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By Mike Buenting (mikebuenting.wordpress.com)

As a proud father I’m blogging today and making my case for my daughter Bella Buenting to be the junior female athlete of the year! 2019 was a very impressive season for Bella, sure it had some ups and downs but overall, she rocked it!


I simply love that myself and Bella share the passion of Triathlon together and that we spend our summer training and racing together! She is an amazing kid and the hours we spend, swim, bike, run (mostly biking together she swims mostly with Minnetonka swim club) is just awesome! I live for these moments and our workouts together! Racing with her is so fun as well! Especially events that I compete in the Olympic distance, and she competes in the sprint and we see each other along the race course, or at the finish line! Nothing better than a sweaty hug at the finish line from my daughter! Bella also teaches me some things in transition and at race sites, she is a very smart kid and sometimes gives me a nice fresh perspective on something I maybe miss.


The future for Bella is exciting! Triathlon is an emerging sport at the NCAA level for women and Bella is being recruited by several schools and has been taking visits all year long to visit schools, meet with coaches and so on. It’s also a lot of work and stress for her as she has to check in weekly with all of these coaches giving them updates, they call her, text her, email her often making their sales pitches for their schools and programs. It’s fun but it’s also a lot of work for her but she is very blessed to have so many great options to choose from! ...

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"...My Favorite Race"....

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ED. MTN loves to post race reports. We encourage Minnesota's triathletes to reflect on the season and write about their favorite racing experiencess. Today we are posting Simone Lundquist's terrific Timberman report. 

 

By Simone Lundquist (twisisterswhotriblog.com)

 

TIMBERMAN SPRINT RACE REPORT - It seems like many athletes have a favorite race or competition that they attend. It might be because they preformed well the year before or maybe it’s because they love the atmosphere that the competition has. Timberman is my favorite race for both of those reasons.

Once a year I get the privilege to go up to Grand Rapids, MN, and attend a well organized event with helpful volunteers. The race course is always filled with happy faces and determined attitudes. The competition is always fierce on the race course, but even some of the most serious athletes are up for a good time once they cross the finish line. Timberman isn’t a race that is only for a select group of competitors, but instead it’s for the beginners, the experienced, and the people who just want to have fun.

Arriving at Sugar Lake Lodge is always an exciting and welcoming experience. People are setting up transition, getting body markings, and preparing for the race ahead of them. I love being able to talk with people and make new friends all the way up until the air horn goes off. Although I love joking around before my race, I know that once everything starts that it’s time to focus and do my best....

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"Now I'm Quinn's Dad"...

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By Jake Keehan


Ironman Wisconsin Race Report - 140.6 miles in 9:33:07. I needed to gather my thoughts after this one. After crossing the finish line I was speechless. For about ten minutes after, the only thing I could muster to say was, “I don’t know what just happened”. Part of the reason it’s hard putting into words is because, although I had day dreamed about a performance like this for years, I was mostly convinced it was something that just wasn’t going to happen for me. Watching some friends accomplish their goals this summer was incredibly motivating but...

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Olivia & Dani Lead the Way at One Last Tri...

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Photo - The Four Musketlessteers (L-R) - Tom Krueger, Luke Harned, Michell Sanders and Tom Couillard. Harned, Sanders and Coulliard were AG winners.

 

ONE LAST TRI - A pair of insanely talented women that we don't see often, stole the show last Sunday at the 14th edition of One Last Tri. Taking the women's title in the Sprint was OLIVIA MELHORN, formerly Olivia Bagnall, whose last triathlon appearance was at Lake Minnetonka in 2017, where she placed 3rd.

A former collegiate and pro soccer star (and current soccer coach), Olivia started dabbling in triathlon in 2013, a year in which she won two of the four tris she did and was runner-up behind NICOLE HEININGER for Rookie of the Year. Since then, she's raced in 13 multis, including OLT, winning seven of them and finishing outside the Top 5 only once.

Why haven't we seen more of her in the last few years? She's been busy coaching and starting a family with her former college football player husband. They have a baby girl who is totally cute!

Melhorn's time at OLT Sprint was 1:04:56, which landed her in 3rd place overall among the 227 finishers, just 1:12 behind the men's winner DEREK PARKER, and 1:02 after men's runner-up JASON FISCHER, who had a breakout season in 2019, highlighted by his win at Fairmont Sprint and his 3rd at Trinona Sprint.

Second place in the women's Sprint was earned by SIMONE LUNDQUIST, a performance that made the day, her 17th birthday, all the sweeter, and likely helped her nab first Junior of the Year nomination....

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Good Times...

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By Doobie Kurus

And the winner is…”blah, blah, blah” Who cares? (Other than the winner I guess) Don’t get me wrong. Someone’s got to win, and it’s pretty impressive when they do. BUT, for every winner, there’s hundreds of “finishers”, many of which rarely, if ever, get recognized. At the Hopkins Royal Tri (HoRT), we strive to make the winners and the finishers, and really anyone who’s a part of the event, including volunteers and spectators, feel welcomed and appreciated. After all, the only time that really matters, is whether or not you had a good time! And it looked and sounded like a good time was had by many, if not all.


So, first off, thank you to the various youth groups (Hopkins HS Gymnastics, Theatre, Girls Soccer, and Pep Band) plus Team RWB (an armed forces veterans group that promotes fitness amongst injured vets) that volunteer at the HoRT. From setting up/taking down equipment, to course marshaling, to handing out food and water, we would not be able to do the event without them. We also would not be able to have donated over $50,000 back to the local community over our first 6 years. Thank you to the fans/spectators that come out to cheer everyone on. We hope that having names on the race bibs helps you so that you can even encourage people you didn’t know. We also hope the later start times, the playground for the kids, the free post race food (for all) and the great sightlines, made it enjoyable for you too.


Here’s some little known facts about the race this year. We had at least 18 people that registered for the HoRT each of our first 6 years. To thank them, we are giving them a free entry into HoRT for “lucky year #7”. It’s the least we can do for believing in us that first year, and sticking with us ever since. We had participants from 9 different states, which is nice to see people come travel to be a part of our event. Our oldest participant was 81 years young (Judy the “T-Rex” Rykken). Judy, the recipient of our #1 race bib and person that started off our event, displayed such good sportsmanship that she took the time to...

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