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Out Of Sight. But Not Out of Mind...

 

201joeshead.png9 was an odd year. Many of Minnesota's most decorated triathletes opted to race exclusively, or almost so, out-of-state, or in two cases, not at all. This was especially true for men, so let's focus on them here.

There were seven guys, only two of which raced on Minnesota soil, albeit only one time each, that we had hoped to watch often in 2019. Six of those men made Team Minnesota in 2018, but only two--Sean Cooley and Jordan Roby--earned spots last year.

Their absence bummed us out. As athletes who set high performance standards, we missed watching them race. Even more perhaps, we simply missed seeing them, talking to them, hanging with them. They are all super-cool guys who elevate the events they do, both competitively and socially.

We respect an athlete's right to create his or her own schedule; i.e. to race wherever they want. However, our state's tri scene has been shrinking for much of the last decade, losing at least 40 races during that stretch, and, in our opinion, ...

we need our athletes, all of them, not just the elites, to enthusiastically support our tri community. For those few hundred Ironman-only enthusiasts, for instance, we suggest that they add at least one of our great 70.3s--Chisago, Superior Man, Square Lake--to their annual schedules. For everyone else, if possible, add one more local event to your plans.

We also understand that an athlete's team, e.g. Every Man Jack, or coach, may create a schedule that targets high profile out-of-state races, or "destination" events. Such schedules may not be conducive from either a time or cost standpoint to add a local race from time to time. The coach may even recommend against doing so.  trio.png

We get it. Still, we encourage "community consciousness" in times like these.

Here are the seven guys that we had hoped to see more of in 2019:

 

JOE ADRIAENS - Concentrating on long races  in 2019, Joe raced in Utah, Wisconsin, upstate New York and France. In '18, four of the five tris he did were in MInnesota.

JAKE BRAAM - Likewise, Jake went "long" in '19, his three efforts taking place in Wisconsin, British Columbia and Kona. Four of his five starts in 2018 were local.

SEAN COOLEY - One of Dr. Cool's four starts in '19 was local. The other three were elsewhere. All six of the tris he did in 2018 were in Minnesota.

WADE CRUSER - After 11 Minnesota starts (6 wins and the Triathlete of the Year award) in 2018, Cruse Control took the year off in '19. He plans to return to the local scene this summer.

SAM HAUCK - We don't know what happened to Dr. Sam in 2019. He raced at St. Anthony's in Florida, then we never heard from him again. In 2018, four of the five races he did were local.

MATTHEW PAYNE - Our state's most decorated male multisport athlete of the last decade took 2019 off, and plans to take 2020 off as well. In 2018 he raced six times, all in Minnesota.

JORDAN ROBY - Like Sean, Jordan did one Minnesota triathlon in 2019. The other 75% of his races were elswhere. Five of the seven multis he did in 2018 were in his home state.

Will we see these talented guys at some local races this summer? We sure hope so.

 

NEXT POST: The women who did most, if not all, of their racing out-of-state in 2018.

 

Top Photo - Joe Adriaens' head. Page 2 Photo - Sean, Hanna and Jake.

 

 

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