FEATURES

Ripe For Rescue...

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In the 90s, Minnesota multisport racing schedule started earlier (April - Owatonna Triathlon - Brrrr) and ended earlier (mid August - Turtleman).

At the beginning of this century, a pair of road race directors, RANDY FULTON and MARK BONGERS decided to create some new multisport events, ones that would add several weeks to our tri/du season. Uncle Randy introduced the Square Lake races, and Mark gave us the St. Croix Valley Triathlon.

Other September races--various duathlons, One Last Tri, Hopkins Royals etc.-- followed.

Now, almost two decades later, Randy and Mark have retired from multisport production. Fortuitously in Randy's case, another company--TriFitness Events--have acquired his races. Other directors have yet to claim Bongers' races, which include the iconic Liberty Half IM and Olympic and Lake Waconia Sprint, events that Mark's company (Final Stretch) rescued, as well as smaller "local" events, North Mankato, which Final Stretch also rescued, and the Waseca Triathlon....

 

Though Uncle Randy will not be producing tris and dus, he will still be visible at several races as a timer. This is great news because he's the event management version of Sara Lee dessserts: "Nobody does't like Sara Lee," and the same is certainly true for the effervescent Randy Fulton.

Conversely, the likelihood of seeing Bongers at multisport events next season is slim. This sucks because, like Randy, he's an "impossible not to like" Mark. We'll miss his smile and ever-upbeat demeanor. And we will especially miss his animated pre-race athlete meetings. The guy is a HOOT!

Will Mark's multis be rescued?

Gosh, we hope so. If you, or someone you know, might consider continuing Mark's races, contact Mark via email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), or message him on Facebook.

Finally, thanks Mark and your crew at Final Stretch for your wonderful contributions to the endurance lifestyle here in MInnesota. You have enriched our lives.

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