyclo-cross. It's using a bicycle that has a road-style frame, but the tires are slightly wider and knobby because it is done on a closed-circuit course off-road on grass, sand, dirt, snow or ice. You race for a specified amount of time, usually about 45 minutes, and do as many laps as you can.

I've won the USA Cycling National Championships a couple of times in the past. In the 2016, I had broken my wrist a week before, so I raced with a cast on. In the first lap, I had a nasty crash and it took me a while to get back on. I ended up finishing second.

What I like most about racing are the other competitors. It's a close-knit group of people. We like to have fun. Everyone is very encouraging and relaxed. I definitely like the competition as well.

Working at the VA hospital

The veterans are an outstanding population to treat and they are very appreciative of any assistance they get. I would get up at 4 a.m. and ride my bike to work, whether it was winter or summer. I started at 6:30 a.m. with administrative things — writing letters, reviewing results. I would start seeing patients at 8 a.m. and finish at about 5 p.m. We were a part of University of Colorado's health science program, so we did a lot of teaching as well.

The hardest thing about leaving was the patients. I had known some of them for 25 years.

Fun fact

A couple of years ago, I went to the cyclo-cross world championship in Mol, Belgium and that was a blast. That is where the sport originated.

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