Living Up to Expectations...


TIMBERMAN SPRINT COVERAGE - In ech of the four previous editions of this race, the battle for the Top Step was between TARA MAKINEN and BETTINA KEPPERS. Makinen, who has six career wins here, won in 2021, and Keppers won in 2022 and 2023, though her margin of victory last year was  only 14 seconds.

Tara opted not to race in this year's Sprint, choosing instead to race alongside her son in the Super Sprint, so it appeared that Bettina would not need her best effort in order to pick up her sixth career Timberman Sprint victory last Saturday.

But that's not how she races. Though basically unchallenged, she rocked her second fastest time ever here, bettered only by the course record she set in perfect conditions back in 2019. Outspliting the women's field in two of the three disciplines--she was especially dominant on the bike--she finished in 1:03:33.

Bettina, 41, set an AG record shaving almost aminute off Makinen's 2019 40-44W mark. CHRISTEL KIPPENHAN, 58, also lowered an age group record, one she set in 2022, doing so definitively. The old AGR was 1:06:44. On Saturday, she posted a 1:05:29, which landed her in 2nd place overall in the women's race. Like Keppers, Christel excelled on the bike....

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Climate Changes & Dark Horses....



TIMBERMAN OLYMPIC COVERAGE - A windy morning agitated Sugar Lake. A brief downpour was endured on the bike course, though not at the venue, where ithe rain was light and transient. As five-time T-Man winner JAN GUENTHER, now 65, articulated on Facebook, the post downpour weather was sultry. Climbing temps and humidity greeted athletes after they dismounted their bikes. But their were few, if any, complainers, because this is Timberman, an event like no other.

A cursory look at the entrant led us to anticpate a dynamic women's race, with ELENA JASPER poised to show two-time champ HEATHER LENDWAY that the gap between them was shrinking fast.

A more thorough look would have revealed that there was someone else in the women's field who deserved to be taken very, very seriously. Her name is RACHEL WERKING (photo). She's a 26-year-old Wisconsinite and pro aspirant who placed 7th at the 2023 USAT National AG Championships, where her time was only 17-seconds slower than Lendway's. 

HL outswan the entire field as expected. The second woman out of the water was Werking, who was 1:08 behind the leader. Heather entered T2 with a 2:22 lead on Rachel, and though the soon-to-be 40-year-old..

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Minnesota's June Triathletes of the Month!



Here are MTN's picks for June 2024 ATHLETES OF THE MONTH



Two-time Minnesota Triathlete of the Year, Preston Youngdahl entered three races--Apple Tri, Trinona Olympic & Lake Minnetonka--thus far in 2024, and won each time. Jasper has also raced three times, winning twice --Lake Minnetonka and Clearwater Olympic--and setting a 70.3 personal best (4:47:40) at Chattanooga 70.3.


Minnesota's two-time Junior of the Year is a profific racer. Thus. far this season, he has two overall wins plus two junior wins in races in which he finished 2nd overall....

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Reasons to be Happy....


By Doobie Kurus

Average Jo Race Report - In my quest to visit/participate in the various triathlons in MN, I was happy to have last weekend available in my schedule to do the Average Joe/Jo Tri in Perham. If you're not familiar with this race, you're not alone, even though it's the 19th edition of it. Aside from it being listed on MN Tri News and the Hopkins Royal Tri websites, it's tough to find. In fact, the race itself doesn't even have a website, just a FB page. So, not much information to glean, like the race day schedule, course maps, etc. With knowing that, I wasn't expecting much in terms of a race day experience. Still, I figured for $50 to register, what have I got to lose? I drove up on Friday afternoon, and enjoyed the numerous small cities along the way, like Big Lake, Sartell, Royalton, Little Falls, Motley, Staples, and Wadena.

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39th T-Man Preview #1...


39th Timberman Triathlon Preview - The list we are using is from more than two weeks ago, and we expect to get an updated listing soon. Until then, here are some of the athletes we expect to excel on Saturday:

Olympic - 

TOM BROWN, 65, Emily - Tim's a two-time Grand Master of the Year. His PR here is 2:26 (2022), a minute of Neil King's 65-69 record. Is he ready ready to do some rewriting? It's very possible. He's racing well this season.

SAMUEL HAUCK, 40, Eden Prairie - We're picking Sam to be the first master to cross the finish line this weekend....

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