Race Coverage

Sara's Casual Approach...


 UPDATE: Great day for racing in Hopkins this morning. Coverage of the 4th annual Hopkins Royal Triathlon will post on Monday. RESULTS


LAKES COUNTRY TRIATHLON - SARA CARLSON is a lovely person all the time, but some of the time she is also a silly goose.

Via Facebook, Sara has let us know stuff about her competitive plans, noting that her main focus right now is running, i.e. qualifying for Boston, and that her tri racing is basically undesigned. She said, in effect, that if the spirit moves her, she'll make a last minute decision to pop into a multisport race. 

What a silly goose, right?

Carlson's casual approach this season has yielded incredible results. She not only posted her first career tri win--Graniteman Clearwater Sprint--but went on to collect two more victories--Young Life Olympic and Lakes Country. Amid these great performances was a satisfying 4:55 / 6th place finish at wetsuitless Chisago Half IM.

Maybe there's something to this casual approach? Maybe Sara's not such a silly goose, after all?

Sara's most recent triumph was last weekend at Lakes Country in Baxter, where she outraced 2013 LCT champ / perennial podiumer here, SARA SAMPSELL-JONES, who placed 2nd, and the current frontrunner for Female Junior of the Year, TAYLOR LUNDQUIST, 17, who has won two races outright this season....

Cheryl Wins Again....



MAPLE GROVE SPRINT - Though her season has been fraught with injury and rotten luck, CHERYL ZITUR managed to race like her three-time Master of the Year self last weekend at the soggy Maple Grove Sprint, winning that event for the 4th time.

(Cheryl won her first multisport race when she was 49. Now 52, she has amassed 11 wins.)

Zitur's time last Saturday--1:10:49--appeared to be well off her 1:06:01 course record she set in 2015, but it was actually closer than you might think. Several GPSs agreed that the swim course was closer to 1000 yards than the advertised 820.

Zitur's typical margin of victory here had been two-or-more minutes, but not so this time around. Occasional elite amateur triathlete / body builder SARA RONDORF, now 40, threw down an awesome performance, posting a 1:10:51, just two seconds behind the winner. (Zitur and Rondorf started in different waves, thus they were unaware of their positions during the race.)


The men's race was won by 2014 Minnesota Most Improved nominee / Team Minnesota member / totally nice guy  RYAN BAILEY, who seemed to disappear in 2015. This is because he got his pro license and raced on the ITU circuit. We're not sure if he is still a pro....

State Record Falls at Superior Man...

sm_stars.pngPRers - JORDAN ROBY (4:15:13) and CHRISTINA ROBERTS (4:37:04) 


SUPERIOR MAN TRIATHLON VI - Despite the non-spectator-friendly conditions (cool, soggy and grey) on Sunday in Duluth, the sixth annual Superior Man Half, and its 41.5 companion, many athletes showed their appreciation for the racer-friendly climate with outstanding performances.

It wasn't just the meteorolgical stuff that helped produce fast times, the new outdoor transition location, just 25 meters from the swim exit, certainly shaved a minute-or-two for most. 

But mostly it was the field quality that lent itself to the enhanced performances that produced race records and personal bests. 

In a true breakout performance, MATT CYMANSKI, 26, of Des Moine, Iowa, left the 70.3 men in his wake. A tough guy, as he proved with his victory in horrendous conditions at Liberty last June, he showed that he possessed true speed. With favorable conditions Cymanski sped to a personal best 4:01:40, which was a 20-plus minute improvement on his next best effort at this distance. Even more impressive is the fact that his time is a Minnesota state amateur record for a half IM.

Four-time SM winner SEAN COOLEY took 2nd this time around, posting a 4:11:31.

The next record to fall was courtesy of DAN ARLANDSON, 41, who placed third in a Masters Record 4:12:59, lowering Winnipeg's PATRICK PEACOCK's prior standard by more than almost a minute-and-a-half....

Collegians Set the Pace at Maple Grove...


MAPLE GROVE TRIATHLON - August was cancelled, thus Autumn came early this year. Last weekend's weather certainly proved this. It couldn't have been more Octobery than it was at Weaver Lake Park in Maple Grove on Saturday. It was chilly and drizzly and as grey as the greyist thing you can think of. (Insert your own simile here.)

Though a few hundred athletes stayed in warm and snug in their respective beds, approximately 700 triathletes, and 50-or-so duathletes descended on the otherwise gorgeous park and participated in the 8th edition of the Maple Grove Triathlons (Olympic, Sprint, Super Sprint and Duathlon).

And guess what? A lot of folks turned in terrific performances.

Setting the brisk pace in the Olympic race were a triumvirate of talented collegians from Iowa State University. Cyclones took the Top 3 places in the men's race, including REECE LINDER's winning 1:55:58, the second fastest men's clocking ever on this course. Even more awesome is the fact that Linder is only 18-years-old.

Bright future, huh!

Another ISUer, 2017 US Junior of the Year MAEGHAN EASLER, now 20, rocked the women's Olympic contest, winning is 2:10:37, which like LInder's performance, was the second fastest time for her gender here a the MGO....

"It Wasn't My Day"....


By Erin Klegstad (sweetsweatlife.com)

The short of IRONMAN Canada: It wasn’t my day. 

I gave everything I had and then some, but came up short of my goal (which was, no surprise, a Kona spot). 

I know I should be proud – and I will be eventually – but when you have really high expectations of yourself, set big goals and train your ass off for months, to come up short… well, it hurts. A lot. 

But what did I expect? My race was the outcome of the stories I told myself for much of the build: that I would have rather lazed in the hammock than slog through three 80-minute intervals during a long ride. I fought for so many of those intervals, my internal dialogue I have to do this rather than I get to do this. I lost the bike love. I focused too much on things out of my control, which took the joy out of the journey. And I let myself get in my head – the worst possible place you can be. 

I never want to go into a race feeling like that again. And you can bet I never will. 


With that, a few race day details on my second slowest IM ever… 

Fast and Furious...


By Christel Kippenhan (seecktri.wordpress.com)

“There’s a great fascination with ultras being harder than other races, 
but the mile is every bit as difficult as 100 miles if you apply yourself to it.”
Rickey Gates, ultrarunner
as quoted in Outside Magazine

BREWHOUSE SPRINT RACE REPORT - I heard Kris Swarthout from Final K Sport Services once express a similar sentiment about sprint triathlons:
"Never say you are just doing a sprint triathlon. Sprint triathlons are fast and furious, you push yourself and go all out for the duration of the race."

I was a sprinter growing up, and I’m still a sprinter at heart. So, I love those fast and furious sprint triathlons, especially if they do not skimp on the swim distance. And the Brewhouse Sprint Triathlon does it just right.

Swim > 12:21; 1:31 / 100 yds; 4th female; 1st age group   ....
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