Race Coverage

Hometown Champions...


BREWHOUSE TRIATHLON - The 31st edition of this classic race, its fifth at its majestic Island Lake home, was as spectacular as the weather that made for excellent racing conditions for the 400ish participants. Adding to the excitement was a cool race within the race, pitting  college teams from UM, Wisconsin - Madison, Iowa and Iowa State against each other, and an expected plethora of old and new friends from north of the border, many of whom returned to Thunder Bay, Fort Frances, Winnipeg etc. with AG awards.

Pre-race faves in the Olympic race, JOSH BLANKENHEIM, who has an awesome girlfriend named Larissa, and a black lab named Winston, and ELAINE NELSON (photo), whose two beautiful children were being attended to by her in-laws, lived up to expectations. Both grabbed the lead during the bike portion and never looked back. Perhaps they were worried about the pursuing collegians because they never let up, turning in fine times and wide margins of victory.

For Blank and Nelson, it was their 2nd BH win. Joshie--he hates to be called that!--also won in 2016; Elaine was victorious here in 2014. With her 2:12:32, Nelson now owns two of the Top three women's times since BH relocated to Island Lake.

With his 2:00:32, Blank now owns four of the event's seven quickest amateur men's clockings. His win comes on the heels of three straight 2nd place performances in major regional events. ....

Hometown Champions....


By Matt Wellens (dulthnewstribune.com)

Duluth's Josh Blankenheim has often been the top men's amateur racer at the Brewhouse Triathlon, only to finish behind a professional racer of two.

Such was the case a year ago when Blankenheim finished second to Island Lake course-record holder David Thompson.


This year, the 37-year-old Blankenheim found himself all alone out in front Sunday with no one — amateur or professional — in sight to win the 31st edition of the Brewhouse Triathlon at Island Lake Reservoir....

Saturday Race Capsules...


Photo:  Big Lake Podium (L-R) - Liv, Kort & Kelly


WASECA SPRINT - BROOKS GROSSINGER became a three-time Waseca champion yesterday at the 9th edition of this event, and he won convincingly. The win was his first of the season after four consecutive 2nd place finishes. The victory was also a milestone, his 30th multisport W.

Grossinger, 40, has set three masters records this year and appears to be a shoo-in for a MOY nomination. 

Joining Brooks in the Winner's Circle, was SUZIE FOX, who had also won the long course version of this race a few years back. (The Waseca 1/3 which had a seven year run, ending in 2015.) Brooks' margin of victory was 4:40, and Suzie's was even wider: 6:32. The W was the 39th of Fox's stellar career.

The 2017 Waseca Sprint and Super Sprint, which was won by Iowa's CHAD MARCHANT and Waconia's ZOE BUTLER, had approximately 170 finishers. RESULTS


LAKE MINNEWASKA TRIATHLON - ANDY ZABEL collected his 4th career multisport win yesterday at the LMT, half of which were posted this season. (He also won Graniteman Clearwater Olympic.) Andy was coming off a half IM PR (4:26:40) the previous weekend at Chisago....

Chasing PRs & Petting Puppies...



By Erin Ladendorf (bikesandcatsrightmeow.blogspot.com)


Well. Here we are again. Post race and I have all sorts of thoughts and feelings that I should probably get out of my system.

This last weekend was the Toughman 70.3 Tri in Chisago, and what a day it was! This race was actually my very first 70.3 distance race last year, and I was incredibly excited to make a triumphant return to this course in 2017.

I was especially excited since I came into this race last year under some not so stellar conditions. I had a brutal DNF at Liberty, and then rolled right into a cancelled swim and shortened course at Ironman Racine just one week prior. Those were my first two attempts at a 70.3 distance, and by the time I got Chisago I was exhausted both mentally and physically.

But 2017 is the year of Erin, and you better believe I had been doing every thing in my power to make sure that I was ready to give this course hell. While Ironman Madison is my ultimate A race for the year, I had my sights set on a PR for Chisago. I have even recently gone so far as to cut processed sugar out of my diet as...

Cooley's Conquest....


CHISAGO LAKES HALF - Despite wetsuitless water (80.3 degrees) and mounting heat, which eventually reached the mid-80s, there were plenty of fast times and personal bests at the 12th edition of this annual classic.

Leading the way for the guys was SEAN COOLEY, whose Every Man Jack tri suit should have been baggy in the back after he biked his buns off (2:09), riding four-plus minutes faster than the next fastest cyclist.

Some wondered if he had left it all on the bike course, but he then posted one of the fastest run splits of the day. The result was a 4:06:52, his second fastest 70.3 effort ever. The win was his 17th since he started racing on MInnesota soil, and five of those Ws have been half IMs.

Pro DANIEL BRETSCHER came in as the favorite, but had to settle for 2nd in 4:10:27. Though not one to complain, Daniel has a new infant at home--Noah James (he's gorgeous!)--and training and sleep have been severely limited of late. Family first, Bretscher left to be with his family shortly after he crossed the finish line.

He's a classy guy.

Arguably the performance of the day for the men was turned in by third placer JOE ADRIAENS (photo L), whose wetsuitless 4:13:26 was a sixteen-plus minute PR. He looked strong throughout the entire race. Joe will likely receive serious consideration for a Most Improved nomination....

#50 For Payne...



CHISAGO LAKES SPRINT XII - We love to witness breakout performances, and the Chisago races never fail to deliver in that regard.

Let's start with the Sprint. On paper, MATTHEW PAYNE's 50th career win appeard to be, as they say, in the bag; as long as he doesn't crash, like he did at HOLT, or make a wrong turn, like he did at Lake Waconia.

Matt would indeed claim his landmark half-century W, but it wasn't easy. In fact, it was hard as heck, thanks to a breakout effort by 2015 Minnesota Junior of the Year NICK KLONNE, who dogged the Payne Plane (he's a pilot, you know!) the ENTIRE race.

When Matt topped the final hill and had only fifty downhill meters to go, the pesky Colorado School of Mines junior was still in his reaview mirror.

Payne had only ten seconds to catch his breath before Nick's timing chip burped for the final time. Klonne proved unequivocally that he is ready to bark with the Big Dogs. Good stuff!


For Payne, 40, his 1:16:33 was a masters record, lowering SCOTT PENTICOFF's 2010 mark by five seconds. Howevr, a glance at the splits suggest that the run was longer than 5K, at east a tenth, perhaps two. 

Rounding out the men's podium was a guy who seems to be having breakout performances every time he races this season. We're talking about ANDY WIBERG, who finished only eight seconds behind Klonne (pronounced "Clone -nee")....

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