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2021 G-Man Big Lake Preview...

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11th GRANITEMAN-BIG LAKE SPRINT & 6th BIG LAKE OLYMPIC - DAVID THOMPSON, the legendary "DKT," is racing at Big Lake. What that means is that whitchever event he chooses--Olympic or Sprint--we should expect a new course record. We assume that he is leaning toward the Olympic, the CR for which is DAVID HOLDEN's 2:00:52, set in 2016. If true, Big Lake '21 should see it's first sub-2-hour performance. 

And just as we assume DKT will do the Olympic, we suspect that KEVIN O'CONNOR will do the Sprint. This is because he did the Sprint at the Clearwater Graniteman. So in the interest  of continuity, we are picking KO to pick up his second G-Man victory of the season, unless ANDY ZABEL decides to race the shorter event. If Andy goes long, we predict a silver medal performance.

Now, to make these predictions happen, we need to assume that elite athletes like 2020 winner JOSH MORK, and DAVID KOPPEL, who has established himself as the Minnesota man-to-beat in 2021, do not enroll. FYI, we received the list of entrants on July 29, thus there is plenty of time for credentialed athletes to sign-up between then and race morning.

We also predict a podium effort from PETER WIKMAN, who is enjoying a breakout season.

Who will win the women's Olympic and Sprint? Whoever it is, we believe her name was  not on the roster we saw. Last year's Sprint winner JENNA HORNER is at Nationals, as is EMILY GAGE, who has multiple podium finishes here. So, a LUNDQUIST sister-or-two could show up? Or maybe MACY IYER? Or CARYN HERRICK, who's boyfriend (Wikman - They are such a cute couple!) could decide to race. If she does, she would move immediately into the favorite's spot....

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"A Triathlon Broke Out!"

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BREWHOUSE XXXIV COVERAGE - It was a beautiful morning for a wedding. Held on the bluff overlooking majestic Island Lake north of Duluth last Sunday, the lovely SHELLY BEATY PEARSON and the comparatively discheveled (meant with total affectionate!) MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY EVANS, exchanged vows after a 35-year engagement. The ceremony was witnessed by approximately 300 guests, and officiated by a Holy Man / restauranteur named RODNEY SADHU RAYMOND, who had printed his online "Marriager Certificate"earlier in the day....

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So Good to be Back!

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GEAR WEST HALF & OLYMPIC COVERAGE - For almost two decades Final Stretch produced numerous great multisport events. Unquestionably, the greatest of these was the Liberty Triathlon at Lake Rebecca Park Reserve. When MARK BONGERS, Final Stretch's owner and ebullient teddy bear of a guy, chose a new career path in 2018, Minnesota's tri community was truly saddened.

There was something about Liberty that was too good to die. Almost immediately it was understood that it would return someday. Several groups considered resurrecting the event. Then two years ago, JAN GUENTHER, owner of Gear West Bike and Triathlon who also happens to be our state's most decorated multisportswoman, and extroverted California exile JOHNNY SURPRISE (photo), committed themselves to making it happen. For them, it was time to stop talking, and start doing.

And they did, with all their heart and soul (and some awesome sponsors!). Last Sunday, triathlon returned to Lake Rebecca and the mood was joyous. The day was beautiful, sunny, no decernable smoke, and  temps were agreeable for most of the event's duration....

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Minnesotans Head For Milwaukee...

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2021 AGE GROUP NATIONALS - Next wekend will mark the fourth time that Milwaukee will host the AG National Championships, and there's a very good reason for the return to The Cream City (Yes, that is Milwaukee's nickname!). Not all host cities have produced awesome Nationals, like say, Columbia, Maryland did in the mid and late 90s. And no host has been awesomer than Milwaukee. Local organizers have truly set a high bar.

We also recall the earlier Milwaukee races because our own tri-superstar HEATHER LENDWAY, won the women's title there TWICE! Great memories, indeed....

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A Successful Debut...

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1st ALEXANDRIA TRIATHLON - Using a HS yearbook metaphor, BRIAN STORHAUG (photo) and COREY NYGAARD came into the race as the men's "Most Likely To Succeed." On the women's side, the same could be said for JOELLEN KOHLMAN-PETRICK.

Those athletes lived up to their designations, though Kohlman-Petrick had to contend with a very pesky local woman named KADIE HOKANSON, a lapsed triathlete who has successful results, albeit prior to 2011.  

Joellen led, though not by a huge margin, until the run, when Hokanson steadily closed the gap. Kadie got within 16-seconds when she ran out  of race course.

2020 Minnesota Grand Master of the Year LISA HINES, 58, filled out the women's Top 3....

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