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Triathlon Mom...

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ED. We've been sitting on this wonderful story for a while, waiting for an opening in our content queue. That opening is now. Enjoy.

By Jamie Tobias Swenson (from Facebook)

Long, proud mom post to follow 😉 Last weekend (June 19-20) felt so right. My family was finally able to return to racing, and did so in a big way. Many of you know that the sport of triathlon drives my kids like nothing else. Throughout the last 16 months they continued to set goals and push themselves in their training 6 days per week. They trained like every weekend was another race...even though it wasn't. Last Saturday, it was a wonderful feeling to wake up before dawn to head to the Minnetonka Tri,...

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2021 Chisago Preview...

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15th CHISAGO LAKES HALF & SPRINT PREVIEW - When researching Sunday's race we noted that several of our state's fastest female triathletes will be making their long course debut, so we decided to make that the central focus of our preview.

In 2014, Rookie of the Year runner-up KELLY TROM, who went on to win Chisago in 2015 and record two more podium finishes after that, and goes into this year's race as one of the favorites, made her 70.3 debut at HITS Waconia, where she placed 2nd behind our state's all-time winningest female triathlete, CATHY YNDESTAD. Kelly's time was remarkable: 4:48:09. 

Can any of our long distance rookies match that on Sunday? It is a lot to ask, but it's possible. Breaking 4:50 rarely happens on the first try, and cracking 5-hours is a more reasonable goal. Will all of the women highlighted in this post slip under the magic 300-minute mark? We hope so....

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Breakouts Galore at HOLT!

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35th Heart of the Lakes Long Course Coverage - We love to witness breakout performances, and there were several of those last weekend. MAGGIE SWANSON's long distance debut at Door County Half Ironman produced a 4th place overall women's finish in a terrific 4:47:38 was one. She faced some very fast women there and beat most of them. All of her splits were admirable.

Then there was CARYN HERRICK's breakout effort last Sunday at Heart of the Lakes. On paper, several more experiened and credentialed women were expected to finish in front of her. It seemed that a 4th place finish behind three-time HOLT champ CHRISTINA ROBERTS, one-time winner and three-time runner-up DIANE HANKEE, and KORTNEY HAAG, winner of twenty-three tris in her stellar career, would be a best case scenario. Besides, she had already finished behind those women in earlier 2021 races.

Roberts felt great when she exited the lake well ahead of her competition. No surprise there. On the bike, though, her legs didn't feel strong but she managed to hold her lead all the way to T2. On the run, though. her legs died. They couldn't give her what she needed to keep Kort and Caryn in her rearview....

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Records Tumble at Buzz...

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8th Buzz Ryan Sprint Triathlon - ELAINE NELSON, Duluth's premier female triathlete for the last decade, won the women's title at the Buzz Ryan Sprint Triathlon for the seventh time in as many starts. Her career tri / du resume now boast 21 victories. Her margin of victory on Sunday over runner-up / lapsed triathlete LISA FILZEN was just over three minutes. Before her 6th place  finish a week ago at Timberman Olympic, Lisa hadn't raced in a  tri since the 2017 version of this event and thus had to be ecstatic with her 57:59 clocking, which was more than ten minutes faster than her  last effort here. We're anxious to see her future results.

Third place for the women went to three-time Master of the Year nominee CHRISTEL KIPPENHAN, 56, who placed 4th overall the previous weeken at Timberman Sprint. Her time there was an  age group record. We believe her 58:10 at Buzz is also an AG record....

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Back to Normal Feels Good...

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By Mitchell Clayton

TIMBERMAN - “Minnesota’s premier destination triathlon” did not disappoint the 25 super sprint-distance, 134 sprint-distance, and 75 international-distance triathletes challenging themselves at the 36th Timberman Triathlon this past Saturday. Nestled among towering pines and situated on the picturesque shore of “Sugar” Lake, it’s almost as if Sugar Lake Lodge was designed with hosting a triathlon in mind. After a year’s hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, race morning felt… normal. Temperatures in the Northland were in the mid-60’s and skies were clear as athletes set up their transition spot while chatting with friendly volunteers and race buddies that haven’t been seen in over a year.

The swim course took racers on a rectangular route, with the international course nearly stretching across “Sugar” Lake. Instead of a mass start, competitors lined up on the shore and started every 5 seconds in a self-seeded time trial format. After crossing the timing mat, the start of the course is sandy and shallow, allowing athletes to run a good distance in shin-deep water before diving into the crystal clear lake. Flat waters made it easy to spot turn buoys and to keep up the pace while heading out, over, and back to shore....

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