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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....

Another Course Record For Cruser.

 

By MIke Aulie (brainerddispatch.com) 

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BAXTER—Sauk Rapids' Wade Cruser set a course record and returned to the top of the podium while Baxter's Jacquelyn Bacigalupi was a first-time winner for the women in the Lakes Country Triathlon Sunday, Aug. 26, in Baxter.


Cruser finished the course in 56:55, breaking the previous course record of 58:33 that he set in 2016. The current race was shortened slightly in 2014 and begins with a quarter-mile swim at Whipple Beach followed by a 14-mile bike ride and finishes with a 3.2-mile run through Baxter's residential area.


This is Cruser's fourth year competing in the triathlon and might have been his third consecutive win except for an unfortunate mistake while leading in last year's race. He was second in 2015 his first year and won the 2016 race....

Superior Performances....

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SUPERIOR MAN - This year's races promised to be super exciting, and we were anxious to watch them unfold. Like everyone else on site, though, our hand-held device suggested that the weather conditions might yuckify during the event, so metaphoric fingers were crossed. Real participant fingers were needed for stroking, chinstrap snapping, steering, shifting gears etc., and spectator fingers were needed for clapping, waving and holding cardboard coffee containers.

Bad weather never materialized, thus racing conditions were surprisingly accommodating. Times would be fast, very fast, actually, despite the fact that the swim course for both the half IM and the 41.5 were long.

Five of Minnesota fastest 70.3ers were entered, as was a young Canadian woman intent on having a breakout performance. More on this later.

In MTN's 41.5 preview we suggested that late registrants would determine the outcome at the front of the race for the men. We were wrong about that, but late arrivals definitely impacted the women's competition in a hugely exciting way. Two-time champ CHRISTEL KIPPENHAN was our pick to three-peat, and she cerainly would have done that had not DANI VSETECKA, ELAINE NELSON and BETTINA KEPPERS, true national-level talents, decided to pop in at, as they say, the last minute.

Needless to say, we almost wet ourselves when we saw these ladies before the race.

Superior Man's great new run courses were multiple loop deals, the 41.5 passing within sight of the finish line crowd early on, and the 70.3 passing this point twice. This made the event's "crunch time" very spectator friendly. Kudos to CLINT and his crew for the design and execution....

A Showcase For Frontrunners....

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MAPLE GROVE TRIATHLON - This race has always been a showcase for frontrunners. 

We're talking about those who have clearly established themselves as nominees for post-season honors.

The clearest example of this last Saturday was WADE CRUSER's and BECKY YOUNGBERG's dominance in the Olympic competition. Both athletes were on a winning spee when they entered the race. Becky had won her last two races, both in record time, and her entire 2018 scorecard convincingly showed that the 43-year-old Eden Prairie mom was the Master of the Year frontrunner.

Wade arrived at Weaver Lake Park with three consecutive wins in as many weeks under his belt, one of which was a course record. He came into the race as a prohibitive favorite, "prohibitive" because you never know what college studs are going to show up on race day. ...

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