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Beans and Bagpipes and Not Having to Drink Light Beer...

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BREWHOUSE PREVIEW - The definition of a true "Classic," Duluth's flagship triathlon will celebrate it's 35th  edition next Sunday. It will also be the 10th anniversary of its "new" spectacular venue at Island Lake, a 15-minute drive north of the multi-nicknamed town, e.g. the Zenith City, the Air-Conditioned City (because of Lake Superior's cooling effect in the summertime), Portland of the Midwest etc.

As expected, sharing the same weekend with Nationals has leeched some BH regulars, still, the race should field between 350 and 400 participants. This is happy news. (The 2023 Brewhouse will not go head-to-head with the Age Group Championships.)

The list we perused, which is almost two weeks old, suggested that SHYANNE MCGREGOR will continue to dominate the Sprint race, though BETTINA KEPPERS will keep her honest, and ELAINE NELSON should notch her sixth W on this course, despite what we assume will be some post Chisago 70.3 aches. LISA FILZEN should land on the Olympic podium for the second consecutive year. We predict that she will set a new BH personal best.

JOSH BLANKENHEIM was not on the list we saw. If he's not going to Milwaukee, we think he will do, and win for the 4th time, his beloved hometown tri. ...

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Chisago XVI Preview...

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2022 CHISAGO LAKES TRIATHLON PREVIEW - Approximately 900 triathletes are expected for this Sunday's 16th-edition Chisago Lakes 70.3, Sprint and inaugural Olympic triathlons. The CLT is a fantastic event at a fantastic venue: Paradise Park in Chisago City....

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Encouraging Signage...

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TURTLEMAN NOTES - Regional triathlon attendance has been in decline for at least a decade. And the pandemic has exascerbated that in a big way. Unlike, runners, swimmers and cylists, Triathletes depend on racing for their identity, thus "uncertainly" can, and has, shifted many to a single sport emphasis. The migration from triathlon to cycling in all its forms, for instance, can best be described as "torrential," not a trickle. Still, high-ticket races like Nationals and Ironman-branded events are keeping the sport alive in a global sense, but they are contributing to the shrinkage of local and regional races. 

It's easy to get a bit depressed about this stuff, but there are some signs that our regional scene may be rebounding, albeit slowly. And we need to remember that we are responsible for either resuscitating our sport locally, or pulling the plug. We can resuscitate by racing locally and enthusiastically. Instead of doing one local race a year, we can do two or three. And we can encourage potential newbies to give tri a try, or encourage vets to add another local race to their schedules.

Studying last Saturday's Turtleman results, we were heartened to see that 300 athletes finished the event, especially since last year's finisher total was 213. Eighty-seven additional line-crossers is a significant upward bump (31%). Very encouraging, especially if what we are seeing is an actual trend....

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Tri West - A Boutique Experience...

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Inaugural Tri West Olympic & Sprint - With only 141 registrants, Tri West could be called a "small" event, but that description can be negatively perceived, and there was nothing about Tri West that was negative. It was a great race. And it was fun: Wang Chun-level fun....

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Lendway's Words

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By Heather Lendway

Timberman Race Report - After racing through some constant pain my last pro year in 2017 I finally had an MRI to find partial tears in the high hamstring tendons. It took about three years to find the right combo of care to feel mostly recovered. Then COIVID hit so I tread back into the racing waters last summer to see if I could find any joy in racing again after a discouraging end to my pro career. My first race back I was pleasantly surprised that my body just kind of knew what to do minus a few details like dismounting a bike, where I lost a shoe and almost crashed, but it turned out OK. I generally had a good time, enjoyed seeing some old friends and making some new ones. After that I decided to do Timberman, and fell I love with the venue. This included crystal clear water, cool enough for a reasonably comfortable wetsuit swim, safe roads for riding (so safe I accidentally did a little extra mileage in ‘21) and a perfect run course with plenty of water stops and a few rolling hills. After the race I booked a room for ‘22 and Patrick and I registered the day registration opened (hence being #3 and #4 race bibs)....

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