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"Psst! It's a Lot More Than Fun"...

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9 Reasons to Join the Off-Road Adventure at Bertram Blast!

By Bettina Keppers

1. It's a thrill! It's chill! It's the best sort of fun. Simply put - Bertram Blast is an awesome combination of great humans seeking adventure in a beautiful place while still enjoying a fun and challenging race¦ and a beer at the finish line.
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Last Weekend's Performance Highlights...

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As promised, here are some of the outstanding performances by Minnesota athletes in out-of-state races last weekend, starting with the Door Country 70.3 and Sprint:

- DOOR COUNTY 70.3 - On the heels of her big wins at Buffalo Olympic (amateur race) and Lake Minnetonka MAGGIE SWANSON placed 2nd at DT. Her time--4:46:46--was only 1:39 behind the women's  winner, long distance veteran Jess Barrett of Verona. Maggie's clocking was also faster--by 52-seconds--than her 2021 time, when she placed 4th. Swanson's versatility in 2022, wherein she won at Olympic and Sprint distances, then excelling on a long course, puts her squarely in the Triathlete of the Year discussion.

KRIS SPOTH finished 5th in the men's race, clocking a 4:18:08. ANTHONY JAGIELO took 10th in 4:29:35.

- DOOR COUNTY SPRINT - Several Minnesotan turned in fine efforts at the DC Sprint, on the eve of the 70.3. Gopher star QUINN KNEELAND won the men's race in a field of 1059 finishers. NATHAN WAECH and PATRICK CARROLL also cracked the Top 10.  Leading the way for Minnesota women was CATHERINE LEE, whose 3rd place  finish was one place better than her 2021 showing, and her time was 1:09 faster. Also cracking the women's Top 10 was 2021 Chisago Sprint winner DEANA JAGIELO, who finished 7th....

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Revenge of the Newbs....

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BUZZ RYAN SPRINT COVERAGE - While the usual suspects battled for top spots in the women's race, a pair of ex-collegiate runners with little or no prior tri experience, broke away from the the established swim-bike-runners in the late stages to claim the gold and silver positions for the men. Exciting stuff.

Former Duluthian and Gopher distance runner MATT WELCH had PRs superior to those of Mankato's MICAH WARNING (Great Name!), who ran for Winona State, and he demonstrate that fact by throwing down a 11:54 split in the closing 2.4ish mile run. That's sub-5 miles, folks!

But it was only enough to earn him 2nd place. Warning's swim split, together with superior transitions, gave him an edge that proved to be insurmountable. (FYI, his run was wicked fast - 12:2, Sub - 5:10 pace--too. ) Micah's winning time - 49:45--gave him 2:45 to recover before Welch's arrival, and another 31 ticks before the vastly improved MICHAEL KARAU made his bronze medal effort official. Karau commented later that "the second guy--Welch--blew by me like I was jogging." (6:20-pace is not jogging!) ...

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Rock 'n Roll, Lang Hunt & Donut Rumors...

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1st TRI WEST OLYMPIC & SPRINT - There are lots of great reason's to do Tri West on July 24. Here are seven goodies: 

- It's NEW! And like, say, getting a whiff of the interior of an impossibly shiny 2022 Borton Volvo V60, you'll notice that "new race smell" when you arrive at the venue. But wait a minute, you say. "Isn't this race a contuation of last year's Gear Western Half & Olympic. Nein! After the demise of Liberty and Superior Man, the 2021 event was designed to give our region's athletes another quality long distance option. Unfortunately, the only available date turned out to be too close to Chisago's date. Chisago, of course, is our state's largest and most entrenched 70.3. Besides, Tri West's mission is to attract ALL triathletes, hard-core and recreational alike, not just serious long-course enthusiasts.

- Not only that, it has a COOL NEW LOGO. If you sniff your commemorative t-shirt you'll notice its "new logo smell." (Okay. The smell thing was overdone. Sorry.)

- Tri West is a PERFECT TUNE-UP EVENT for Age Group Olympic & Sprint Nationals in Milwaukee two weeks hence, or even the abovementioned Chisago race on July thirty-oneth.

- VENUE - If you've raced at Liberty, or last year at Gear Western, you know that Lake Rebecca Park Preserve is a "premier" racing venue. If you have never visited or raced here, you gotta check it out on Sunday, the 24th....

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It is Better to Suck at Three Sports Than to Excel at One....

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9th BUZZ RYAN SPRINT PREVIEW - A great feature of the Buzz Ryan (and Brewhouse) application process is that registrants are asked to leave comments about themselves. The cooler ones can be used on race day by the announcer.

Reading this year's comments we learned that in addition to being a talented triathlete (4th woman at Brewhouse Olympic in 2019, 7th last weekend against a strong field at Timberman Sprint), KATIE BENZIGER "is a heart doctor and mom to Theo and Marit." We also learned that WYATT COOK, 19, is a confident young man. He's registered for the Elite Wave though Buzz is his "first ever triathlon." We then learned that BRAD IRWIN, 59, is a philosopher. He asserted that "It's better to be bad at three sports than good at one." Let''s all ponder, which is what philosophers do, that for a moment.

Some participants used the comment feature to voice their political views. One nameless guy thinks a certain prominent politician is a "Poop Head."

There were lots of great comments and it's hard not to smile when reading them. The point of doing this is to remind participants that they matter and that the goals of the event are fun and personal enrichment...

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