Race Coverage

E+R+O...

 

Screen_Shot_2022-05-24_at_11.31.59_AM.pngBy Katie Deregnier

Chattanooga 70.3 Race Report - I decided to race Chattanooga for 2 reasons- 1. Tune up for Des Moines 140.6  2.To race with Kristen Hawkins (training partner since Aug 2021). It turns out, Chatty gave me so much more than I anticipated! Between hanging out with Kristen and our families, and running into several race challenges, this may have been the most unforgettable race I've ever done! 

 The swim was refreshing in the Tennessee river! 1.4 miles with the current was a pretty fun experience. The sunrise was behind us, making it easy to spot each buoy until the end where volunteers pulled us out of the water, ready for our next leg of the race! I finished the swim in 29 minutes, right on par! 

 At the start of the bike, there was a bit of a headwind along with a few hills. It felt a little challenging, but I knew it wouldn't be long until the tailwind, which would be super fun! I had just started experiencing the tailwind along with some super cool rolling hills and amazing views when I noticed my back wheel sounding like it was riding on the rim- uh oh! I pulled over and sure enough, it was flat. 

In the back of my mind I had Paul and Tracy Serreyns voices talking to me- they had just finished giving me a "flat tire clinic" teaching me how to finish putting the tire on using a lever. They said to me, "a flat will not put you out of the race". I knew I had to try! Step by step I did what I was taught to do. In the midst of it all, Kristen rode by and screamed to me, "you got this, Katie!"-words that motivated! Next, I thought- do I know how to use CO2? Many cyclists may laugh at me, but I have been afraid to use co2 since I started biking in 2011! By some miracle I did it! It may not have been perfect, but it was done well enough to finish the last 20 miles! ...

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Last Weekend's Performance Highlights...

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As promised, here are some of the outstanding performances by Minnesota athletes in out-of-state races last weekend, starting with the Door Country 70.3 and Sprint:

- DOOR COUNTY 70.3 - On the heels of her big wins at Buffalo Olympic (amateur race) and Lake Minnetonka MAGGIE SWANSON placed 2nd at DT. Her time--4:46:46--was only 1:39 behind the women's  winner, long distance veteran Jess Barrett of Verona. Maggie's clocking was also faster--by 52-seconds--than her 2021 time, when she placed 4th. Swanson's versatility in 2022, wherein she won at Olympic and Sprint distances, then excelling on a long course, puts her squarely in the Triathlete of the Year discussion.

KRIS SPOTH finished 5th in the men's race, clocking a 4:18:08. ANTHONY JAGIELO took 10th in 4:29:35.

- DOOR COUNTY SPRINT - Several Minnesotan turned in fine efforts at the DC Sprint, on the eve of the 70.3. Gopher star QUINN KNEELAND won the men's race in a field of 1059 finishers. NATHAN WAECH and PATRICK CARROLL also cracked the Top 10.  Leading the way for Minnesota women was CATHERINE LEE, whose 3rd place  finish was one place better than her 2021 showing, and her time was 1:09 faster. Also cracking the women's Top 10 was 2021 Chisago Sprint winner DEANA JAGIELO, who finished 7th....

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Bears, Bees & Bonking....

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By Peter Wikman

Chisago Lakes 70.3 Race Report - Yesterday (last Sunday actually) was my 3rd time competing in the Chisago Lakes half-ironman, and it was just as exciting and challenging as always. Transition was buzzing as people filed in to get their gear set up and catch up with friends and teammates they haven’t seen in a while. Chisago is one of the few local races that gives people prescribed transition slots, which may have accounted for some people sleeping-in a little, as there was still a sizeable check-in line with only 20 minutes to go until transition close. Once 7:00 rolled around however, everyone seemed to have figured it out as there was a beach full of people ready to face the challenges of what would turn out to be a humid and windy day.

The swim started right on time and had the usual chaos that wave swim starts do. We spent the first 700 yards into the wind, which meant extra hydration in the form of lake water. The way back however was extremely pleasant as things opened up and we were able to catch a bit of a wave back in. I came out of the water 3 spots down and feeling pretty happy about my swim overall. Transition 1 was smooth (other than the right sleeve of my brand-new wetsuit almost ripping off when I tried to take my arm out) and after about 2 min I was on my bike....

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Sibling Rivalry...

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GREEN LAKE SPRINT TRIATHLON - MORGAN BELL, 19, has a voracious racing appetite. She has raced in seven regional tris this year, never missing the overall women's Top 10, and her last three efforts have landed her on the podium. She's worked hard and paid her dues.

Last weekend at Green Lake Sprint, she recorded her first adult tri win.

Her sister MACY, 17, also has raced seven times, cracking the Top 10 on all but one occasion. Closing the time gap between herself and her older sister is how she marks her improvement, and she came closer than ever before at Green  Lake. Typically the finish line crowd has  to wait a minute-or-two after Morgan crosses the line before Macy (photo L)  strides into sight. But that was not the case last Sunday. When Morgan's chip burped for the final  time, Macy was less than two hundred yards back, and she was flying. Her second career podium finish was in the bag, but more importantly, her final time was only 37-seconds slower than her sister's...

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Maggie and Preston Took Charge...

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LAKE MINNETONKA TRIATHLON - Only three times in the LMT's eighteen runnings had a woman dominated her gender like MAGGIE SWANSON (photo L) did on Saturday. Two of those times were by former world and national (twice) champion HEATHER LENDWAY, and the other by BECKY YOUNGBERG, whose career resume boasts at least 45 multisport wins. (Becky's performance was recorded in LMT's inaugural edition back in 2005.)

When Swanson crossed the finish line in 6th place overall, she would have more than four minutes to recover before her eventual podium-mates came into view. Only six seconds apart when they crossed, the veteran CHRISTINA ROBERTS, a 25-race winner in her stellar career, managed stay in front of hard-charging newcomer ELENA HENGEL, who was coming off an impressive victory at Buffalo Sprint. Hengel needed to push because college star / LMT junior record holder ISABELLA BUENTING was less than ten seconds in arrears.

Exciting stuff! ...

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Clearwater Sprint XIII Coverage...

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13th GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER SPRINT - In the Olympic race, the favorites raced each other head-to-head, that is, they started in the same wave. Not so in the Sprint. The clear men's favorites were ANDY ZABEL(photo), who was undefeated in two starts this season, and BROOKS GROSSINGER, whose career tri / du resume boasts at least 38 wins. Though their respective waves were only three minutes apart, these guys are too evenly matched for the later starter to catch the earlier one.

The gulf between the favorites in the women's race might turn out to be a replay of Buffalo Sprint, with talented upstart ELENA HENGEL launching well ahead of 18-race winner CHERYL ZITUR. At Buffalo, Hengel came out on top, though not until several nail-biting minutes had passed. 

Would history repeat itself? Not necessarily, though Hengel's podium finish behind national classers Maggie Swanson and Christina Roberts the previous weekend at Lake Minnetonka suggested that the might...

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