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August 2018 - Athletes of the Month...

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beckyflex.pngIt makes us  sad that there is only one more month of multisport racing on the schedule. Four of the five months of Minnesota's tri/ du season are behind us, and we hope you agree that it has, once again, been exciting and enriching. We certainly hope that everyone races in September, as there are several great races ahead that deserve your support.

So, the purpose of today's post is to pay tribute to MTN's ATHLETES OF THE MONTH for August. Some categories were easy to deterimine; others, not so much.

Let's get to it.

- MALE TRIATHLETE OF THE MONTH - (Duh!) - WADE CRUSER, 31, Sauk Rapids (photo L)

Wade won FIVE triathlons in August, making him, we believe, the first Minnesota male to do so. So you know, SUZIE FOX racked up five Ws in June back in 2015.Three of Wade's victories established new course records, and his win at Maple Grove Olympic should receive serious consideration for a Performance of the Year nomination.

We'd like to say that other Minnesota men were part of the AOM  discussion, but we can't. Cruser rocked out at a level that his regional peers simply couln't match....

Going to the Lake on Saturday....

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HOPKINS ROYAL TRIATHLON - Like most kids, Mikey and Riles (photo) love to go to the lake on Saturday. Their dad, elite triathlete MATT PAYNE, does too.

Last Saturday, the Payne family went to Shady Oak Lake, as did about 350 of the 406 triathletes who had signed up for the Hopkins Royal Triathlon, and a few hundred others who came to volunteer or spectate.  It was a beautiful day, made moreso by the pageantry of the five-year-old event.

Though the event's main purpose is to celebrate healthy, active living, and to entice the previously uninitiated to give the tri lifestyle a chance, as opposed to promoting competition, the event is just too dang good to not draw a strong field. Especially this year.

A glance at the transition area before Doobie's entertaining and nerve-calming pre-race meeting revealed that cracking the men's and women's overall Top 10 would be quite an accomplishment, and that records, lots of them, would be rewritten.

We were especially impressed with the volume of top notch masters women in attendance, six of whom were destined to make the aforementioned Top 10, and at least three of which would be part of the Master of the Year discussion at the end of the season...

The Double...

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ED. Yesterday we posted Simone Lundquist's report of her back-to-back races (Big Lake and Brewhouse). Her sister, Taylor, also did "The Double." Here is her report.

 

By Taylor Lundquist (twosisterswhotriblog.com)

 

Well it was my final weekend racing in Minnesota for the season and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end.


There are two traditions we keep every triathlon season whether it’s intentional or not.


1.       We add another race to the schedule last minute (That’s how I found myself waking up at 3:45 a.m. to go race Buzz Ryan)
2.       We race 2x in the same weekend (which just so happened to be my final weekend of racing)


The weekend started with a 5:30 wakeup call (which seems like sleeping in at this point). The weather at Big Lake definitely wasn’t ideal but hey that’s what makes it an adventure. Thankfully I wasn’t alone in this adventure, as I ran into lots of family and friends also ready to race in the rain.


The swim at Big Lake was great with a lovely tailwind pushing us to the finish....

Back-to-Back Weekend...

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By Simone Lundquist (twosisterswhotriblog.com)

 

When I tell people I am doing a triathlon over the weekend they already think I’m crazy, but when I tell them that I’m doing two in a weekend I get some pretty funny looks. Doing two triathlons back to back is always a painful but rewarding experience. You can’t expect to feel great on the second day, but when you get to cross a finish line twice in one weekend it makes it all worth it. The thing that makes it the most challenging for me personally is trying to figure out if I should pace it on the first day or go all out and not save anything for the second day. I try to figure out if one race is more important to me than the other, but then when I start racing I usually forget about pacing and just try to do the best I can.


On Saturday morning I was going to compete at Big Lake and on Sunday morning I was going to compete in the Brewhouse triathlon. They were close to the same distances, but they each had very different weather conditions each day. Saturday morning was a gray, cold, and rainy day, where as Brewhouse was foggy in the morning, but very sunny and warm towards the middle of the day. On the drive to the race on Saturday I could also see that it was pretty windy which made me worry about what the swim course would be like, but it actually worked out to be an advantage for everyone racing. When we pulled up to the race venue I could see that for the majority of the swim we would have a tailwind that would push us along almost the whole way which was a relieving sight to see....

Hopkins Preview...

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HOPKINS ROYAL PREVIEW - Doobie's event, a perennial "Race of the Year" nominee--it won the award in 2015, is all about celebrating healthy living and building community. It has never been about creating a highliy competitive race, though it has always managed to draw a few credentialed athletes.

This year is slightly different, though. Like it or not, Doob, you have got yourself a very talented field, but that won't diminish the event's deeply imprinted celebratory / community building legacy.

(FYI - One of the ways Doobie promotes "community" is by inviting the directors of other races promote their events at the Hopkins Royal Triathlon. His message is one of "unity" with other races, not competition among them. Pretty cool, huh.)

So, while the majority of the 400 entrants are playing and recreating this Saturday, a couple of dozen regional and national elites will almost certainly rewrite some records.

The current women's course record is SARAH MERCER's 1:09:39, set it 2014. That is also the women's masters record. While it is a very solid MR, SUZIE FOX proved in 2015, that it may be a tad soft as an overall CR. The bike course was longer that year, and Suzie's 1:11:02 was the equivalent of a high-1:06 / low-1:07 result.

We mention this because there are at least two women in this year's field that, weather permitting, and it looks like it will, should pop 1:06s or faster. We're talking about BECKY YOUNGBERG and NICOLE HEININGER. Youngberg will come in as the favorite, as she has won her last three races, all in record time. The 43-year-old Eden Prairie resident appears destined to receive a Triathlete of the Year nomination. We'd be very surprised if she didn't cover the 750 yard - 13 - 5K course in 1:05, or faster.

Then there's Heininger, who collected her 14th career win at Chisago Sprint. Since her Rookie of the Year season in 2013, she has established herself as a threat to win every race she enters....

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