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Happy 4th of July!

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Cami's Ironman Debut - Part III...

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By Cami Eckhoff

Race day~ Part 3 (this is a long one): The Run

The gal helping me in the changing tent was awesome! She made sure I had my run shorts and tank (maybe next one I can tackle in a full trisuit, but for this race, comfort was the name of the game!), dry socks and shoes, sunscreen, extra nutrition, running belt and hat. She liked the verses I had written out on my forearms too (2 Corinthians 12:9 and Philippians 4:13). One more bathroom stop and out I went!

Once on the course I remember thinking, I’m running a marathon right now! That’s a beast of a run and I’m doing it! I saw my crew around mile 4 where Keith handed me a note from Tyson.

I was really emotional. I couldn’t believe I was already on the run, Keith, Josh and Mel were the best support crew ever, I was grateful, I was hot, I was tired, I was uncertain how my hip would hold up, and I was so determined. I kept an eye on my heart rate and pace but due to the crazy heat and humidity, my heart rate was pretty high for the pace I was going. I felt good though so I didn’t want to back off too much! ...

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Clearwater Sprint XIII Coverage...

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13th GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER SPRINT - In the Olympic race, the favorites raced each other head-to-head, that is, they started in the same wave. Not so in the Sprint. The clear men's favorites were ANDY ZABEL(photo), who was undefeated in two starts this season, and BROOKS GROSSINGER, whose career tri / du resume boasts at least 38 wins. Though their respective waves were only three minutes apart, these guys are too evenly matched for the later starter to catch the earlier one.

The gulf between the favorites in the women's race might turn out to be a replay of Buffalo Sprint, with talented upstart ELENA HENGEL launching well ahead of 18-race winner CHERYL ZITUR. At Buffalo, Hengel came out on top, though not until several nail-biting minutes had passed. 

Would history repeat itself? Not necessarily, though Hengel's podium finish behind national classers Maggie Swanson and Christina Roberts the previous weekend at Lake Minnetonka suggested that the might...

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Bikers Prevail at Clearwater Olympic...

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GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER OLYMPIC - The inclement weather that was anticipated didn't happen, thus instead of a sloppy and slow experience, yesterday's Graniteman Triathlon was contested in surprising accommodating conditions, which resulted in some inspiring performances, fast times and even a few records.

Our race coverage will come in two parts. Today we will talk about the Olympic race, which celebrated it's 7th anniversary. Later in the week, we'll post coverage of the Sprint competition, which turned nineteen last Saturday.

Because a race is predictable doesn't mean it will be unexciting. On paper, three men appeared to be shoo-ins for the overall podium. The same was true for the women's race. PRESTON YOUNGDAHL, who was victorious the week before at Lake Minnetonka, AJ MANNING, the amateur winner at Buffalo Olympic, where he outraced Youngdahl by a scant six seconds, and NICHOLAS LADAS, last year's Clearwater runner-up, seemed destined, barring mechanical catastrophe, to outpace the men's field. VANESSA NAGEL, who held her own against national talent Kortney Haag here in 2021, where she (Vanessa) finished 2nd, EMILY GAGE, who has three career triathlon wins and eight total podium finishes, and KRISTIN HAWKINS, whose breakout season last year featured three wins, were expected to break away from their gender's field....

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Two Woohoos, a Cowbell & Talking to My Legs...

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By Cami Eckhoff

Race day~ Part 2: The Bike

My transition wasn’t the quickest but I wanted to be sure I had everything- sunscreen, chamois cream, chapstick, a bathroom stop, then out I went. The gal helping me in the changing tent was fantastic! So thankful for the volunteers!! She also made sure my wet note from Graham got back in my bag as a keepsake!

The first 40 miles were so much fun! A couple downhills I clocked 38 mph and remember hollering “woohoo!!!”

I took my personal needs bag at mile 56. Refilled my fuel and hydration on my bike, stopped in the porta potty and off I went. I took water and Gatorade at a few aid stations throughout the ride with smooth handoffs from the volunteers.

The sun started to come out midway through, with a blast of heat and more hills to climb. I saw Keith, Josh and Mel and heard the cowbell and cheers at mile 70 which gave me an extra boost. An older gentleman at the top of one of the biggest hills sat in his chair and gave each participant a clap. I thanked him and told him he was in the best spot as that hill was a struggle! ...

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