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Singing Heart Rates & Wicked Pride...

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By Ted Treise (venturetri.com)

 

Eagleman 70.3 Race Report - I get a nervous feeling before any race. It’s been there since my motocross days and has transitioned over to triathlon. We can call this feeling, maybe, the send-its? It’s a feeling of uncertainty like ‘Is this really about to happen?’ or ‘How did this moment actually arrive in the present?’. The send-its may come right before saying yes to a new job, going in for an unexpected first kiss, or even telling the barista with confidence, “Venti”, sacrificing the regular order and exploring something new on the menu. To me, the send-its are a rare feeling making life a heck of a ride. After standing in the swim start shoot at Eagleman and reaching over the banners for one last pre-race hug from mom, the send-its were in full force as the rolling start began. We are racing, I thought; this is actually happening.


Swim


I spent the greater part of the Minnesota spring swimming with Genesis Aquatics in Hopkins. Each lane has its own RX’ed yards and pacing creating a choose-your-own-adventure practice for each swimmer. My daily swim strategy with this format is to A.) Go into a lane that’s probably too fast, B.) Try to lead it until someone most the lane politely ask to cut ahead, and C.) Not get lapped on anything over 400 yards. I feel like this fish or fish bait strategy helped me greatly improve going into 2018. ...

Nebraska Road Trip...

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Over the rocks and through the seaweed to transition one we flow. Minnesota knows the way, we’re ready to slay, a race we must undergo…

 

By Josh Reece

 

The University of Minnesota Collegiate Club Triathlon Team competed in Nebraska over the course of this weekend, in and around Werner Park in Omaha. With a unique dual-transition course setup, the Gophers battled through mounds of rocks and seaweed in the lake, climbed rolling hills and sand mounds on the bike route, and navigated challenging trails on the run. Despite the extreme conditions of the course, Minnesota came out on top of the Midwest conference colleges.

Gopher athletes swept the floor in the collegiate race with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishes in the individual Olympic men’s race alongside 1st and 2nd on the women’s side. Nikolas Pardoe took first for collegiate men, Andy Hardt took second, Joshua Reece took third, and Garrett Williams took fourth. Mélanie Mahoney took first for collegiate women and Julia Riedl wasn’t far behind in second place! Michelle Ring and Elizabeth van Laarhoven were fourth and fifth to round out the scoring for the Gophers....

Brand Loyalty...

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GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER - This race will celebrate its 15th birthday tomorrow, the last nine of which have been staged at scenic Warner Lake in Clearwater. A glance at the registration list tells us that "Brand Loyalty" is definitely part of the Graniteman deal, as many of those who have raced here in 2017 and before, are returning. We have to admit that we are more prepared to talk about Clearwater's Olympic-plus (28.66 mile bike) race than the sprint, the overall and AG results of which we think will be comprised largely of later registrants, i.e. those who have enrolled since last week, when the list was sent to us. We will predict that Alexandria's buff BRIAN STORHAUG will battle for a top spot. Heck, he could win it, like he did in '17. That was his first career mulisport victory. Pretty cool!

 

So, let's chat about the longer race. We're prepared to predict the winners right now. They are 2017 champ / women's course record holder KORTNEY HAAG, and 2017 G-Man Big Lake Sprint winner, JOSH MORK, assuming of course, he has chosen the longer race. Mork appears to be one of the 2018 Most Improved frontrunners right now, his resume and career trajectory telling us that he will win whichever Clearwater race he chooses...

Heart of the Lakes XXXIII Preview...

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HEART OF THE LAKES XXXIII PREVIEW - Who are the Big Guns who will be towing the starting line of this year's State Championship triathlon, and its Sprint course companion next Sunday? Here, in alpha order, is our breakdown of the talent, not all of it, mind you, but those who we think will battle for podium spots: 

 

JOSH BLANKENHEIM (Duluth) - 2nd in 2017 & 2015 (PR - 1:33:05)

SEAN COOLEY (St. Paul) - 1st in 2017, 2nd in 2016 (PR - 1:31:05)

SAMUEL HAUCK (Rochester) - 2nd in 2008, 3rd in 2009 (PR - 1:27:59)

KEVIN O'CONNOR (Medina) - 2nd in 2010 & 2009, 3rd in 2015 (PR - 1:28:17)

MATTHEW PAYNE (Golden Valley) - 1st in 2016 & 2015, 1st amateur (2nd overall) in 2014 (PR - 1:30:16) ...

Epic Match-Ups...

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MINNEAPOLIS TRIATHLON - The 17th edition of this iconic event will take place at Lake Nokomis next Saturday, and we are anticipating some epic battles at the front. When "Hooty" --Mpls Tri director Scott Hutmacher--sent us a list of the 24-member Premier Division, four names leapt off the page: SEAN COOLEY, KEEGHAN HURLEY, GABY BUNTEN and HANNA GRINAKER. We would be flabbergasted if these athletes did not take the gold and silver medals for their respective genders next weekend.

Who do we think will win? And why?

Let's start with the women.

GABY BUNTEN - The defending women's champ at Minneapolis, Gaby has established herself in the last two seasons as one of the US's premier amatuer female Olympic distance athletes. Thus far in 2018, she has raced in three Olympic-distance contests, winning two of them and placing 2nd  in the other. She had faced Hanna twice previously, beating her at Minneapolis last year, but finishing a place behind her at Minneapolis in 2016. Gaby was named Minnesota Triathlete of the Year in 2017. Grinaker won that award in 2016. It's possible that the winner of this epic match-up will go on to claim the 2018 TOY.

HANNA GRINAKER - Hanna's first Olympic effort, her 2nd multi start ever, produced a 2:10 (Buffalo 2016). That's insane. Her 1:30:00 at Waconia was mind-blowingly fast, demonstrating pro-level sprint speed. And her recent effort at Liberty Half, which was abbreviated to a 63.4 (2K-56 miles -10K) showed her long course chops. Her time--3:40:34--suggested sub-4:30 speed at 70.3...

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