Tiff's Story - "The Credit Goes to My Father"...



By: The Duluth Runner - Posted on December 9, 2023

This is the seventy-seventh edition of The Duluth Runner Interview Series, where I get in touch with (mainly) local runners and athletes to share a bit of their story while inspiring others to pursue an active lifestyle.



Tiffany started experimenting with running when she was 16, but didn’t make any real improvements until triathlon entered her life in 2010 and the rest was history.
In 2016, 2017, and 2023, she competed on Team USA in triathlon as an age group USA triathlete team member at the Olympic Distance World Championships in Cozumel Mexico, Rotterdam Netherlands and Pontevedra Spain where she placed 2nd overall in the world. Over the course of her athletic years, she has qualified for and competed at Worlds in the Triathlon 70.3 distance, pulled off a few wins in running races from the 50k ultra marathon distance down to the 5K, as well as mountain bike races and cross county ski races.

She even dabbled in body building winning overall in the bikini division in 2009 at the NPC Gopher State Classic and NPC Upper Midwest and competed at Junior Nationals in Chicago, but one of her biggest athletic accomplishments was reaching her goal of a sub-3-hour marathon which she pulled off twice in 2022 after 7 years of trying....

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Elena, Caryn and Heather...



By Goose

2023 Minnesota Multisport Honors - It is my job to recommend nominees in the various MMH categories, after which Mav will select his picks. I then have a chance to challlenge thos selections and because we are initially recommending three nominees per category, we can add a nominee, as we did in the men's Most Improved. My goal is to do as much name-dropping as possible initially, then Mav than narrow the field. In the case of women's Triathlete of the Year, however, three athletes outdistanced their peers. So, the three names listed below are my nominees and Mav can add or adjust as he sees fit.

At the bottom are names of other women who were considered for TOY but unfortunately came up a bit short. CHRISTINA ROBERTS' resume, for instance, was set back by the problems at Tri West, a race she would have finished no lower than 2nd if the course issues didn't happen. SHYANNE MCGREGOR's two performances in 2023--1st amateur @ Maine 70.3,and 3rd amateur at Chattanooga 70.3, where she outraced some of the pro women--were so good that I briefly considered lobbying for allowing just two performance eligibility, not three. 


ELENA HENGEL, 27, Wayzata

2023 Highlights:

- 1st @ Buffalo Sprint

- 2nd amateur @ Iowa State Olympic Triathlon Championships

- 2nd @ Lake Minnetonka

- 2nd @ Timberman Olympic

- 5th @ Madison 70.3 ...

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2023 Triathlete of the Year...Possible Nominees...


By Goose

2023 Minnesota Multisport Honors - Today we are in the name-dropping phase to determine the nominations for 2023 Triathlete of the Year, that is, as far as men are concerned. The women, on the other hand have several worthy athletes, but only three women who meet all the criteria, thus they are automatic nominees. They raced often enough and with results that are comparable to the highest performance standards of their female predecessors.

The men are a different story. Below are some of the guys being considered for TOY nominations:


NOAH BILLINGS, 17, Rochester - A pair of outright wins and one overall course record are what grab our attention. His resume has a downside, though. The 2022 Junior of the Year, who is likely to repeat this year, races typically in sprint races, which rarely draw Team Minnesota-quality athletes, so it's hard to measure where he belongs in the amateur elite hierarchy. Like Kyle Swenson, he'll take his place among our region's best, though not until next year. We encourage him to race at Olympic events like Buffalo and Maple Grove. ...

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2023 Women's Performance of the Year Nominees...



By Mav

2023 Women's Performance of the Year - Goose and I have previously revealed our thoughts for the 2023 Male Performance of the Year nominees, and now it’s time to evaluate the Minnesota’s stellar women’s performances. The competition is full of household names, and high level efforts at a variety of races made narrowing the list to 3 very challenging. In alphabetical order by the athlete’s last name, here are my nominees for the 2023 Female Performance of the Year:"


Elena Hengel’s win at Buffalo Sprint: Elena posted the fastest women’s time on the day, but she was also less than 4 minutes off Brian Storhaug’s overall winning time. Elena had the 5th fastest swim and 9th fastest bike split overall. Also, her time of 1:04:09 has only been bettered twice (Cindy Blackstock, 2012, in 1:03:18 and Cheryl Zitur, 2016, in 1:03:22). Oh, and Elena took over 2 minutes off her winning time from 2022.


Heather Lendway’s overall win at Hopkin’s Royal: Heather, the former pro, national champ, and world champ, only knows how to win. On an ideal day in early September, she went 1:05:48 on Hopkin’s incredible course, beating her closest male competitor by almost 3 full minutes....

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Katie, Kadie and...



By Mav

2023 Most Improved – Womens Nominees - A couple of weeks ago, Goose and I revealed our picks for the Mens Most Improved Minnesota Multisport Honor. Today, I’m highlighting three women who upped their game this past season and earned the right to be nominated for the Most Improved MMH.

Kadie Hokanson, 42, Alexandria: Kadie, as a Master (40+), was relatively unknown a year ago but boasted two wins (Alexandria Sprint and Young Life Sprint) and a second (Average Jo) this year. She placed well at these events AND went fast, setting a course record at Alexandra and the second fastest posting at Average Jo....

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